Works-righteousness: a square contractual peg in a round covenantal hole
In antiquity, the key distinction between contract and covenant was one of performance versus loyalty. This was widely understood and accepted; so how plausible is it that first century Judaism treated God’s covenant as a contract requiring performance, rather than as what it claimed to be—a covenant requiring personal fidelity?
Was Jesus an alpha male? Part 2: command
To properly understand intersexual dynamics, we need to ground them in human nature—which is fundamentally the image of God. This image consists in two related elements which are both encompassed by the term command.
How to improve God’s Big Picture
Vaughan Roberts’ God’s Big Picture is a video series worth watching. It rightly emphasizes kingdom as the backbone of the gospel narrative, but suffers from some typically Western blind spots that water down that narrative in unfortunate ways.
Does God need the divine council?
Many people object that since God doesn’t need anyone to help him rule in the heavenly places, therefore there is no divine council. This objection is puzzling, since it is easily repurposed to “prove” that there are also no earthly rulers either.
What is the kingdom of God? Introduction: a tale of two kingdoms
Why do the gospels represent the good news as being about the “kingdom of God”? What is this kingdom, and how does it relate to us today? In this series I trace the surprising biblical narrative of kingdom, from Genesis 1 to Revelation 22, starting by showing that John 3:16 is actually about God transforming man’s ruined kingdom into his own eternal one.
What is the kingdom of God? Part 10: the urgency of preaching Jesus as king of the western world
The results of the evangelical gospel are things like easy-believism, an inability to easily squash the lordship salvation controversy, moralistic therapeutic deism—and ultimately cultural relativism due to the privatization of religion. The New Testament’s cosmological gospel confronts these errors.
What is the kingdom of God? Part 9: the Great Commission as a directive to conquer
The evangelical moralistic gospel hopes less, demands less, and achieves less than the all-encompassing ambitions of the New Testament’s cosmological one. If Jesus really is ruling until he puts all his enemies under his feet, then he is creating a new nation out of all the old ones through the Great Commission—and this happens geometrically until there is nothing left for us to do.
What is the kingdom of God? Part 8: the gospel as a message of triumph
Whereas the apostles front-load the gospel with Jesus’ resurrection for worldwide kingship, evangelicals front-load it with his death for sin. Thus, whereas the New Testament’s gospel is a message about all-encompassing cosmic restoration through Jesus’ resurrection and enthronement, today’s gospel is a message about individual moral restoration through Jesus’ death and atonement.
The gospel is inherently political
The fact that Jesus’ kingdom is not of this world does not imply that it is not on this world.
Is lack of healing a failing of the church to exercise authority for their king?
In response to a reader’s question, I suggest a moderate path between taking kingdom theology to humanistic extremes that presume upon God’s authority, and swinging so far the other way that we refuse to represent his authority at all.
What is the kingdom of God? Part 7: where we are now, and what we can look forward to
God’s end-game is a human kingdom that is not just restored, but glorified, with believers taking their place as new sons of God, ruling with Jesus forever.
What is the kingdom of God? Part 6: how God is retaking Adam’s kingdom from Satan
God used the collapse of his kingdom Israel, and the death of his king Jesus on a cross, to overcome sin and make the human nature itself sacred space. He thereby disarmed Satan’s claim over humanity by crowning a perfect human king in his place—and started inexorably transforming Adam’s ruined kingdom into Jesus’ restored one by dwelling in human hearts instead of in a land.
What is the kingdom of God? Part 5: when God began retaking Adam’s kingdom from Satan
Before we can understand how God is retaking Adam’s kingdom, we must first establish when he began to do it. Daniel 7 was fulfilled after Pentecost when Jesus went into heaven on a cloud and received kingship to place his enemies under his feet.
What is the kingdom of God? Part 4: a tale of two seeds
The fallout of the curse was a bitter war between the seed of the serpent, and the seed of the woman, within the one kingdom God had established. This culminated at Babel, where Yahweh disinherited mankind and divided them among the sons of God—taking Israel as his kingdom and giving the rest to Satan.
If Adam thought Satan was a good guy, was his transgression justified?
A response to Steve Hays, in which I challenge the assumption to begin with, and then doubt the conclusion for two other reasons anyway.
Why think the rulers of 1 Corinthians 2:8 are gods?
In which I outline two significant reasons based on the language used, and what Paul is actually talking about.
What is the kingdom of God? Part 3: what happened in Eden
Adam was created as the first human member of the divine council. The serpent was a shining, serpentine being who didn’t like Adam being given dominion of the earth instead of someone higher up…like him.
What is the kingdom of God? Part 2: the divine council
Israel, like all ancient Near Eastern peoples, conceived of the world as being governed by a cosmic bureaucracy—a bureaucracy the Bible calls the divine council. Prophets were brought into this council when they were commissioned.
What is the kingdom of God? Part 1: representation and rulership
The kingdom of God and the kingdom of man started out as the same thing, and Adam’s representation of God is mimicked in the physical world’s representation of spiritual realities.
Abortion as sacrament: why religious language is still used in a secular culture
A brief analysis of abortion in terms of Satan’s attack on the image and kingdom of God.
Should I save a zygote over a baby?
If I don’t, then obviously it’s not murder to kill a zygote, lol.
I am not an “anti-vaxxer”
But I didn’t vaccinate my children.
If God is real, why does the world suck?
Or a question to similar effect—with similar answers.
If God wants to save everyone, why did he only choose Israel?
If you want all people to be part of your kingdom, you don’t disinherit them and then pick just one family.
A showcase of Christian hatred and secular tolerance
A continuation of an exchange on homosexuality, reposted from Facebook.
How pro-gay atheists “argue”
An illustration of what to expect from “freethinkers” if you dare to buck political correctness.
Was Jesus a guru? (Part 2)
Is there not some hubris in thinking that, when reading a translation of a text, you have picked up on something which two millennia’s worth of its most adept students failed to notice in the original languages?