There’s a handful of guests that have appeared on Nomad a number of times, and Steve Chalke is one. Why? Because he keeps speaking and writing about really interesting things. He was one of the first high profile evangelicals to critique the penal substitutionary understanding of the cross, and to bless a same sex marriage. Not only that, but he founded and leads Oasis, one of the UK’s largest charities, whose volunteers, activists and professionals work in 36 communities across the country.
In this episode we speak to Steve about the Apostle Paul and why he has often been presented as the champion of exclusion, when, as Steve believes, he was in fact the great includer; a revolutionary who saw a new inclusive world dawning and gave his life to help bring it in.
After the interview Nomad hosts David Blower and Nick Thorley reflect on their own evolving faith and evolving relationship with the Apostle Paul.
Interview begins at 17m 49s
“If pistis is ‘faithfulness’ rather than ‘faith,’ all of a sudden it’s not about me being able to intellectually ascent to everything all of the time without ever doubting – does God actually exist, did all those miracles happen, is there life the other side of death, am I a Christian? – it’s not about having faith that never doubts anything. It’s about living faithfully to a story. So, I’m relieved of the burden of thinking the right thoughts all the time or mustering the right level of saving faith. I’m just committed to live within this narrative, this story. Sometimes I find it easy, sometimes I find it hard, sometimes I’m doubting, sometimes I want to give up. But I’m living faithfully to this story, which I think’s a great release for people.”
“Paul never mentions Hell. Not once in all of his writing does he ever mention Hell. If he knew the word in terms of his Christian theology, he thought it was so unimportant that he didn’t bother to even make a note of it to any of the churches that he was writing to.”