A Word-y People

St Francis never said it so far as we know, but many have attributed it to him: “Preach the gospel at all times. If necessary, use words.” Whether he said it or not, many today think the primary form of proclaiming the kingdom is through deeds/works and not through words.  Hence, John Nugent, in Endangered Gospel, examines [Read More…]

Gospel vs. Caricature

He’s done it again. Josh Butler has a second book: The Pursuing God: A Reckless, Irrational, Obsessed Love That’s Dying to Bring Us Home. This book, Pursuing God, is nothing less than an explanation of the gospel of God’s pursuing love against the all-too-common caricatures that both turn some folks off to the faith and are preached by some [Read More…]

One More Time, What kind of literature is a Gospel?

You can imagine yourself — as I have done in a lecture more than once — as a 1st Century librarian receiving in the daily Roman mail a copy of Matthew, skimming it long enough to grasp its contours, and then rendering a judgment on where to stack the book. (In our world, what is [Read More…]

In which he makes the Case for Jesus

If you were educated in a less-than-orthodox or just slightly-less-than-orthodox or in an orthodox-but-let’s-leave-that-to-the-side context, then you heard these things things about Jesus: (1) the Gospels we now read were originally anonymous, (2) Jesus was Jewish and a messianic figure but all talk that he thought he was God is from the later creeds of [Read More…]

From Jesus Traditions to the Gospels themselves

There was a period, perhaps as long as a generation (e.g., 30-40 years), between Jesus’ public ministry of teaching and performing the gospel of the kingdom and the “scribalization” of those sayings and performances. In other words, for a generation what was known about Jesus’ teachings and mighty deeds was passed on orally. Some think of [Read More…]

What Happened to Jesus?

The intent of James D.G. Dunn’s 3-volume set is to take us from Jesus to the threshold of the Great Church, from Jesus to about 180AD. In volume Dunn examined Jesus Remembered and in the 2d volume he examined the earliest church up to about 70AD (Beginning from Jerusalem). Volume 3, Neither Jew nor Greek (NJNG) [Read More…]

The Gospel of Holistic Mission (C. René Padilla)

Very few evangelicals in Latin America are respected as much and none more than René Padilla, who is known for a holistic gospel (hence his genuine engagement with liberation theologies and classic orthodox theology) and an integrated sense of Christian mission in the world. He creates no artificial barrier between evangelism and social responsibility. Image [Read More…]

Heaven Promise Livestream Event

  Missed Scot’s LIVE Q&A on The Heaven Promise? Not to worry…you can watch it on demand right here! Who goes to heaven? What to make of all those “heaven and back” books? What about rewards in heaven? Watch the on demand version of Scot’s Livestream from October 14th, 2015 right here. And use the [Read More…]

Transformation: How Vital to the NT Gospel?

Martin Luther is famous for arguing — in the presence of observable realities in his churches — that Christians are simultaneously righteous and sinners. John Calvin was not as sanguine about the potential implication of that kind of teaching so he taught a more forceful theory of sanctification but not even Calvin was as expectant [Read More…]

A Gospel that Sets Us Free! The Apocalyptic Gospel

In a previous post I grabbed Douglas Campbell’s detailed, analytical outline of what he calls “Justification Theory,” a view of the gospel that is shaped by a kind of merits and credits (though in divine reckoning), and today I want to grab the theory he thinks Paul adhered to, a more liberation gospel, one that [Read More…]