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.
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.
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.
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.
What is hell, and is it biblical? Part 1: hell and the gospel
A response to Jacob McMillen and Josiah Pemberton. In this installment, I question how their view of hell can square with a gospel that preaches eternal life.
Constructive criticism of The Unseen Realm #1: filters and mosaics
In which I offer a friendly critique of some elements of Michael Heiser’s The Unseen Realm—starting with his idea that viewing the Bible as a mosaic means throwing out our “filters”.