If Christians thought the world would end in their own lifetime, then, it is argued, they would not have been interested in composing new scriptural books. Thus, the idea of a canon must be a later ecclesiastical development.
So, how do we break into the lives of people who are immersed in this postmodern reality? How do we reach them for the gospel? Do we offer therapeutic entertainment to draw them in? Nope. Instead, we do the unthinkable in our modern age. We preach.
Although Tolkien was always quick to declare that The Lord of the Rings was not an allegory, it is still evident that the figure of Christ is prevalent throughout the books. But this raises the question, which figure is the Christ-figure? Frodo? Gandalf? Aragorn?
One of the most common misconceptions about the New Testament canon is that the authors of these writings had no idea that they were writing Scripture-like books. To explore this further, let us just consider just one of our gospels, namely the Gospel of Matthew.
Early Christians drew a sharp line between their worship of Jesus and all the other pagan gods of the Greco-Roman world. Jesus was not simply a new addition to a pantheon of gods they already believed in, but was considered to be the only God rightly deserving of worship.
One of the most stunning scenes in the Gospel of John is when Jesus debates the Jewish leadership at the end of chapter eight and declares, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am” (8:58).