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… Read more

(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… Read more

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… Read more

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…. Read more

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… Read more

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… Read more

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,… Read more

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… Read more

BEN: I think I’ve begun to nail down both our similarities and differences on kingdom, church, and Israel. If we are just talking kingdom and church, I think we mostly agree. But the term Israel, especially in Rom. 9-11 absolutely does not refer to the church. It refers to Jews, period. Yes, the new Gentile people of God are grafted into the Christian Jewish root. This involves Gentiles being added to the Jewish Christian root seen as the righteous remnant,… Read more

A new series begins on CNN on March 1 which involves me in five of the six episodes. Here is the first trailer for the show at this link (cut and paste it into your browser to view). http://edition.cnn.com/videos/tv/2015/02/03/cnn-original-series—finding-jesus-faith-fact-forgery-03-01-15.cnn-promos BW3 Read more

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