“For all the nations…”: the universality of the Kingdom in Mark

It’s common to come across the well-founded observation that Luke’s Gospel is particularly interested in highlighting the universality of the Kingdom of God. References to the outcast of society abound, including Gentiles, women, the poor, and the sick. So when I heard someone casually mention that in one of the Gospel accounts Jesus’ given rationale […]

Tuesday, June 21st, 2011

No class warfare here: Mark’s Jesus as equal opportunity savior

Keying off a comment from Marc on my last post, I looked at Peter’s response and Jesus’ response to him in the immediately following verses in a slightly different light. Here are the verses immediately following those I quoted in my other post. Peter began to say to him, “Look, we have left everything and followed […]

Wednesday, February 16th, 2011

Jesus’ astonished disciples in Mark 10

Chalk this one up to staring too closely at the text. It’s not a felicitous scenario when the material you’re analyzing for your dissertation keeps distracting you from the actual subject. Then Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, ‘How hard it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!’ […]

Monday, February 14th, 2011

Engaging Olson on the objective theories of the Atonement

I thought I was done posting about this subject for a while, but apparently I’m not the only one thinking about this! The following comes from Roger Olson, someone whose views I often find quite compelling. What does he think about the atonement? …I do think denial of any objective-transactional aspect of the atonement is […]

Saturday, February 5th, 2011

Thoughts on “Christ crucified” and the gospel according to Jesus and Paul

Recently I was listening to a pastor describing the gospel in the predominant Reformed fashion as the message that sinners are absolved of guilt because Christ died in order to allow God to punish sin without condemning vile, sinful humanity (at least those of us who are fortunate enough to be among the elect). Under this rubric, […]

Wednesday, December 8th, 2010

Mondays with MacDonald (on how the Kingdom comes)

Except for the loving help they gave the distressed, revealing him to their hearts as the Redeemer from evil, I doubt if [Jesus] would have wrought a single miracle. I do not think he cared much about them. Certainly, as regarded the onlookers, he did not expect much to result from those mighty deeds. A […]

Monday, November 29th, 2010

Doubt and certainty: a fork in the road

Conversations with some of my closest fellow sojourners (such as Mike, Cliff, and Matthew) have often included a discussion of the following question: given our radical departure from many tenets of evangelical orthodoxy such as our rejection of inerrancy and acceptance of critical scholarship of the Bible, the theory of evolution, etc., why does our faith remain strong […]

Thursday, September 16th, 2010