Approaching these texts from an oral perspective honors the oral nature of the society from which the gospels emerged. They were written at a time when fewer and fewer eyewitnesses were alive to validate the oral traditions of the gospel accounts. The gospels represent the solidification of these traditions into a written form, preserving the accounts for future generations.
As a legacy of the Soviet Union, many Central Asian Muslim peoples spoke and read Russian as their first language. If you gave them Scripture in their national language, they would accept it, but they couldn’t read it. But if you offered the Bible in Russian, which they could read, they would refuse it, because in the popular mind, the “Bibliya” is a Holy Book only for Russian people. How could we reach this Russian-speaking Muslim population, estimated at over 26 million people?
In appealing to the testimony of Scripture, Christians have largely agreed that there is no more foundational statement regarding the Bible’s ontological identity than this: Holy Scripture is the Word of God (Sacra Scriptura est Verbum Dei). This correlation is commonly referred to as the ‘Scripture Principle’. It is, in fact, this principle that undergirds the above conviction that Scripture is the primary theological source.
For a book that targets a presupposition (that the Reformation critique of Catholicism was about grace versus works), it makes significant assumptions of its own. Most evident is O’Kelley’s supposition that the entire NPP is built on this one flawed argument. After the smoke has cleared from his detonation, the NPP appears weakened, though still upright, but his own perspective looks to have taken some collateral damage in the blast as well.
Over the years of my teaching First John I have wrestled with the concept of conditional forgiveness as reflected in 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Does this mean that if I don’t confess my sins, I […]