Tag: Bible

  • THE GOD WHO PUSHES AND THE GOD WHO PULLS: What the Bible Says about Saving the Human Race, Part 1

    THE HUMAN PLIGHT Before one can be clear about a solution, one must be clear about the problem.  Or, to put this in theological terms, one’s view of salvation must be closely tied to one’s view of what’s gone wrong. For the past few posts, I’ve been looking at what the Bible has to say about […]

  • READING PAUL: THE TWO APPROACHES OF DUNN AND WRIGHT

    In the past two posts, I’ve been writing mostly about the (capital P) Problem with the human race: what’s gone wrong. The Bible has much to say about that, much that is ignored in popular theology, which tends to focus on a mistaken interpretation of the Genesis 3 narrative. The biblical idea of human evil […]

  • WE ARE IN THIS TOGETHER: GENESIS 9 AND THE IDEA OF TOTAL DEPRAVITY

    Often when truths, even great truths, biblical truths, are formulated into doctrine they lose their connection to life. They become mere beliefs—statements to which believers profess adherence but which no longer motivate their daily life and decision making. These doctrinal beliefs may come to parody the truth they were meant to embody. Total depravity is […]

  • The Human Peril: A Reading of the Story of the Fall

    Some weeks back, the award-winning Tucson choral group, True Concord, presented the premier of a stunning new work for choir and orchestra: Earth Symphony (“Choral”), music by Jake Runestad and libretto by Todd Boss. The work tells a story with biblical themes, creation, fall, and restoration, but the story is both different from the biblical story and […]

  • RIGHTEOUSNESS AND RESURRECTION: GRASPING THE THREAD OF THE GOSPEL

    In a post previous to this one, “Losing the Thread: How Bad Theology Threatens the Church” (https://peripateticpastor.com/2022/03/31/retrieving-the-words-of-faith-2/), I tried to peel away from the Christian faith some non-biblical accretions that undermine the gospel and its power (and in the process stirred up a hornets nest among some fellow clergy).  In this post, I’ll try to take […]

  • Retrieving the Words of Faith

    LOSING THE THREAD: HOW BAD THEOLOGY THREATENS THE CHURCH Lately, some people—I, among them—have despaired as the churches we grew up with have slid into right wing politics. It’s not just that a vast majority of people who identify as evangelicals voted for Donald Trump (according to exit polls, it’s somewhere between 76% and 81%), […]

  • THE ART OF THE STORY II: REFLECTIONS ON DANIEL 2

    The Dream In the post leading up to this one (https://peripateticpastor.com/2022/03/16/the-art-of-the-story-i-reflections-on-daniel-2/), I suggested that Daniel 2—the story of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream—proposes an intriguing take on the subject of divine revelation, how God speaks. The symbol of that revelation—no, more than a symbol, the manifestation of that revelation—is the dream. The dream, as we shall see in […]

  • THE ART OF THE STORY I: REFLECTIONS ON DANIEL 2

    People want the Bible to come at them head-on. Sometimes it does. In the Gospel of Matthew Jesus often comes head-on (something Pier Paolo Pasolini got right in his 1964 film, “The Gospel According to St. Matthew “). Take, for example, this saying of Jesus from the Sermon on the Mount: “Unless your righteousness surpasses […]

  • TEXT AND TRAJECTORY: DOES THE BIBLE LEAN LEFT?

    Does the Bible lean left? Someone recently asked me that. Truth be told, the question was more of an accusation than a question. It was, as I recall, “Clay,do you think the Bible always leans left?” More about me than about the Bible. The question is whether I characteristically read the Bible in a way that […]

  • TEXT AND TRAJECTORY: JOHN 14 AND THE REVELATION OF GOD

    What do you look for when you read the Bible? More often than we would like to admit we look for confirmation of what we already think. The Christian Reformed synod did just this in 2006 when it appointed a committee “to articulate a foundation-laying biblical theology of human sexuality.” This was a dubious project […]