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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The early apostolic testimony was that Jesus was “raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures” (1 Cor. 15:3). So the standard belief has been that the resurrection of the Messiah was prophesied in the Old Testament—somewhere, it’s never quite clear where, probably in the prophets… (28 Aug 2021 | 0 comments)
Thom Stark’s book The Human Faces of God: What Scripture Reveals When it Gets God Wrong is an attack on the doctrine of inerrancy—or perhaps better, an attempt to reframe the problem of biblical errancy. In chapter 8, which is the only chapter I’ve read so far, he argues that Jesus… (16 Aug 2021 | 9 comments)
I have addressed the troubling longer term historical implications of my reading of the New Testament in a number of posts, some of which are listed below. But the question has come up again, so here’s another go at outlining a response to the charge that Constantine and Christendom were a very… (5 Aug 2021 | 15 comments)
In a new comment on an old post entitled “The battle between theology and history for the soul of the church: 24 antitheses” Matthew makes a sensible observation about the theological process. It comes, I guess, in response to the tendency I have to polarise “theology” and “history” as… (3 Aug 2021 | 0 comments)
This is a quick one—an audio version of a post from 2018 on the doctrine of the second coming. Simply put, the evangelical church needs to choose between dogma and history, and I think we should choose history. For more on the argument about the judgment of the sheep and goats see this post. (1 Aug 2021 | 0 comments)
If the “chief end of man” is to glorify God and enjoy him forever, as the Westminster Catechism asserts in its opening clause, why is there no mention of this in the creation narratives? Eh? Humanity is created, as male and female, and is instructed to fill the earth, subdue it, and assert… (27 Jul 2021 | 0 comments)
In Mark 6 Jesus sends the twelve out in pairs to call people to repentance, cast out demons, and heal the sick (Mk. 6:7-13). Perhaps because of their mission, the name of Jesus becomes widely known. Herod hears about it, and he comes to the conclusion that John the Baptist has been raised from the… (21 Jul 2021 | 3 comments)