‘These are the days of Rebekah’

My friend Natalie Collins was on Twitter tonight bemoaning a youth resource that claimed to cover the whole Biblical story in 32 sessions (!…) but that managed to mention only one woman who appears in the Bible in that survey, that woman being Eve. I don’t know the resource, and Natalie didn’t elaborate, but I’m guessing that Eve was not given a positive write-up. I have three daughters who are in youth and children’s programmes at church; it would be nice to think that the people who write the material they will access were actually working to make sure they are aware of the many positive female role-models there are in Scripture, rather than erasing all women except Eve from the story of God. In this spirit, I offer a parody I...

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Serious thinking does not always lead to the same conclusion

Steve Chalke was kind enough to tweet a link to my piece on his invitation to a global conversation; in the same tweet he linked to a piece by Brian McLaren on the same theme. Brian’s piece was entitled ‘The Biblical cat is out of the fundamentalist bag’, which mostly left me straining to think of mentions of cats in the Bible (I don’t think there are any – several lions of course…); the piece was mostly a series of links to interesting posts elsewhere; at the end, though, McLaren writes: …the real question is this: in the privacy of people’s own hearts, will they (will you, will I?) have the courage to think, rethink, question, and consider the possibility that the conventional view of the Bible is in need of...

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A global conversation on the Bible?

I was told some while back that Steve Chalke was writing a piece on the Bible, and invited by someone to give a response; I refused on grounds of friendship – I did a formal response for someone else last time Steve published a position paper, and I don’t want to make it a habit… …when I read Steve’s piece, however, I confess to being puzzled; I’ve now read it more than once, and I remain puzzled. So this is just me, responding as Steve asked us to, not with a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’, but with a ‘why?’ Because I’m puzzled. On the Oasis site where Steve’s paper is posted it is introduced with the line ‘Steve Chalke calls on the world-wide church to have an open and honest dialogue...

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Theology and Exegesis: an example

To pick up on the theme of my earlier post on the place of theology in exegesis, Justin Taylor has a blog post up today on the doctrine of the eternal generation of the Son, which serves as an ideal example of what I was talking about. Justin frames the question by asking ‘is [eternal generation] really a Biblical idea?’ He notes that the idea has been seriously challenged in contemporary theology, but suggests that, although he lacks space in the post, a ‘full exegetical defense’ could indeed be offered. (‘Eternal generation’ is the doctrine that the Father’s begetting of the Son is an eternal act; it is a necessary doctrine in classical Trinitarianism.) If ‘biblical idea’ means ‘a doctrine that could...

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Can you Adam-and-Eve it?

[For non-UK readers, 'Adam-and-Eve' is traditional London Cockney rhyming slang for 'believe'.] Various sources, print and online, highlight a debate that has taken off in the States on the question of the historicity of Adam and Eve as the two parents of the human race. At least one tenured scholar at Calvin College has apparently lost his job over the question. (Google will get you to lots of sources on the question; I couldn’t find one that summed up both the issues and the recent events in an even-handed way, so I decided not to post a link – if someone else knows of a good one, by all means put it in a comment.) On the one hand, we have a claim that the sequencing of human genomes has provided a body of data that is incompatible with an account...

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