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Archive for the ‘N.T. Wright’ Category

Thanks Steve for the link

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I have battled my way in the last few weeks half-way through this important study by Douglas Campbell. This book offers a serious challenge to justification by faith, whether one takes a ‘Lutheran’ of Wrightian New Perspective.  It offers a new paradigm rather than a new perspective.

I was pleased to see hear that a recent discussion of this book at SBL is available to listen to. It involves a discussion of this book from Gorman, Moo and Torrance with questions from Hays and Wright. Here is the link Thanks to Andy Rowell for making this audio available to those who couldn’t make SBL.

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The latest volume of Themelios is out which contains a review of N.T Wright’s Justification:Paul’s Vision and God’s Plan by a man called David Mathis from a place called Bethlehem Baptist Church. I thought that sounded familiar so I googled his name and discovered that he is the executive pastoral assistant to John Piper.

That is pretty weird….

Given the seriousness of this interchange between Wright and Piper you might have thought that they may have asked a reviewer who didn’t work for Piper. As it turns out, and there is no surprise here, it is quite a negative review. I do wonder if Piper may have had a hand in it….

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I thought I better do this as Belder and the Bishop tagged me. Hopefully Taylor may join in.

1) What’s your favourite theology book?
Ahhh! That is difficult. I have different books for different phases of my life

John Piper: The Pleasures of God
When I was in my late teens this book powerfullly set forth a high view of God. A powerful tonic to an anthropocentric view of the world.

Creation Regained by Al Wolters: In my early twenties this book exposed my dualism and set the foundation for a non-reductionistic view of the kingdom and the gospel.

N.T. Wright: Jesus and the Victory of God: In my late twenties this book helped me to better understand the historical Jesus

Rikk Watts: Isaiah’s New Exodus in Mark: In the last few years I keep on coming back to this book. This book has shaped and is still shaping how I read Mark and appoach teh Old Testament.

2) What Christian(s) book has been most influential in your thinking? Why?
Creation Regained: Al Wolters  Life became richer! Mission became life encompassing

3) Where do you attend church?
St Micheals, Stoke Gifford Bristol

4) What is your denominational affiliation?
Church of England

5) Who is your favourite theologian/Christian philosopher?
John Calvin,   Lesslie Newbigin, N. T. Wright, Chris Wright, Rikk Watts

6) Who is your favourite preacher?
My dad…

7) What is your calling as a Christian (if you’ve figured that out!)?
To be human. To love God and enjoy him forever. To be an agent of reconciliation. To be a husband and dad. To teach and preach. To bring theological education to the church. To be a servant of the church.

8) What spiritual virtue do you desire most?
Greater depth and persistence in personal prayer

9) What is the greatest challenge to the church today?
Depends who we are talking about:
Conservative Evangelicalism: To reduce the gospel to personal peity and evangelism
Mainline CHurches: To be more influenced by  zeitgeist than scipture

10) What bothers you most about the local church?
I have noticed a copy of the ‘Left Behind’ series in the Church Library.

11) What encourages you most about the local church?
Love the Bible, Love each other, impacting local community, openness to the Holy Spirit.

12) Pre, post, or Amil?
I have postmillenial tendencies….
Jesus shall reign where’er the sun
Does his successive journeys run;
His kingdom stretch from shore to shore,
Till moons shall wax and wane no more.

13) Antichrist…past or future?
Margaret Thatcher! just kidding….. both/and

14) If you could only keep 5 Christian books with you on a desert island, what would they be?

Bible: Preferably a study bible with notes, maps and concordance.
Greek New Testament + Greek Grammer Book + BDAG lexicon Apostolic Fathers in Greek (might finally be able to get my greek up to scratch)
Church of England’s ‘Daily Prayer’
Maybe Bavink’s Reformed Dogmatics: Never read it but want to!
Hymn Book of some description (preferably something which blends old and new)

15) What got you thinking theologically?
debates as a teenager on United Beach Missions about Calvinism and Arminianism.

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The Death of Jesus in the Gospel of Mark

The purpose of my last few months of research has been to explore, within the narrative of the gospel of Mark, the link between Jesus’ death and the Temple.  This link is clearly to be seen at the surface level of the passion narratives where the  Temple and the  cross are fused together in the closing stages of the Markan narrative. For instance, Jesus at his trial, which leads directly to his execution, is  falsely accused of saying that he would destroy the Temple sanctuary ( ναὸν) and replace it with another (14:58). This accusation is repeated during the crucifixion  in the form of mockery  (15:29) and at the point of death the link between Jesus’ death and the Temple is made explicit, ‘for a single instant…. we [the reader] are transplanted from Golgotha to the Temple area, and then back to Golgotha’ when the veil of the Temple was torn (ἐσχίσθη)  in two (15:38).

The attached paper (click on title above)  seeks to explore these themes.

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Today I had the pleasure of sharing a few insights on mission and worldview to the members of the ‘College Green’ pastoral group at Trinity College.. This group has pioneered and developed a chaplaincy which seeks to serve and bear witness to the young people who gather outside of Bristol Cathedral. Further information can be found here. The session today was intended to provide a theoretical/theological/philosophical basis for using worldviews in evangelism. On a practical level we will be using a modified version of the UCCF worldview questionnaire to engage in discussion.

If any church or group would like me to come and lead an interactive workshop on  ‘Worldview and Mission’ then I would be more than happy to assist. There would be no charge for any group in the Bristol area and for anyone else, within reason,  I would only ask that traveling expenses be covered. If interested then just leave a comment on this post. I can get references for those who want to know that I am kosher and can communicate effectively. I have previously discussed this material at West Yorkshire School of Christian Studies, local churches and a ‘Exploring Vocations’ retreat.

The following is primarily aimed as a resource bank for the pastoral group.

My presentation can be found using the following link.

I mentioned 2 books in my presentation.

Walsh and Middleton, Transforming Vision which introduces the reader to a Christian worldview. This book, if i remember rightly, takes a look at the worldview questions.

Where are you? Who are you? What is the problem? What is the solution? Where are we going? It will be worth checking out my  mate, Mark Roques’ website who has a great page on the worldview questions and sketches out a number of answers from different worldviews.  Also check out his podcasts.

I also recommended N.T Wright’s ‘New Testament and the People of God’ which provided the story, symbols, q+a, praxis part of my presentation. This book is great and will greatly assist you in hermeneutics and study of the New Testament. It is meaty and is not directly related to mission or evangelism. If this is your first year of theological training it may be best to leave on hold for a while. I think that it would be great to try and sit down and sketch out the worldviews of some of the young people you have met. What is their praxis? symbol? story? answers to worldview questions.

If you are interested in the Christian metanarrative and a holistic understanding of mission then check out some of the audio lectures by Micheal Goheen.

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John Piper, N.T. Wright, and Justification Mp3

Gerald Bray has a written a piece on the Piper/Wright debate here.

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This afternoon we had the first of this years postgraduate seminars in which we welcomed Rev. Dr Alan Garrow His talk was in two parts. In part one he offered a whistlestop but deep introduction to the Didache. In part 2 he sought to show how 1 Thessalonians is related to the eschatological discourse of the Didache.

Rev. Dr Garrow argues, persuasively that the parts of the Didache have an early date (50′s) . In a JSNTS monograph  he argues that that Matthew is dependent on the Didache. The part of his talk which struck me was that Matthew and Didache have many parallels and that most of these parallels (96%?) are found in Special Matthew material. This suggests that Matthew is dependent on the Didache rather than the other way round. I found this convincing.

This has got me thinking about the relationship between the gospel of Mark and the Didache.

Here is chapter 16 of the Didache  from Roberts-Donaldson translation, with Markan parallels in brackets.

Chapter 16. Watchfulness; the Coming of the Lord. Watch for your life’s sake (Mark 13:33,37). Let not your lamps be quenched, nor your loins unloosed; but be ready, for you know not the hour in which our Lord will come (Mark 13:35). But come together often, seeking the things which are befitting to your souls: for the whole time of your faith will not profit you, if you are not made perfect in the last time. For in the last days false prophets and corrupters shall be multiplied (Mark 13:22-23), and the sheep shall be turned into wolves, and love shall be turned into hate; for when lawlessness increases, they shall hate and persecute and betray one another (Mark 13:11-13), and then shall appear the world-deceiver as Son of God (Mark 13:14,21) , and shall do signs and wonders, and the earth shall be delivered into his hands, and he shall do iniquitous things which have never yet come to pass since the beginning(Mark 13:19). Then shall the creation of men come into the fire of trial, and many shall be made to stumble and shall perish; but those who endure in their faith shall be saved from under the curse itself(Mark 13:13). And then shall appear the signs of the truth: first, the sign of an outspreading in heaven, then the sign of the sound of the trumpet. And third, the resurrection of the dead — yet not of all, but as it is said: “The Lord shall come and all His saints with Him.” Then shall the world see the Lord coming upon the clouds of heaven.(Mark 13:24-27)

The  Didache in Greek from Loeb edition of the apostolic fathers is also available online

I don’t know what ot make of these parallels between the Didache and Mark 13.  If they are speaking of the same events, irrelevant of issues of dependance, then it rules out a N.T Wright and Perriman reading of the Mark 13:24-27 for the Didache is clear that the parousia is visible and will usher in the final judgement. I have recently written a paper which follows, with some nuancing, a Wright/Perriman/France approach. I would not write the same paper again without researching the date and eschatology of the Didache.

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By Dr. R. Albert Mohler, Jr., Dr. Denny Burk, Dr. Tom Schreiner, Dr. Mark Seifrid, Dr. Brian Vickers

Click here for the video

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