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

P.OSTOST

14 Jan 2022

I have two “passions”—as far as my work goes. The first is the narrative-historical thing. I think we understand the New Testament best when we read it essentially as a prophetic-apocalyptic narrative about the concrete historical experience of the Jesus movement in the first century. What this means is that we cannot understand either the person and purpose of Jesus or the mission of the early church without factoring in their historical horizons: the war against Rome and the collapse of classical Greek-Roman paganism. The “good news” is that God is doing something constructive and transformative about these two very different situations.

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I am very interested in the “eschatology” of Jesus and his followers—how they predicted future events—not only because it is the key to understanding the New Testament but also because it teaches us how to think theologically about the crises of our own age. So I was keen to listen to a Nomad… (5 Jan 2022 | 0 comments)
I got to hear several good online presentations at the SBL Annual Meeting last week, including a provocative panel discussion on “Doing History and Doing Theology in the Study of Paul,” which demonstrated that the more serious fault line now is between an old guard that thinks that the debate about… (26 Nov 2021 | 1 comment)
Helge Seekamp recently drew attention to a paper by Jem Bendell, Professor of Sustainability Leadership at the University of Cumbria, entitled “Deep Adaptation: A Map for Navigating Climate Tragedy.” He suggests that Bendell gives us a “secular agenda for an apocalyptic time.” I think that the idea… (10 Nov 2021 | 8 comments)
Earlier this week I had a stimulating online conversation with my friend Michael Cooper. Michael is a missiologist, and back in the day, when he used to hang out with Communitas, we spent long hours talking about scripture, narrative, history, and mission in the post-Christian western context. So… (22 Oct 2021 | 2 comments)
I read Roger Olson’s blog from time to time. He has recently written a couple of posts asking, “What is the Essence of Christianity?” We need to address these simple but fundamental questions from time to time. I know, it’s been a while, what with Covid and a major writing project to … (12 Oct 2021 | 9 comments)
I did this video podcast interview with Cliff Sekowe a few months back. Cliff is an amiable South African pastor and theologian who is keen to get scholars talking sensibly about some the intellectual challenges facing contemporary Christian faith. He had heard the podcast I did with Pete Enns and… (18 Sep 2021 | 0 comments)
This really is a bit of a puzzle. In Matthew’s Gospel Jesus says concerning the hour and day of God’s judgment of Israel and the concomitant vindication of the Son of Man that it will be as in the days of Noah. In the midst of life catastrophe will come (Matt. 24:36-39). At the parousia of… (2 Sep 2021 | 2 comments)