Forward Thinking about Reading Backwards– Part Two

The first proper chapter of this little gem of a book is a lecture on the hermeneutics of figural interpretation, and we shall spend this post on that chapter. Drawing on the famous words of Martin Luther about how the OT is the swaddling clothes manger in which the Christ is lain. So Hays argues that Luther is reading the NT figurally in order to proclaim the legitimacy of a figural reading of the OT (p. 2). Hays then adds that if the Christ is wrapped in OT attire, he is both contained and in … [Read more...]

Forward Thinking about ‘Reading Backwards’— Part One

I've been reading my friend Richard Hay's NT offerings for close to 40 years now. I read his dissertation involving Galatians when he was still writing the chapters, and I would send him comments and suggestions. Following this review, which like the book will not be lengthy, but in several parts, you will get to read the dialogue or exchange we had about the book in future posts.Let's start with the disclaimers. From the outset Hays stresses that he is not suggesting "that the … [Read more...]

The Animals went in Two by Two– Yet Another Flood Account

(A shot of Mt. Ararat I took in 2011).Our fried Pete Williams, the warden of Tyndale House at Cambridge had this recent report on the finding of yet another flood account, this one perhaps from about 1700 B.C. or so. Here's the report.... ------The animals went in two by two ...There were many interesting discoveries relating to the Bible in 2014, but perhaps Irving Finkel of the British Museum may be congratulated for making one of the most interesting. Finkel, an expert in the … [Read more...]

Kingdom Conspiracy– Part Ten

This will be our last post on Scot McKnight's fine book which came out last fall (Brazos Press). It has many merits, not least of which is it is very clearly written, gets right to the point, and has lots of memorable lines like "the Pharisees emphasized the love of Torah, contrasted with Jesus who emphasized the Torah of love". In this post I want to sum up on a few points to makes clear where I think Scot and I differ.The first of these points, which you should have gathered from … [Read more...]

Kingdom Conspiracy– Part Nine

BEN: I find p. 164 very confusing. You say "The fundamental mission of kingdom citizens is to glorify God by living the life of 'good deeds'. God is most glorified when kingdom citizens live under King Jesus as a faithful community."This would seem to making doing good deeds and kingdom mission one and the same thing especially in the context of the salt and light verses. No?SCOT: We glorify God by good deeds -- that's straight from Jesus. And part of kingdom mission is for … [Read more...]

Kingdom Conspiracy– Part Eight

BEN: I just finished Chapter 9, which I enjoyed and I think agreed with almost without exception. Obviously kingdom is about human redemption, and it has been that way since the time of Jesus. There is a necessary spiritual and social dimension to it. But of course during the ministry of Jesus, there was not yet a church, not yet a community of the gathered followers of Jesus, so back then healing, exorcism etc. did not happen in the locus of the church. Now I am content if all you are … [Read more...]

Kingdom Conspiracy– Part Seven

BEN:Scot I really loved this chapter, and wished it had been longer. I especially enjoyed the interaction with Barth, and the stories at the end about Ms. Powers and Carl Henry. Powerful stuff. And I think you've made a strong case that kingdom mission has to be Christological in its core and focus etc. Who am I to disagree with that? But I would say that just as there are many dimensions to the Christology of the NT and what it affirms about Christ, so there are many dimensions to the … [Read more...]

Kingdom Conspiracy— Part Six

BEN: Maybe we should go back to square one. The term basileia like the term malkuta which Jesus would have used has a range of meaning, obviously. The English translation 'kingdom' is not helpful because in normal plain English it connotes a place, not a people, but a place as in the Magic Kingdom, or the United Kingdom, or the Hashemite Kingdom, which can be located on a map. I much prefer the translation dominion, because at least in English, like in Greek and Aramaic it can have either … [Read more...]

Kingdom Conspiracy— Part Five

BEN: So what this really boils down to for you, is that: 1) you are convinced it is wrong to parse things so kingdom is one thing and church is entirely another (and I agree), and 2) you want kingdom mission to be church based and specifically Christian,and whatever is not an outworking of that is not kingdom mission. 3) you're insisting that kingdom is people, not just an activity or for that matter a place. I would say that kingdom involves people necessarily, its about the redemption of … [Read more...]