What was ordinary life like in the first century?

Bruce Longenecker is Professor of Christian Origins and W. W. Melton Chair of Religion at Baylor University, Waco, Texas. He has a long-standing interest in the cultural context of the early Christian movement, and has just published In Stone and Story, an exploration of the Roman world of the first century, and how Christian faith engaged with, … Continue Reading

Does Jesus treat us as good-for-nothing slaves?

This Sunday’s lectionary reading from Luke offers some serious challenges to our understanding and practice. The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” He replied, “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you. “Suppose … Continue Reading

What was slavery like in the NT world?

The latest Grove Biblical booklet is on Slavery in the New Testament and is by Caryn Reeder, Professor of New Testament at Westmont College, Santa Barbara. It offers a really helpful exploration of the phenomenon of slavery in the New Testament world, and highlights the importance of our understanding since the mention of slavery, both literal and … Continue Reading

Should we extend the boundaries of ‘gospel freedom’ in sexuality?

Will Jones writes: The Bishop of Bangor in the Church in Wales, Andy John, has written an Episcopal Letter outlining a theological and scriptural justification for marrying same-sex couples. The letter is worthy of proper consideration because of its very fair and clear (albeit brief) exposition of both the conservative position and Bishop Andy’s own affirming … Continue Reading

The church changed its mind on slavery. Why not on sex?

Will Jones writes: It rarely takes long in any discussion about a controversial ethical issue amongst Christians for someone to bring up slavery. Slavery is the great exemple of how Christian thinking has changed on a key ethical issue. Christians in the past permitted slavery, practised slavery, defended slavery. Scripture clearly permits slavery in certain circumstances, … Continue Reading