OST is closed for business but its spirit survives on my blog.

Full emerging church/theology blog feed

The death of James and the coming of the Son of man () The story of the martyrdom of James, the brother of Jesus, casts an interesting light on how the early church in Jerusalem understood its future. There are two accounts of his death which are difficult to reconcile, but it is in any case the narrative content that is of concern to us here rather…
Lk. 13:1-5 - The killing of the Galileans and the collapse of the tower in Siloam () I mentioned this passage in the comment on Luke 13:22-24, but it is worth considering in its own right. First, as modern liberal interpreters we usually understand Jesus to be saying that the Galileans who died were not greater sinners than all other Galileans or that those who were crushed by…
Lk. 13:22-24 - Are those being saved few? () Jesus is asked by a man in the street whether it is true that only a few will be saved. The question highlights the centrality of the theme of judgment on Israel in Jesus’ teaching, as it is found in statements such as: ‘I came to cast fire upon the land’ and ‘Do not think…
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Orthodoxy, creation and the judgment of God () My wife and I attended the Liturgy at the Patriarchal Stavropegic Monastery of St. John the Baptist in the depths of rural Essex yesterday. It was our second visit with our friend Olivera. I would describe it less as a service of worship in the way that most Catholics and Protestants would…
Review: Davina Lopez, Apostle to the Conquered () Apostle to the Conquered: Reimagining Paul’s Mission, by Davina Lopez, is a good example of what has probably been the most significant turn that Pauline studies have taken following the New Perspective. As an overtly gender-critical analysis the book takes a step beyond the empire-critical…
Jesus and the Hell Houses () An article by Lucy Broadbent in today’s Times Magazine describes the current Hell House phenomenon and its impact on teenagers. Churches such as Trinity Church in Dallas present shocking tableaux of classroom massacres, date rape, abortions (with real theatrical blood and pieces of real meat…
The continuing war between Emergents and Reformed over the cross () The war in America between Emergents and Reformed is a depressing business. A recent piece by Greg Gilbert on the 9Marks blog (Not Just Important, Not Even Just VERY Important. “Of FIRST Importance.”) expresses satisfaction that defensive measures taken against the insurgents have…
Martin Robinson on shifts in the European church () Martin Robinson (National Director of Together in Mission) is sounding upbeat about the church in the UK and Europe. In a short video clip that can be found on the Roxburgh Missional Network site, he suggests that although churches still face considerable difficulties and challenges, there has…
One of the () One of the more peculiar objections that John Piper raises against Wright’s understanding of Paul’s ‘gospel’ is that the announcement that Jesus is Lord ‘is an absolutely terrifying message to a sinner who has spent all his life ignoring or blaspheming the God and…
Sweet and Viola: A Jesus Manifesto () Leonard Sweet and Frank Viola have recently issued A Magna Carta of Restoring the Supremacy of Jesus Christ, a.k.a. A Jesus Manifesto for the 21st Century Church. They argue in the preamble that Christianity is nothing more, nothing less than Christ, but that in the church today there is a serious…
The particularity of the people of God () Mike Morrell prompted me initially to respond to Kevin Beck’s This Book Will Change Your World, and has now posted some thought-provoking comments. Since they mainly have to do with the thesis of Re: Mission, a new post seems in order. His basic argument, if I have understood him correctly,…
Katongole: How postmodernism hurts Africa () In ‘Postmodern illusions and performances’, the fourth essay in A Future for Africa, Emmanuel Katongole argues that postmodernism is unlikely to prove the blessing for Africa that many had hoped. He accepts that it continues to have some usefulness as an intellectual style that casts…
The limited ambitions of the people of God () William Cheriegate asked me to expand on the following remark in my post on Transmillennialism – not least for the benefit of those who ‘grew up in the midst of a conquering American “christian” empire’: To my mind, the Bible has lower expectations about the…
On Transmillennialism and Kevin Beck's This Book Will Change Your World () I read Kevin Beck’s This Book Will Change Your World in response to some gentle and persistent prompting from Mike Morrell. As Mike observes, there are some interesting similarities and some distinct differences between Kevin’s exposition of Transmillenialism and the thesis of The…
Katongole: Communities of memory () In the first essay, ‘Remembering Idi Amin’, Katongole explores his own childhood memories of Idi Amin in an attempt to understand how the present condition of Africa has been shaped by memories of colonial and post-colonial brutality. He notices that his ‘happy’ memories of…
Emmanuel Katongole and A Future for Africa () I have started reading Emmanuel Katongole’s A Future for Africa: Critical Essays in Christian Social Imagination as preparation for the Amahoro conference in Johannesburg in a couple of weeks. Katongole is a Catholic priest from Uganda who is now associate professor of theology at Duke…
Is that third horizon just a mirage? () Mike Morrell has articulated a good question about the thesis of The Coming of the Son of Man and Re: Mission. It comes down to this: Given the metaphorical potential of biblical language, what keeps us from deflating all apparently final language to historical proportions? Or more crudely: Why not…
Should we still be making disciples? () I have argued a couple of times recently that Jesus’ post-resurrection instruction to his followers to make disciples of all nations, which we call the Great Commission, is actually more restricted in its scope than we have traditionally understood it to be. There was some discussion of this…
Does the future lie with the global church or with the emerging church? () There was an interesting article in the UK Times yesterday about the global success of ‘US-style muscular Christianity’ - that is, evangelicalism. The article is by John Micklethwait and Adrian Wooldridge and is based on their book God is Back: How the Global Revival of Faith is…
What is a missional church? And why I think Mark Driscoll is wrong () I forget quite how I got there - by what tortuous cyber-trail - but I came across a post on Mark Driscoll’s Resurgence blog promoting his new book Vintage Church, in which he touches on the question of what ‘missional church’ is. Driscoll is not naïve. Even from this brief…
No, it's not all about AD 70 () I’ve just been listening to what strikes me as an excellent introductory podcast on eschatology by Martin Scott - a nice example of how a rethinking of eschatology along narrative-historical lines has the potential for generating good new theological syntheses. It caught my eye because Martin…
The resurrection from the dead () The death and resurrection of Jesus, locked together in a brief three-day period, constitute the defining moment of Christian belief. It is here that the light of God’s love for humanity burns most brightly through the dingy fabric of history. But the light of the Easter event can be so…
After Christendom, before meltdown () The documents of the New Testament provided a specific eschatological framework for the formation of the early communities of Christ followers. They taught them, first, how to see themselves as a people of God reconstituted beyond the geographical, historical and theological boundaries of…
Literal this that and the other () Mark Driscoll, who is beginning to inhabit the darker regions of my consciousness like some baleful theological bogeyman, recently announced by Tweet that Charles Haddon Spurgeon is his favourite mentor outside of scripture. You have to wonder what sort of nightmarish world Driscoll is living in if…
Matt. 28:16-20 - The not so Great Commission () Reading Ed Stetzer’s reflections on the ‘meanings of missional’ from a year or so back provoked a familiar sense of bewilderment. How is it that five lengthy posts on the meaning of such terms as ‘missional’ and missio dei, plus a large number of appended comments from…
Narrative-realism, Preterism, and the relevance of scripture () I recently came across - I guess my ears were burning - a brief discussion initiated by Stephen Murray about the difference between a ‘narrative-historical’ or ‘narrative-realist’ approach to biblical interpretation and classic Preterism. The question is pertinent, so I will…
About me () My name is Andrew Perriman. My wife, Belinda, and I have lived in various parts of the world over the last 20 years: the Far East, Africa, Holland, the Middle East, the Nethelands, and London. I’ve combined theological studies and writing with pastoral and missional work in a wide range of…