Tag: Bible interpretation

Jesus the social and religious radical – 5 lessons from a dishonourable encounter
(February 25, 2018)

The facts about Jesus are clearly stated in the gospels, and they don’t change, but people have so many different understandings of him. The Catholic Jesus or Orthodox Jesus is not the same as the evangelical Protestant Jesus, or the Jesus of liberal Protestant theologians. I think there is probably some truth in all portraits, […]

Six things we might learn if we understood the mission of Jesus
(February 5, 2018)

A couple of weeks back I reviewed Kenneth Bailey’s Jesus Through Middle Eastern Eyes, a book I have found revelatory about Jesus. I have gained many helpful insights from it. Today, some new understandings about one of my favourite gospel accounts – Jesus in the synagogue at the start of his ministry, when he made […]

Book review: Disarming Scripture
(December 14, 2017)

Disarming Scripture by Derek Flood The Old Testament world was a violent place. For a christian, the most troubling violence is surely that said to be commanded by God, whether it be Abraham being commanded to sacrifice his son and heir Isaac, Joshua commanded to exterminate Canaanites who are unfortunate enough to be living in […]

Moving beyond the Reformation: grace, faith and works
(November 5, 2017)

One of Martin Luther’s most important arguments with the Catholic Church was his belief that salvation is “the free gift of God’s grace through the believer’s faith in Jesus Christ as redeemer from sin” (Wikipedia). This belief has formed the basis of Protestantism for 5 centuries, and his protest possibly assisted the Catholic Church to […]

500 years later – a new reformation
(October 30, 2017)

This post is a revised version of my 2014 post The new Reformation. Martin Luther is examined for heresy. 500 years ago, Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the Wittenberg church door, and, it is often said, began the Protestant Reformation. 40 years ago I came to the conclusion that the church in the […]

The glory of God
(September 26, 2017)

Why did God create the universe, and human beings in it? A common christian answer is that he did it for his glory. But I’m not so sure.

Self-giving love and the New Testament
(September 3, 2017)

As a young christian I was told that the love God has for us, and the love he wants us to have for others, is a self-giving love, for which the New Testament writers used the Greek word agape. This understanding was reinforced by reading the CS Lewis book, The Four Loves, which spoke about […]

Christians and homosexuality – is there a peaceful way forward?
(August 10, 2017)

Difficult issues series This has been perhaps the most difficult post I have written. I’ve avoided writing about this issue because it is so divisive, and because I wasn’t sure I had anything worthwhile to say. But while I don’t pretend to have a solution to the argument between the traditionalists and the progressives, I […]

It was kind of amusing and revealing at the same time
(July 29, 2017)

The church I attend is part of a denomination which, based on the teachings of Paul, doesn’t allow women to be the senior minister in a congregation or to preach to a mixed gender audience. A few weeks back a young woman, bare-headed and wearing casual clothes, led the prayers in the Saturday evening service […]

Knowing the Way – scripture, experience, learning, tradition and the Holy Spirit
(May 9, 2017)

In the discussion on my previous post, Nate has questioned my approach to authority and christian belief. I do not believe the Bible is inerrant, and I said that most christians accept other sources of knowledge also: “reason and evidence, church teaching and tradition, and the Holy Spirit”. And so he asked: “Why does the […]