Monday, November 28, 2005

Seneca, Derrida and the young Thessalonian church

"for the living voice and the intimacy of a common life will help you more than written word. You must go to the scene of the action, first, because men put more faith in their eyes than in their ears, and second, because they way is long if one follows precepts, but short and helpful if one follow examples"

-- Seneca, Epistle 6.5-6 (cited in Abraham J. Malherbe, The Letters to the Thessalonians, p.83)

Derrida: That just sounds like the metaphysics of presence, Chris.

Chris: The young church in Thessalonica (in AD late 40's early 50's, it was probably only a few months old) had been formed through the missionary work of Paul, Silvanus and Timothy. Yet Paul and his team had to leave earlier than they would have liked, and the small community had to endure distress and tribulation (Gk: thlipsis) probably from the pagan, patron-client world of Empire that the small community was so utterly subverting and contradicting. And so try telling the Apostle Paul that his desire to reunite with the Thessalonians was merely the metaphysics of presence. This isn't about metaphysics, but about the tangible power of relationships.

More Winners

With all of this award business going on, its also an apt time to give the results for the various votes and caption suggestions below.

  1. So, regarding the picture on the front of Tom Wright's Paul: Fresh Perspectives, the academic community has voted, albeit without clear majority, that the picture is, after all, his mum. And don't get offended at me for this - its just called democracy.
  2. It is with great joy that I can announce the 'find a caption' winner for the Bush picture as

    ... *drum roll* ...

    i) ME! with, "The Chinese electrified-door-handle prank is a success". Yes, although it pains me to write this given my abundance of deep humility, second place must go to ...
    ii) ME AGAIN! with "When an innocent fart goes horribly wrong"
    iii) Languishing behind in third place are the contributions of the lost message with "What's that warm trickle going down my leg? Is that normal", T. B. Vick's "Was that Bill and Monica behind there?" (sorry if that wasn't meant as a caption, but its too late now), and Sean Winter's "Please open the bathroom door your majesty - I am desperate." P.S., Sean, if you are Sean "The Baptist" Winter, then say nothing to Tom about the "his mum" bit, and I'll shower honours on you in future posts. Deal?
  3. Sadly not a single one knew the answer to the what made the small Thessalonian Dionysus image found in the Serapeum unusual. Honestly! I truly wonder, what with all these theologically trained guests I have, and none could answer that. This is a sad day for Bible Seminaries and Theological Colleges the world over as such information should surely be a basic part of any theological syllabus. But to give the answer, the little image accommodated an 'optional extra' detachable ...

    ... *drum roll again* ...

    Penis (or Phallus, or Willy, or Meat-and-two-veg, or love-cucumber. Whatever you want to call it actually as any of these answers would have been correct.)

    I judgmentally shake my head in the general direction of all theological training institutions.

Blog of the week award

It is with great pleasure that I can announce this weeks 'blog of the week' winner. Admittedly, there are at least two other blogs (e.g. Ben's Faith and Theology, and Scot's Jesus Creed) that would get some kind of joint 'Blog of the Week' every week; but that just ain't fair for the rest of us.

Nevertheless, my choice is a deserved winner. Simon's posts have been wide ranging, informative, thought-provoking and funny. In fact, his twist for evil humour somehow strikes a deep cord with me, even if he has been a tad bit chicken to let it all hang out in full glory on his blog.

Particularly funny have been his posts: Pupil Comments of the Week 4 and 5 (he's a teacher), What makes a Dan Brown book, and his New Method of Evangelism (yet another evangelistic method to add to well-worn strategies such as "friendship evangelism", "open-air preaching evangelism", "Alpha-group evangelism", and my personal favourite, "Mediaeval Crusade evangelism" for which you need only a sword and a flag, i.e. no bother with tracts, tiresome acts of love etc.)

On the more thought-provoking side of things, he proves beyond any doubt that there is indeed more heresy in his brain than in all of the Inquisition Hall of Fame chambers with: A Question of Orthodoxy and Ignatian Scriptural Meditation (which brings to fore the question of shameless and blatant plagiarisation given my earlier post here, but I'll overlook that). Then there is Freedom of Speech (a discussion of those more right-wing brethren who want the Koran banned!), Origins (on Genesis and the Enuma Elish) and lastly one on knowing God, which raises some interesting questions.

Well done Si! (but get a hair cut)

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Excavating Paul's Thessalonica

Unfortunately, archaeologists haven't had much excavating success when it comes to the ancient city of Thessalonica. Why? Because someone went and bunged the second largest city in all of Greece on top of it (Thessaloniki). Nevertheless, the excavation of the Serapeum (a bunch of tombs) has yielded many buried treasures and thus proved to be an exception.

One find in particular caught my smiling attention:

As archaeologists rummaged through the grit and mummies, one small image of the god Dionysus was discovered. However, this was no usual little man because it accommodated a removable ... what?

Answers on a postcard, and the first to get the right answer gets, err ..., a bit of honour for being first.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Facts to make you popular #1

Before I write the next post in my 'New Perspective' series, I thought I'd jot down a pile of crap instead.

And so, over the coming weeks I will scrape the universal bucket of totally useless facts and bung 'em here. In fact, read these and you'll become the centre of any party, pull any bird, and win friends and influence people – simply because you will amaze all with the welter of moronic titbits (that looks suspiciously like a rude word, don't you think?) between your ears. So here's the first (… I hope I can think of a second):

Zeno of Elea (c. 495 BC–c. 430 BC) was a Greek philosopher and mathematician. Aristotle even called him the first to develop the notion of the dialectic. But all of that is irrelevant right now, because what Zeno is most famous for is his paradoxes.

His arrow paradox, my personal favourite, states that for an object to get from A to B, it must pass through an infinite number of half-way stages to get there. However, given this is true, in a finite duration of time it follows that it must be impossible for the object (the arrow) to actually transverse this distance. Therefore, and this is the crunch line, motion is impossible.

As Zeno himself summarised: "What is in motion moves neither in the place it is nor in one in which it is not". (Diogenes Laertius Lives of Famous Philosophers, ix.72)

Well, I'm convinced.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Cast your vote!

I want to refer my readers to the post below (The delighted study of the text - Saturday, Nov 19th), as a rather interesting question has been raised concerning the cover art of Wright's new book, Paul: Fresh Perspectives.

Who is the picture of? Scroll down and cast your vote!

Suggest a Caption #1

Sunday, November 20, 2005

The problem of the particular

Call this one a late-night and probably therefore a tad bit incoherent 'pastoral rant'.

I once heard a Q&A session involving a certain 'emerging' leader after he had preached on topics related to the Sermon on the Mount (particularly 'turning the other cheek') and pacifism. Upon being asked the most obvious question of all (to oversimplify: what does this mean if I see some poor soul getting attacked on the streets tomorrow, and I am in the position to rather unpacifistically help?), the speaker answered in general terms emphasising the problems of justifying 'just war' theory given the advent of nuclear weapons, and the potential for peace had America invested money into world aid, rather than military adventures in the East, in the aftermath of 9/11.

I do not want here to discuss the pros or cons of these points. The problem was, the questioner had asked a far more specific question. He was fundamentally asking 'What does this all mean for how I practically live in my 9 to 5 office job'? His problem was more particular.

And indeed! Nuclear weapons don't seem quite so relevant in such a context. Hopefully not anyway.

Turning to another topic, let's hear what Brian J. Walsh and Sylvia C. Keesmaat, in their book Colossians Remixed, have to say about globalisation:

"Globalisation isn't just an aggressive stage in the history of capitalism. It is a religious movement of previously unheard-of proportions. Progress is its underlying myth, unlimited economic growth its foundational faith, the shopping mall (physical or online) its place of worship, consumerism its overriding image, 'I'll have a Big Mac and fries' its ritual of initiation, and global domination's ultimate goal." (p. 30, italics mine)

Once again, fine sounding rhetoric. However, if we remove this from the abstract and consciously place such argumentation into the particular, what is one to conclude? What are the pastoral consequences of this? Paul's teaching to the church in Corinth of course suddenly becomes relevant. What did Paul request of the small Christian community in relation to the natural social association with the worship of various idols in the individual trade and craft societies etc? And when the shopping mall and 'ritual of initiation' language is associated with this, things, all of a sudden, don't appear so neat and packaged as such rhetoric arguably implies.

I admit that this can hardly serve as a criticism of Walsh and Keesmaat who have a third of the book devoted to matters of praxis, but a question does nonetheless surface: In all the clever rhetoric bouncing around in the 'emerging' and postmodern Christian halls of fame, is 'the problem of the particular' sometimes being overlooked? Christians are still leaving conferences and putting books down completely confused as to what the scriptures mean for practical life. Just like the Philippian jailer in Acts, many keep asking the same simple question: 'what must I do?' And while definite black-and-white answers are not always desirable, the basic question most certainly is.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

The delighted study of the text

"I have to say that for me there has been no more stimulating exercise, for the mind, the heart, the imagination and the spirit, than trying to think Paul's thoughts after him and constantly to be stirred up to fresh glimpses of God's ways and purposes with the world and with us strange human creatures. The church and the academy both urgently need a new generation of teachers and preachers who will give themselves totally to the delighted study of the text and allow themselves to be taken wherever it leads"

-- N.T. Wright, Paul: Fresh Perspectives (London: SPCK, 2005), p. x

Friday, November 18, 2005

What 'biblioblogging' is all about

I'm ill and a bit fed up.

So it was nice to be cheered-up a bit by reading Ben Myers' amusing mention of the demon-possessed lettuce, not to forget Michael Pahl's post on the exciting new B.O.O.K technology. And if all of this wasn't enough, my dear friend with a bad hair-cut posts some thought-provoking musings, proving he isn't just shallow, on Star-Trek. Finally, Mike Sangrey documents the soon-to-be-released Neologism Inspired Version of the bible – at long last a perfect bible without any interpretive errors at all (though one wonders what he will do with all of the MS variants). However, once again I must thank Ben's Faith and Theology for drawing my attention to the last – and by doing so demonstrates that his blog is touching new areas of theological and philosophical depth.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

The contradiction of the hypocrite

"On the chessboard, lies and hypocrisy do not survive long. The creative combination lays bare the presumption of a lie; the merciless fact, culminating in the checkmate, contradicts the hypocrite."
-- Emmanuel Lasker (1868-1941), World Chess Champion (1894-1921)

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Quote for the day

"Morality is not to be detached from theology but is truly only meaningful, possible and desirable when the connection between God's gift and our response is made clear"
-- David A. deSilva, An Introduction to the NT, 625

Sunday, November 13, 2005

My biggest order of books ever. Pt 1

In my doctoral work I've moved into a phase of more intense exegetical engagement with the Pauline-corpus, and so I decided to buy a number of books to further the cause (Life is great: wife earns money, and I spend it ... on books – for research, of course). In fact, I've never bought so many books at once, and, OK, admittedly not all of them are immediately and directly relevant to my thesis in an unequivocal, precise and explicit sense. But isn't being postmodern also about allowing a degree of ambiguity? Well I'm convinced.

And gladly, today, I received my first package from Amazon:

  • Jewish Messianism and the Cult of Christ, by William Horbury. A superb book (displaying impressive learning) maintaining that the roots of Christ-devotion in the NT church is to be found in the 'praise' of Jewish Kings. This coupled with an interpretation of 1st century Jewish monotheism as 'inclusive' rather than 'exclusive' explains the nature and development of early Christology. I had to buy this book as this is one that the otherwise fantastic Tübingen library misses, and because he is one of my main debate partners for my thesis. Ultimately I suggest his argument leads to an under-appreciation of the sort of Christ-devotion actually evidenced in the NT.
  • Walking with the Poor: Principles and Practices of Transformational Development Theology, by Bryant Myers. Hardly related to my thesis, I admit, but the relation of the church to the poor an oppressed has been exercising me much recently (read my post Poor Lenses for more on that one).
  • Happiness and Contemplation, by Josef Pieper. Again, sure, not unambiguously and directly related to Pauline Christology, if one insists on thinking two-dimensionally. However, I want to change the fact that I am terribly ignorant of anything Catholic related, and this book was recommended in McLaren's Generous Orthodoxy.
  • My Ministry Manual by Rev. Gerald Ambulance, by Stephen Tomkins. Ok, once again I cannot honestly describe this one as relevant to my studies. Actually, its about as germane to my thesis as a years subscription to FHM. But, hey, one needs to be able to have a break and a good laugh every now and then too. And so far it is a seriously funny book – although I can't help feeling he goes too far sometimes.
4 down, 21 more still to come ...

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Big Knockers

Not long from now, declares this Futuroligist, and silicon boob implants will contain MP3 players and mobile telephones:
"Imagine an MP3 player installed in one breast implant, and a few gigabytes of your favourite tracks installed in the other. We call it mammary memory. And God has provided superbly designed control knobs." (Click here for more info)
Well, this is certainly more interesting that posting on some frigging broken piece of pottery - as has become the trend of late since Goliath's (another big knocker) cereal bowl was uncovered.

And don't forget, you heard this important snippet of information about our future here first.

Weighing criticisms of the 'New Perspective' – Pt. 2

A second line of criticism against the 'New Perspective' (NP) involves taking issue with the association of justification simply with the ethnic issue of how Gentiles can be 'people of God' like Jews. That's just not central enough!

As I mentioned in the first part in this small series, Stuhlmacher, in Revisiting Paul's Doctrine of Justification, is at pains to argue that the doctrine of justification grows out of the early Christian confession that Christ 'died for our sins'; it was not magic-ed out of insignificance to deal with mere contingent problems in Galatia and Antioch. Its roots go far deeper. Indeed, as Kim would have us believe, our topic can be traced right back to the Damascus Christophany. Of course, such concerns as these are often Germanic in flavour (… remember that bloke called Luther), and reflect the horroried reaction to a displacing of justification from its rightful centre stage in Pauline theology. And sensibilities have been all the more tenderised since Schweitzer's famous 'subsidiary crater' talk.

Just a few thoughts:
  1. If we speak of the roots of justification, we are surely speaking of the heuristic concepts that Paul applied to develop his teaching on justification. And if that is all that is being said, I'm not sure how this would be a criticism of the NP.
  2. While the roots of Paul's doctrine of justification may indeed go deep, the way in which we find it presented in Galatians and Romans is the matter on the table. And in these contexts, the NP arguably makes a good deal of sense in terms of Gentile / Jew relations. A study of what Paul means by 'the truth of the gospel' (Gal 2:5,14), should help make that clear.
  3. As suggested in the previous post in this series, we ought not divide what Paul holds together. The death and resurrection of Christ is about faith-community formation in anticipation and outworking of new creation. In other words, Paul's talk of justification in Galatians, understood in light of the NP, is necessarily about the cross and resurrection and its dealing with sin. Death and resurrection isn't 'over here', with a more social understanding of justification 'over there'. In fact, this may be so blatantly obvious to Paul, it would even be inappropriate to speak of the doctrine of justification 'growing' from the story of Christ's death and resurrection. It is a slower process for us simply because we are trying to think the thoughts of someone very different from us in time, space, world-view and culture.
  4. Besides, I suspect that Stuhlmacher may be over-pressing the 'died for sins' motif. Let me explain before my German friends run me through with a stake, or burn me tied to one. Gal 2:19-20 states: "I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." This isn't merely about some root motif and doctrine, but about a living and vibrant relationship with the risen Christ – albeit one based on his 'self-giving'. And it is the believers' relational belonging to this present and active Christ that intertwines with Paul's doctrine of justification throughout Galatians. Admittedly this paragraph needs unpacking, but this post is already too long.

Friday, November 11, 2005

How to be good

"The sermon [on the Mount, Matthew 5-7] – to take it for the moment as a whole – is not mere miscellany of ethical instruction. It cannot be generalised into a set of suggestions, or even commands, on how to be 'good'. Nor can it be turned into a guide-map for how to go to 'heaven' after death. It is rather, as it stands, a challenge to Israel to be Israel … The question of how to apply the sermon to different times and places is another matter"

-- (Wright, Jesus and the Victory of God, 288, 292)

Would anyone be able to recommend an article or book that attempts to do the work of applying Mt 5-7 in the modern world without merely anachronistically moralising and universalising everything?

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Poor lenses

If you so wish, you may listen to my latest sermon.

A) You can listen to an online stream, in either low (5.88MB) or high (11.54MB) quality format, or

B) simply download the file as mp3, in once again either high (11.26MB) or low (5.63MB) quality format.

Unfortunately the quality is very poor (the sound quality NOT the preaching quality before anyone tries to be clever) and Anja's translation can hardly be heard. This is a real pity as she reads a lot of important scriptures out. And so for reference, here, in English, are the verses cited for the entire sermon.

The aim of this message is two-fold: First, to explain how our cultural embeddedness affects how we all do and understand Christianity. Second, and linked to this, to maintain that our culturally embedded Christianity tends to neglect the biblical focus on the poor and oppressed.

There are four basic sections:
In the first part I attempt to discuss the importance of hermeneutics. But of course I don't want to use that word – it would probably only put some folk off as being theological 'blah blah' language. Thus I use the word 'lense', and attempt to explain how a culturally embedded Christianity (that doesn't know it is actually so) can lead to poor Christian theology and practices - although, of course, I use very different words than these. The picture I refer to at the start is Bassano's version of the Lord's Supper:

In the second section I ask five questions, all with the purpose of highlighting where our 'dirty lenses' may have harmfully affected our thinking and priorities. They are:
  1. Why did God destroy Sodom?
  2. What does it mean to be righteous?
  3. But religious activities are not wrong are they, if we *are seeking God, *delight to draw near to him, *delighting in his ways, *fasting and praying for God to act, * and honestly confused as to why God is not powerfully in our midst?
  4. What does it mean to know God?
  5. What does "kingdom of God" mean?

Of course, this is all a bit much, and so I don't spend much time on any of them, and I even practically leave out treatment of the last.

In the third section I cite some hard and emotive world statistics concerning world poverty and …

… in the final section I suggest some practical steps to take, and share a personal vision for the mission and future of the Church.

In all honesty, this is one of the most spiritually exhausting sermons I have ever prepared and one of the most important I have ever preached.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Introduction to the New Testament

I'm working my way through Udo Schnelle's Einleitung in das Neue Testament at the mo (I believe there is an English translation of an earlier publication) and I must give it an enthusiastically firm thumbs up. In fact, go and buy it instantly, and then put on sack cloth and ashes and feel stupid for not having gotten it earlier.

Each NT document is considered under the titles: Literature, Verfasser, Ort und Zeit der Abfassung, Empfänger, Gliederung – Afbau – Form, Literarische Integrität, Traditionen – Quellen, Religionsgeschichtliche Stellung, Theologische Grundgedanken and Tendenzen der neueren Forschung.

A few problems however:

  1. It, and this is a problem endemic to so many German NT scholarly works, is unbalanced in its focus on German scholarship. OK, its not as bad as others, but a little more engagement with English speaking works would arguably be more appropriate sometimes.

  2. It is also a little pessimistic in its evaluation as what counts as genuinely Pauline.

  3. He adopts the 'northern Galatia' theory concerning the addressees of the letter to the Galatians. Although the evidence for and against is hardly conclusive, I just don't buy the northern theory. At least not yet. Although all of that stuff is as complex as it gets in NT exegesis and its tied to a whole mess of horrid chronological issue that Bletchley Park would be better suited to solving than I.

But these are minor problems, and the pluses far outweigh them. It is a wonderfull and most detailed, closely argued and informative NT introduction, and one that is continually being updated though recent re-publications.

Another wonderful, and much more readable (of the 'difficult to put down' variety), yet less advanced NT introduction is deSilva's recent An Introduction to the New Testament.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Weighing criticisms of the 'New Perspective' – Pt. 1

One of the main criticisms levied against the 'New Perspective' understanding of Paul's teaching on justification involves a critique of Sanders' 'covenantal nomism'. Sanders' understanding of the variety of first century Judaism(s) simply cannot handle, it is argued, a judgement 'according to works' (cf. e.g. 4 Ezra 8, 4QMMT and the papers in Justification and Variegated Nomism, Carson etc.).

But is a gracious-covenantal framework for understating YHWH's relation to Israel incompatible with a 'judgement according to works'?

1) For starters, 'judgement according to works' is, of course, part of the Christian tradition (cf. Matt 25:31-46; Rom 2:5-11, 2 Cor 5:9-10 etc.).

2) Additionally, a possible solution perhaps involves a reconsideration of what the purpose of the gracious-covenantal election is. What is election for? If it is for the glory of God by being for the good of this world, then surely such election itself determines the necessity for a judgement according to works. And by works, I mean those actions that encourage and strengthen 'community building', neighbourly love, with the goal of new creation.

2) Furthermore, I suspect that this apparent criticism of Sanders only makes sense if the meaning of covenant itself is misunderstood. OT scholars have long been insisting that the covenant is a relational concept (cf. especially Eichrodt and Vriezen). Paul's letters demonstrate that he saw new creation being anticipated and the lordship of Christ effected through believers adopting a new relation to the risen Lord (faith, devotion). It was this relation/ship that fuelled and was itself the goal of this risen lordship (cf. eg. Rom 14:7-9) that Paul so passionately preached. Transformation is part of the new covenant relation with God in Christ – even is the new covenant relationship. This covenant relationship is for, fuels, and is itself 'good works' understood beyond a mere individualistic and economical privileged western perspective. This is why justification in Paul's letters can simultaneously be linked not just to the contingencies of the status of Gentile and Jew as people of God in the province of Galatia, but also, as Stuhlmacher rightly insists, to the meaning of the death and resurrection of Christ (cf. his Revisiting Paul's Doctrine of Justification).

This criticism of Sanders arguably sunders apart what should be firmly and necessarily forever joined.

A plurality of voices

I apologise for this post as it may well insult the intelligence of many of you, but I've got some questions.

Is not the bible, in relation to many theological hot-topics (e.g. hell, marriage and divorce, tithing, reception of the Spirit, etc.), a plurality of voices? And if so, can the bible be put together into a systematic theology at all? If systematising is the goal, wont it always mean stressing some aspect of the biblical narrative at the expense of another – or, as in many of my evangelical circles, pushing one proof-text over another?

What is the way forward? An anti-foundationalist, narrative, progressive revelational, missional approach? Or what?

In this regard, at a more popular level I'm reading some broadly 'emergent' authors, but also Tom Wright, Brueggemann, Walsh and Keesmaat's Colossians Remixed, and Franke's The Character of Theology - although I really want to get my grubby hands on the all too expensive The Drama of Doctrine by Vanhoozer. Got any other recommendations?

Philo on laughter

Philo Judaeus (15-10 BC – 45-50 AD):

"that most exquisite joy of all pleasures, namely, laughter" (On the Change of Names, XXIII, 131)

"an emblem of joy, namely, Laughter" (ibid., XLV, 261)

"For who is there who is not at times influenced by the pleasures and delights which he receives by means of his eyes, or by those which reach him through the medium of his ears, or of his sense of taste, or of his sense of smell and touch? And who is there who does not hate the contrary things, want and self-denial, and a life of austerity, and seeking after knowledge, which has never any share in amusement or laughter, but is full of gravity, and cares and labours" (Who is the heir of divine things, IX, 48)

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Ungläubige Theologen können nicht mehr an Uni lehren

This Thursday, the Bundesverwaltungsgericht in Leipzig confirmed the earlier decision of the University of Göttingen to effectively 'fire' Gerd Lüdemann from his teaching post in the evangelischen theologischen Fakultät given his 1998 pronouncement that he is "nicht mehr Glaubender".

OK, I'm no fan of Gerd Lüdemann's recent publications, but I am left with very mixed feelings about this surprising decision.

What do you my readers think about this?

Click here for more information.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005


This is my experience: sometimes during prayer and reflection it is as if the heavens open, and God fills the heart with 'joy inexpressible'.

Well I had one of those times today.

I've been reading John Franke's The Character of Theology recently, and his summary of modern theological discourse concerning the trinity was a glass of cool fresh water to a thirsty soul. It wasn't new information, nor skilled rhetoric, but the words nevertheless became, for me, a window into the beauty of God.

"Throughout all eternity, the divine life of the Triune God is aptly characterized by the word love, which, when viewed in light of relationality, signifies the reciprocal self-dedication of the trinitarian members to one another. Indeed, there is no God other than the Father, Son, and Spirit bound together in love throughout eternity … when viewed theologically, the statement 'God is love' refers primarily to the eternal, relational, intratrinitarian fellowship among Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, who together are the one God" (p.67)

And it also strikes me that a renewed focus on the importance of trinitarian theologising and worship may help to rescue much evangelicalism from its largely shallow engagement with the rich history of Christian theology and scholarship. It will open many of us up to discover afresh the value of the early church councils, the works of medieval theologians, as well as give new reason to gratefully appreciate the works of Barth, Rahner, and more recently Jüngel, Moltmann, Jenson, Pannenberg and Grenz. Not only that, it would help to cast doubt on the 'proof-texting' tactic of much pop-evangelical teaching and theologising, and encourage a more thorough handling of the biblical narrative.