Archive for the 'bible' Category

Love song for ya

Was at a cracker wedding yesterday and the crazy preacher people were on about Song of Songs and it reminded me of this visualised literal reading of it.

Ain’t that good news

This week has been a bit of Scott McKnight overload

From preaching in MCC on Sunday to a leaders day (that i somehow got sneaked into) on tuesday and then IBI’s summer institute on Friday and Saturday.

McKnight appeals to me because he talks a lot about the gospel and what we mean when we say that and what the Bible means when it said it. This builds on a major learning point I got from Tom Wright when I read (mainly in Surprised by Hope & Simply Christian) that the gospel was perhaps something more than what I had originally presumed.

McKnght explains that in the last few hundred years that the meaning of the word gospel has shifted somewhat to mean good news about forgiveness of sins (primarily through justification by faith).

This is a shift from an earlier tradition (and McKnight argues – Biblical position) where gospel meant good news that the messiah has come and brought fulfillment to the story of Israel.

The key text he quotes is 1 Cor 15:1-5 which he also argues is the basis for the Apostles/Nicene Creeds.

This gospel includes within it justification by faith but states that GOD is doing more than that.

This was a pretty cool thing to learn at the age of 27. It certainly helped me make a lot more sense of what was happening in the Bible.

Some of this seems to scare people in certain circles – in many ways understandably, it seems a major shift in understanding of a fairly basic aspect of what we do. Just examine your hymns and prayers and you’ll see that they’re full of justification theory as the main (if not sole) point of what GOD is doing.

I don’t think I’m a heretic for my shift in position. Jesus has got bigger not smaller.

I’d love to tell you what the implications for how we evangelise are but we had to skip the last session on Saturday – perhaps Dr Mitchel could fill me in?


Have been reading Scott Mcknight’s book – the blue parakeet. Great stuff. And even better following on from forum in MCC where we talked about scripture and the authority of GOD.

I have spent most of my life with a fairly straightforward version of understanding the Bible and it’s authority. Like most things in life I have realised that they are, if nothing else, a little more complicated that I first thought.

Belief, faith, love, everything I perhaps previously understood has become a little bit more complex with time.

I am not a biblical literalist. I don’t think I ever was, for a period I think I was meant to be, but I never when I think back actually believed it. A bit like discussions of women in ministry –  I knew the oft-quoted verses against women in ministry but was never entirely comfortable with the conclusions that people seemed to so effortless derive from them.

People like Scott McKnight, Tom Wright, CS Lewis, Lesslie Newbigin, Kurt Vonnegut, John Steinbeck and even people like Jaybercrow, Zoomtard, Soapbox, SmallCorner & Transfarmer (even when I didn’t really know any of them) have all helped me to grasp understanding of what the Bible is and does and how I relate to it.

Some of these understandings (mainly in the negative) are as follows:

  1. Scripture does not form the 4th person of the (now inaccurately named) trinity, squeezing in at the back, and pushing the Spirit out of the picture a bit. I/We have a tendency to divinise the word of GOD (as much as we divinise the puny, pigmy idol of a god we often worship) and make it more than perhaps it claims to be.
  2. Even the biblical literalists have been “picking and choosing” for as long as there have been biblical literalists so it’s not a question of whether we pick and choose (to use a cynical term) but how we do it
  3. The Bible is not a textbook, nor a rule book, nor an instruction manual. All of these metaphors fail to do justice
  4. Just because things happen in the Bible one way does not mean that is the way things are meant to be. From Genesis 3 onwards everything is broken until JESUS until we know how things will be fixed – even if they are not yet. So just because women are oppressed and suffer injustice throughout the Bible does not mean that that is GOD’s pattern for the new creation

I wouldn’t want to suggest that I have now arrived at some higher plane where the complexities of scripture are summarised in a sound byte. This is not an attempt at spiritual superiority more like honesty.


August 2022