We tend to think of the baptism of the Spirit as something universal, available to everyone who believes. While this is true, there is a little more to it. The Jewishness of Luke’s account of the outpouring of the Spirit on Pentecost is something we have to pay attention to. The Spirit is given in the Jewish capital Jerusalem, which becomes the focal point of their early activities and their Spirit-empowered mission is initially exclusively to Jews. New Testament scholar Craig Keener makes an interesting observation about why that was the case. Continue reading “From Jerusalem to the World”
In the second part I outlined how “hell” fits in to the ancient biblical worldview. In this part will briefly trace how the biblical language and beliefs surrounding “hell” developed.
The Jews had been conquered by their enemies and the temple, which was the central symbol of their identity as the people of God, had been destroyed. This crisis in national identity forced new readings of the Scriptures and also spurned the production of new texts all together. Ideas about judgement naturally came to centre of the discussion. They understood God was judging them for their failure but they knew if they repented and were once again faithful to the covenant, God would vindicate them and punish the nations he used as instruments of his judgement. Now a vindicated Israel could fulfil its mission to the world. Continue reading “Different Degrees of Hell (Part III)”
Pilgrim’s Pensieve #32
My recent realisation of an underlying royal narrative is an important milestone in my journey exploring Scripture. The name of this blog is a reference to John Bunyan’s story because Christianity for me has been an exciting journey of a pilgrim seeking understanding. So this blog has been somewhat of a travelogue in my expeditions into understanding Scripture Continue reading “The End of the Royal Arc”
In the first part, I did an overview of Paul’s “narrative of glory” in Romans 1-8 from the work Of Dr Haley Goranson Jacob in her 2018 book Conformed to the Image of his Son: Rconsidering Paul’s Theology of Glory. Dr Jacob through an extensive of the biblical texts has convincingly demonstrated that glory is primarily associated with rule not and not some form of divine luminance. Now the “narrative of glory” that Jacob traces in Romans is anthropological. It is about God’s intention for human rule over his creation, which was finally inaugurated in the ascension of Christ the King. Since human glory comes from God’s glory, we need a theological narrative of glory. Continue reading “The Royal Narrative”
Jesus could have risen any number of days after his death without diminishing how incomparably extraordinary the resurrection was. You could say if it had happened after a far longer wait, it would have been even more impressive. So why did Jesus rise on the third day? There is an insightful article explaining it from The Bible Project, whose wonderful work I have featured many times on this platform. To read the full article click here.