How to tell the biblical story in a way that makes a difference

Review of Steve Chalke’s The Lost Message of Paul, part 2 (a digression)

I made the comment in part 1 of this review of Steve Chalke’s The Lost Message of Paul that he has worked hard to integrate recent New Testament scholarship into his analysis of Paul but that in the end his personal judgment as a post-evangelical pastor gets the better of him. That started me thinking about a little schematisation of the different standpoints from which we interpret the New Testament and of the different hermeneutical journeys that we are on. Then I’ll get back to the details of his attempt to rescue the lost message of Paul.

I despair sometimes of the Christian captivity to dogmatic tradition. Here’s someone, for example, excitedly celebrating the fact that he has relocated from the prison of Arminianism (a relaxed, easy-going prison, but a prison nevertheless) to the stronger, more secure, and safer prison of... (19th Feb. 2020 | 10 comments)
In the Prologue to God Untamed Johannes Hartl tells the story of being stuck on Mount Athos in northern Greece in a ferocious storm. He has spent a few days on this isolated peninsula, in the skete of St Anna, with a friend walking and praying. Now they need to get to Thessaloniki to catch a plane... (14th Feb. 2020 | 0 comments)
How, Michael Bird asks, did the early church carry forward “Jesus’s appropriation of Israel’s sacred traditions about the restoration of Israel and the inclusion of the nations in God’s saving purposes”?It’s a good question. If Jesus was a “prophet of Jewish restoration eschatology”, whose... (6th Feb. 2020 | 3 comments)
I still have a lot of marking to do, so I’ll keep this to the point again. A good friend with an interest in these matters came across Keith Giles’ argument that Paul is referring to something other than “homosexuality” in 1 Corinthians 6:9 and 1 Timothy 1:10. He wants to know what I think of it.... (28th Jan. 2020 | 18 comments)
I have a lot of marking to do, so I’ll keep this to the point. In the Greek Old Testament it is God alone who rebukes the sea and calms the storm (Ps. 17:16; 103:7; 105:9; 106:28-29; Is. 50:2 LXX). So when Matthew says that Jesus “rose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm... (22nd Jan. 2020 | 14 comments)
One of the biggest intellectual challenges facing modern evangelicalism—a movement that professes to adhere to both scripture and tradition—is how to reconcile a commitment to a rationally constructed trinitarianism with the dominant apocalyptic narrative about Jesus which we find in the New... (7th Jan. 2020 | 14 comments)
The promise to Abraham in Genesis 12:1-3 is that his descendants will be given a land where they will become a great and prosperous nation (goy), that they will be blessed by God, and that for this reason they will be a blessing to all communities of the earth.And the Lord said to Abram, “Go out... (31st Dec. 2019 | 2 comments)
1. Let’s be blunt. Christmas has nothing to do with God coming to earth as a helpless babe to save humanity from sin, etc. That is another matter, it’s not what’s being said, it’s not the burden of the stories in Matthew and Luke. These narrate the birth of a king who will deliver... (20th Dec. 2019 | 79 comments)