Perriman’s Challenging Series on the Holy Spirit

I appreciate good and thought-provoking writings about the Holy Spirit. Though they are usually within the realm of the oft debates between continuationism and cessationism, it is good to read something outside the ‘normative’ discussions.

I also appreciate some of the foundations of the narrative-historical perspective from writers like Andrew Perriman. The narrative-historical perspective is not so much about producing abstract systematic theology, such as Trinitarianism or charismatic pneumatology, though foundational tenets of the faith are not denied. Rather, it is about understanding Scriptural statements within the specific context of the Scripture’s narrative, which comes to us from a particular historical framework of first century, second temple Jewish thought. Many theologians refer to this as the grammatical-historical hermeneutic. But I think the more nuanced narrative-historical method is looking to take up this hermeneutic of Scripture with even more focused attention. Continue reading

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Narrative Theology, Western Christendom & Perriman

In his most recent post, Andrew Perriman summarises his very challenging perspective on understanding the New Testament, theology, the fall of western Christendom, and what this all means for the church today. He gives 3 summary points:

  1. that the main narrative trajectory of the New Testament lands at God’s judgment of the world of Greek-Roman paganism and the inauguration of a new age in which Christ is confessed as Lord by the nations;
  2. that that new age of European Christendom is now being brought to an end by the combined forces of rationalism and pluralism, much as the age of second temple Judaism was brought to an end by the forces of empire;
  3. that one of the moves that the church has to make in response to the current crisis is to recover a sense of the historical dynamic of the New Testament in relation to Israel’s story and to reconsider how that dynamic gives impetus to the church today.
He goes on to share how this all played out in moving from what the text actually was in its historical context and what it became in later centuries:

New Testament Theology for Today

One of the more recent theological stirrings in the past few decades is the rethinking of some deeply important biblical perspectives, especially with regards to some cherished New Testament passages. Now this is not new, per se. A refocus and readjustment of biblical and theological perspectives has gone on for centuries following the finalisation of the canon of Scripture. It’s not just something special from the past few decades, nor the past few centuries since the Reformation. Such has always been taking place within the church.

But, with each generation, there are particular aspects of our biblical and theological approach that will be challenged. Challenged for change. Challenged for good change. Continue reading