The One who Sits is Standing

Here’s the order of our Christian faith: Jesus lived, Jesus died, Jesus was buried, Jesus was raised, and Jesus was exalted. The exaltation entails the “ascension” of Christ and most of our gospel theology, not to mention gospeling itself, never mentions the ascension at all. Yet, the gospel in The King Jesus Gospel, where I don’t [Read More...]

Immediately after Death, What Happens?

Following a sermon one day a person waited around until everyone had left and he asked me this: “My father was a Christian; he died last week; we buried him Monday. Where is he now?” And pastor after pastor has told me this is a very common — monthly — question they get from the [Read More...]

Is Roman Catholic Theology Biblical Theology?

Matthew Levering, a Catholic theologian at Dayton University, examines Christian eschatology in the Catholic tradition but first asks if that theology is biblical (Jesus and the Demise of Death: Resurrection, Afterlife, and the Fate of the Christian, Baylor, 2012). What we also are treated to in this clear and versatile academic book is direct engagement [Read More...]

Thoughts on Eschatology Today

This is an interview with Karen Spears Zacharias, one of my favorite authors. Awhile back I sat down with Dr. Scot McKnight  following a lecture he gave at George Fox University. A prolific author and blogger (Jesus Creed) and world-renowned speaker, Dr. McKnight begins a new appointment as Professor of New Testament at Northern Seminary this August. When we spoke [Read More...]

A Justification Worldview

The issue for Alan Spence is that the Western world for a long, long time taught what I called last week a “justification worldview,” one in which humans are sinners and God is judge and those sinners are called to account before God in a grand final judgment. How they fair in that judgment determines [Read More...]

The Book of Revelation as Symbolic

Everyone says it. Everyone says “Revelation is symbolic.” Then everyone proceeds to decode the symbols — and it is the decoding that gets tricky. Tom Wright has famously argued that the vision of the new heavens and the new earth is a vision of heaven coming down to earth — and he has made the [Read More...]

The Four Glories of Heaven

“It is not in heaven that we find God, but in God we find heaven.” Studies of the new heavens and new earth, and I’m thinking especially of Tom Wright’s Surprised by Hope, have brought heaven back to earth because they have urged us to look again at what the New Testament actually says about [Read More...]

Looking forward to Judgment

One of the most common responses to anything preached or taught about the Last Judgment, the Great Judgment, or the Last Assize is fear or even terror. The topic alone creates anxiety in many. Perhaps this tells us more about the history of how this topic has been preached than what the Bible actually says. [Read More...]

What about Purgatory?

Purgatory is a Roman Catholic doctrine, and many Protestants say things about purgatory that are out of line with what Catholics believe, so let me cite the Catechism of the Catholic Church: 1030 All who die in God’s grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but after death [Read More...]

The Return

Anthony Thiselton: “In spite of those who underestimate the central importance of the Return of Christ in the New Testament, the concept remains central from the earliest New Testament writings to the latest” (89). There is an issue here: moderns and postmoderns find this element of NT and early Christian belief a bit embarrassing, if [Read More...]