The gospel according to Exodus

Welcome to a new series called ‘What is the gospel?’   It builds on the ‘Cross and Creation’ talks that Andrew and I gave. Those talks explored difficulties in the traditional ‘Penal Substitution Model’ but in a sense they left us with a void – what alternative image(s) can replace the Penal model. This is what we now move onto with the ‘What is the gospel’ series.

First cab off the rank is “The gospel according to Exodus”.  It began as a single talk but quickly got so promising and sprawling that we developed it into four parts, each with a separate talk. We developed it with a couple of deep discussions amongst the GC team, but I delivered them.

I am pretty excited by this series and must say that I found the journey personally expansive. I had subconsciously recognised ‘salvation story’ typologies in Exodus but never made much of them – beyond the obvious one of the Passover.  But as we allowed the typology to unfold it got a lot bigger than that. Lots of people have successfully critiqued the PSA model – but in general we are left without strong alternative metaphors, and this is a real problem simply because the penal model is so evocative and strong.

Talk one introduces the journey and I explain the ‘generative’ role that metaphor or analogy plays. I use a technique we developed effectively in 2nd Road called ‘Crossing the River’ and I take some time to explain it.

Of course, modern evangelical biblical criticism is pretty sceptical about any ‘analogical/metaphorical’ reading of the Scriptures. I defend the analogy approach a little bit in the beginning of this talk – but if you want to take it further, then I recommend Richard Hays to you. Hays has written a couple of profound books on a more literary reading of the scriptures – and defends it by explaining how Paul used analogy to ‘read backwards’ into the Scriptures (which for him was what we call the Old Testament).  So Hays’ books are ‘Reading backwards’ and ‘The Conversion of the Imagination: Paul as Interpreter of Israel’s Scriptures’.

I build some of my ideas on a great essay by George Athas, who is a lecturer in OT at Moore college. His paper is called “The Creation of Israel: the Cosmic Proportions of the the Exodus Event”.  I downloaded it from  He offers us an academically rigorous foundation on which to build a more cosmological reading of the Exodus narrative.

Tony Golsby-Smith

See more talks
Tony Golsby-Smith

Salvation as re-creation - What is the gospel? part 2

In this talk I present Exodus as a 'paradigm' through which we can look at the gospel in broader ways. In this talk I use literary features to the Exodus event - and how it is handled by the prophets much later in the OT.
Tony Golsby-Smith

What is glory?

In this talk I ask a question that might seem obvious but in fact is not – ‘What is glory?’ I confess that I never much asked this question for most of my early Christian life, so I just skated over the word and let it become a cliché.
Iain Provan

What is Creation? The old testament reloaded

In this talk Iain concludes his magnificent trilogy of talks positioning the vast Mosaic vision of God and reality in contrast to the prevailing Ancient Near Eastern worldviews.
Iain Provan

Was Dawkins right about the angry God?

With his characteristic understated Scottish style, Iain brilliantly lays down the most basic foundation for our faith – the notion that God is not only eternal and sovereign but that he is fundamentally good and on our side.
See all podcasts

Get notified when we publish a talk, host an event, or publish new resources.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.