Stand as one

Isaiah 50:7-9 is structured chiastically. On either side of verse 8 are declarations that “Lord Yahweh will help me” (vv. 7, 9; the clause is identical in Hebrew). In verse 8 itself, we have this structure: A. Near my vindicator B. Who brings a case? C. Let us stand as one B’. Who . . . . Continue Reading »


Another reflection on the debate between Douglas Wilson and Andrew Sullivan: The argument that homosexuality is “unnatural” is not going to get much steam going either. Sullivan waxed on and on about multi-sexed plants and sex-changing fish. Once one accepts Darwinian evolution, this . . . . Continue Reading »

No debts

Residing as we do in a monetary economy, we immediately and thoughtlessly translate biblical warnings and cautions about debt into financial terms. “Owe nothing to anyone” (Romans 13:8) means “don’t take out a thirty-year mortgage.” It’s much more likely that . . . . Continue Reading »

Eucharistic meditation

Romans 12:20: If you enemy is hungry, feed him, if he is thirsty, give him a drink. For in so doing you will heap burning coals upon his head. As Pastor Appel has pointed out this morning, food and feasting are weapons of God’s kingdom. Jesus undermines Pharisaical boundary markers by eating . . . . Continue Reading »

Thanks for strangers

Edward Vacek ( Spirituality and Moral Theology: Essays from a Pastoral Perspective , 103): says that “Gratitude essentially has a ‘for me’ or ‘for mine’ quality. We can, properly speaking, give thanks only when we or persons whose lives we share have been benefited. We . . . . Continue Reading »

Faith of Christ

For Paul, the world’s problem is the problem of wrath. God is holy and righteous, and His wrath is revealed from heaven against the ungodliness of men. Jews and Greeks both stand condemned before Him (Romans 1:18-3:19). Jews who were supposed to be the solution have become a central part of . . . . Continue Reading »

Righteousness of God

In the Romerbrief , Barth pre-channels Wright on Romans 1:17: “In the Gospel is revealed the great, universal secret of the righteousness of God which presses upon every man of every rank. In Christ the consistency of God with Himself - so grievously questioned throughout the whole world, . . . . Continue Reading »


We don’t offer animals on altars, but the Christian life is more sacrificial than the ancient Jews’, not less. For us, the world is a temple, our lives a continuous offering, our actions moments of a daily liturgy. Paul’s rapid-fire series of instructions in today’s New . . . . Continue Reading »

Civil powers

In a 2009 article responding to Richard Hays’s pacifist reading of the New Testament ( Studies in Christian Ethics ), Nigel Biggar argues that Hays’s Anabaptist reading of Romans 13 is “incoherent.” Hays argues that while the use of force in punishment is ordained of God, . . . . Continue Reading »