Jesus as Teacher of Moral Transformation

I have often wondered why Evangelicals tend to imitate the teaching style of Paul more than Jesus, even though Jesus was clearly a popular and profound teacher. What would it mean to teach more like Jesus? Here are some reflections on Jesus as Teacher by Nicholas C. Burbules: As with Socrates, too, these disputatious dialoguesContinue reading “Jesus as Teacher of Moral Transformation”

Justification has a horizontal dimension.

Michael Bird has posted a great summary of the “new perspective on Paul” over at Euangelion (see part 1 and part 2), but the new perspective I personally find most significant is this: Justification has a horizontal dimension. Justification is clearly vertical and declares one’s right status/standing before God (e.g., Rom 5:1, 8:1), but alsoContinue reading “Justification has a horizontal dimension.”

Are Universalists beyond salvation?

In suggesting that Universalists have got hell wrong, am I saying they’re condemned to hell? This seems to be the impression John got the other day so I want to make it blatantly clear. No. Indeed I’d like to draw attention once again to the N T Wright article “Justified without Knowing It” where Wright explains,Continue reading “Are Universalists beyond salvation?”

Universalism and the Constantinian Urge

In the wake of the Christocentric universalism controversy sparked off by Rob Bell, I am reminded of these comments from Bryan Stone in his book, Evangelism after Christendom: “One of the persistent features of Constantinianism … is that, by diminishing the distinction between church and world, the church refuses to allow the world to disbelieve. One wayContinue reading “Universalism and the Constantinian Urge”

Your universalism is too small

Universalism seems to have gripped the attention of the Christian blogosphere this week. But you know what? I think we miss the larger action if we restrict our attention to what the Christian celebrity authors and the Christian celebrity watchers are debating en masse amongst themselves. I think we miss the larger action unless we openContinue reading “Your universalism is too small”

Life transformation

I don’t know about you, but I’ve often thought evangelical Christianity overemphasises the born again experience, to the detriment of the discipleship experience. For me, discipleship is a process of life transformation, a process that involves both the disciple and the master and the world. Here are two teachings I find very instructive. Do not conform anyContinue reading “Life transformation”