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10 theological questions answered by 2017's Blogger of the Year

Rev Ian Paul has been awarded 'Blogger of the Year' at the Premier Digital Awards. Here's some of his most-read work from the past year

The theologian, author and speaker Rev Ian Paul has been blogging at psephizo.com since 2010. The title comes from the Greek verb which means 'to calculate', 'work out' or reckon'. His blog contains original research, observations and reflections in areas of theology and scholarship.

Here's some of the tricky questions he's been tackling over the past 12 months.

1. Can we have the ‘kingdom of God’ without God?

The 'kingdom of God' is not a set of ideas or features; it is the exercise by God of his authority, says Ian. 

2. What is the pastoral impact of eschatology?

It's time to engage with the end times, and stop shying away from it. Ian offers some thoughts on Israel, suffering and social reform.

3. Does God meet us in particular places?

In unpacking this question, Ian finds the manifestation of God in particular places stands in tension with the manifestation of God within the whole of creation.

4. Do we need to be powerful to be fruitful?

Ian explains why ministry is more like sailing than rowing

5. What are the angels doing in the Book of Revelation?

There are angels through Revelation. They appear and disappear, often with no explanation, and with little continuity. So what's going on?

6. When is God 'coming on the clouds'?

Almost everyone agrees Jesus' words regarding "the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory" refer to his return. But what if we've been reading it wrong?

7. Were loving, faithful same-sex relations known in antiquity?

Some have argued Paul's condemnation of homosexuality could not have referred to loving, monogamous same sex couples, because this form of relationship did not exist in the ancient world. 

8. Should we read the Bible literally?

Ian responds to the recent headline: 'Don’t take the Bible literally says scholar who brought to light earliest Latin analysis of the Gospels'

9. Is it true that 'God is love'?

It's becoming increasingly common for people to attempt to win ethical debates by stating 'God is love' as if that settles the matter. Ian explains why caution is needed when making such assertions.

10. Is it time to forget about hell?

A recent article in the Church Times claimed people stopped believing in hell in 1860. Ian argues the comments represent an "extraordinary loss of confidence in the spiritual message of the Church"

For more information about next year's Premier Digital Awards and Conference visit premierdigital.org.uk

Click here to request a free copy of Premier Christianity magazine

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