The Bible says many different things about God, at many different times and by many different people. It is all too easy (wrote Ian Paul some while ago) to simply read the words on the page and then decide whether we think we believe them or not.
Think of the passage in Numbers 15:32-36, where God says concerning the man who was caught gathering sticks on the Sabbath, “The man must die”.
I have great respect for Ian Paul. So, when he offers a view that I find unpersuasive, I’m glad to give it a hearing anyway.
Here, then, is the gist of his ‘considered summary’, arising from his study of the main biblical texts (Gen 1, 2 and 3, Luke 24, John 20, Acts 18, Romans 16, 1 Cor 11 and 14, Eph 5 and 1 Tim 2). But here are the bare bones.
Most evangelicals would, I suppose, think that ‘proper’ preaching consists of a prepared speech, delivered without interruption to a group a silent listeners. The use of dialogue would be thought to ‘water down’ the content and authority of the message, by allowing what was being said to be questioned or even doubted.
But these assumptions should themselves be questioned, writes Ian Paul (here,here and here).
Consider the biblical evidence. Ian Paul quotes Jeremy Thomson:
Much of Jesus’ teaching was given ‘on the way’ and involved a high degree of interaction with the audience (Mark 8.27–10.52). …