NT Wright on Justification

This summary of Wright’s views on justification is taken from passages in his new Paul in Fresh Perspective . 1) Covenant and apocalyptic. Unlike some contemporary scholars, Wright insists that covenant and apocalyptic are not opposed to one another, but joined in Paul’s teaching. By . . . . Continue Reading »

Medieval Imprecations

John Bossy notes in an article on the social functions of the medieval mass that the mass dividedthe human race into living and dead, friends and enemies. Various sorts of prayers for enemies were included: “Even the post-Reformation Roman ritual followed its set of collects ‘for our . . . . Continue Reading »

Monogamy and Polygamy

Jim Rogers of Texas A&M sent along the following discussion of polygamy in the OT in response to some reflections I posted last week on the typology of Rachel and Leah. I’m reproducing it here with Jim’s permission. Why is polygamy tolerated in the OT (Ex 21.10, Dt 21.15-17) but not in . . . . Continue Reading »

Sermon Outline, First Sunday After Easter

INTRODUCTION During the reign of wicked Ahaz, Judah moves closer to Israelite and Gentile idolatry. Ahaz foolishly jumps onboard the ship of Israel just as it begins to sink. THE TEXT “In the seventeenth year of Pekah the son of Remaliah, Ahaz the son of Jotham, king of Judah, began to reign. . . . . Continue Reading »

Baptismal meditation, Easter Sunday

Genesis 29:10b-11: Jacob went up, and rolled the stone from the mouth of the well, and watered the flock of Laban his mother’s brother. Then Jacob kissed Rachel, and lifted his voice and wept. Caesarius, bishop of Arles in Southern France in the fifth century, said that the patriarchs of . . . . Continue Reading »

Eucharistic meditation, Easter Sunday

1 Timothy 3:16: By common confession great is the mystery of godliness: He who was revealed in the flesh, was vindicated in the Spirit, beheld by angels, proclaimed among the nations, believed on in the world, taken up in glory. As Pastor Wilson has emphasized this morning, pagan civilizations are . . . . Continue Reading »

Exhortation, Easter Sunday

What is the cross? For John, the cross is not the humiliation of the Son. The cross is His glorification. Jesus told Nicodemus that the Son of Man would be lifted up like the serpent in the wilderness. Jesus was referring to the event recorded in Numbers when Moses put a bronze serpent on a pole to . . . . Continue Reading »

Grace and gratitude in Hebrews

In a couple of books, David deSilva interprets the letter to the Hebrews in terms of Greco-Roman clientage and patronage systems. I have my suspicions about social-science interpretations of the NT, but deSilva’s work is illuminating. In a brief study of honor and shame in Hebrews, he writes . . . . Continue Reading »

Moral luck

Far from destroying ancient notions of moral luck (the notion that we must have good fortune to be ethically good), or following Stoicism in pulling back the moral into the inner soul, Christianity, in Milbank’s view, “embraces moral luck to such an extreme degree that it transforms all . . . . Continue Reading »

Postmodernism and Christianity

In an essay in Being Reconciled , Milbank describes postmodernity as “dissolving of fixed limits” in several respects: “(1) the blurring of the nature/culture divide; (2) the merging of public and private; (3) the mode of the information economy; and (4) economic and political . . . . Continue Reading »