One of the most impactful pieces of biblical scholarship on my own thinking has to be Salvation by Allegiance Alone: Rethinking Faith, Works and the Gospel of King Jesus (Baker 2017) by Dr. Matthew Bates. As part of his goal to explain what “faith” is in the New Testament, he provides a wonderfully clear explanation and incisive summary of what the gospel actually is. Over the last couple of years re-examining my own understanding of the faith and trying to determine what are its core tenets, Bates’ summary of the gospel was exactly what I was looking for. It perfectly captured in a clear and concise manner what I had come to consider as the very centrepiece of the Bible and the foundational message of the faith. Now using his summary of the gospel as a template, which you can read here, I have attempted my own below. Continue reading “The Good News in Summary”
If you have ever gone evangelising then you have carried along a Bible tract that summarises what it considers the bare bones of the gospel. If you’re Protestant it probably is some rehash of the “Romans Road”, where all have sinned and you can only be saved by grace alone being justified by faith alone in Christ alone. New Testament scholar Dr Matthew Bates in his latest book Salvation by Allegiance Alone challenges these popular and long held notions as missing the point of what the gospel really is according to the New Testament.
On this blog I have often spoken about the importance of treating scripture as literature. Part of that is recognising the macrostructure of scripture at various levels. The gospels all present individual accounts of Jesus but when you compare them to each other, there is an overarching narrative structure they all follow. This macrostructure consists of basically three acts: a beginning, a middle and an end. Specifically, these parts in Jesus’ narrative are his introduction, vocation and the resolution of his mission. There is much to be said in detail about each part but instead I will provide a quick sketch. Continue reading “The Grand Drama of the Gospels”
About three years ago when I started looking into the apologetic arguments for the resurrection of Jesus a particular name cropped up fairly regularly. That was how I was introduced to work of Nicholas Thomas Wright who has since in such a short time become one of my biggest theological influences, as any regular reader of this blog would have observed. There are many great evidential arguments for the resurrection such as the minimal facts argument of Habermas and Licona. Wright takes a non-traditional approach and deals with it from an epistemological and hermeneutical stand point, that is, how you know what something means, before looking at the traditional data for it in its original historical milieu. The result is he has produced the most sophisticated and formidable defence of the resurrection in recent years: The Resurrection of the Son of God (2003), the third title in his projected six volume series Christian Origins and the Question of God. You can go here to find the lecture on which this post based which also summarizes his massive 800 page tome on the resurrection, which is well worth the read. Continue reading “Mutant Resurrection”