theology

Evangelism: For whose benefit?

I’ve heard it said that one of the big differences between communication in the West and communication in the East is about who has the burden of understanding. In the West, it’s up to the speaker to make themselves understood—if a listener doesn’t understand, they ask questions to force the speaker to clarify themselves; if you do any speaking in the East, you will find that there are much fewer questions—it’s up to a listener to understand, and if they don’t, they go away and think about what was said until they do. Read more about Evangelism: For whose benefit?


A matter of taste

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I’ve been trying to write this for a while but have struggled to find the words; Rachel Held Evans’ recent article about millennials leaving the church has provided me with a bit of much-needed impetus. Like her, I’m not sure that I’m qualified to speak as a millennial, (although I have been amusingly mistaken for one.) but speaking for myself: there is very little about Evangelical culture that I like. There, I’ve said it. Read more about A matter of taste


Romans: A book about Jews and Gentiles

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I’m not often dogmatic about very many things, but I’m going to get all dogmatic on you now: You’re reading the Epistle to the Romans wrong. If you think Paul is using it to expound grand doctrines about salvation and the like, you’re reading it completely wrong. If you’re reading it in small, Bible-study-sized chunks, it’s less surprising why you’re reading it wrong, but you’re still reading it wrong. Read more about Romans: A book about Jews and Gentiles





Let's talk

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In mid February I noticed a flood of tweets with the hashtag #bellletstalk inviting an honest conversation about mental health. My first thought, knowing that Rob Bell had a new book coming out, was excitement and relief that he had taken the brave step of writing something substantial on mental health issues and depression in the ministry. Read more about Let's talk



Today in Bible translation horrors

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Today I was preaching on the mission of God and salvation history, and decided at the last minute to throw in a good example of (a) how God always seeks to restore relationship with those estranged from him, and (b) the principle that, because God does this, we should too. It’s one of my key themes, and a great verse which highlights it is 2 Samuel 14:14. David has become estranged from his son, and Joab sent a woman in to change his mind and gain forgiveness. The climax of the woman’s argument, in every English translation I have checked, goes like this: Read more about Today in Bible translation horrors