Tag: Story

  • INFORMED IMAGINATION: A PARADIGM FOR BIBLICAL INTERPRETATION

    How should we approach the Bible? It’s become increasingly clear that the approach taken by post-Reformation conservative Protestantism—the approach many of us were taught—is a dead end. I would count the Chicago Statements on Biblical Inerrancy (https://defendinginerrancy.com/chicago-statements/) as the beginning of the end for that approach, although it will be a long time with us. […]

  • 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 […]

  • 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: PART ONE OR HOW THE LITTLE PRINCE CLUES US TO READING THE BIBLE

    I began this post with the intention of writing about text and trajectory on the basis of John 14. I’ll do so in the next post in this series. But as I got into it, I realized I need to clear some ground. Along the way I wrote and discarded material on the history of […]

  • DOES THE BIBLE HAVE A SENSE OF HUMOR?

    Is the Bible ever funny? The question was put to me by an older friend. This friend had two worries about the Christian faith. One was that he would get to heaven and discover that there was no sporting competition there. He lived for his games and his teams. The second was that in heaven […]

  • SMALL KINDNESSES: AN ADVENT MEDITATION

    In 1985, Robert Fulgham wrote an essay that later became the bestselling book All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten (1990). It went viral. Fulgham’s premise was that the simple rules that children learn in kindergarten serve just as well in adult life, such things as: Share everything.Play fair.Don’t hit people.Put things […]

  • THE TOWER OF BABEL: THE DIVINE PREFERENCE FOR DIVERSITY

    The intriguing, funny, and cutting story of the Tower of Babel (Genesis 11:1-9) is the last in the collection of stories that makes up the preface to the book of Genesis and, therefore, to the Bible itself. We do well to attend to these stories, not as histories, which is to distort them and lose […]