Turning the cheek

In his book Reading Matthew , David Garland discusses the significance of “turning the other cheek”: “W. Wink argues that the issue for Jesus is not simply resistance or surrender but what kind of resistance. He claims that turning the other cheek is a third way, which he labels . . . . Continue Reading »

Taking and Partaking

“Partake” is a fuzzily Platonic word, but we pierce the fuzziness a bit by contrasting “partake” to “take.” When we “take” something, it’s no longer with the one we took it from; it’s with us. Tim Duncan might take a rebound away from an . . . . Continue Reading »

Exhortation, Fifth Sunday after Epiphany

In the gospel of John, Jesus says that the Father bears witness by giving Jesus works to do (5:36). The Father also bears witness through declaring Jesus His Son at Jesus’ baptism. Finally, the Father bears witness of Jesus by raising Him from the dead. If you saw Jesus perform a miracle, you . . . . Continue Reading »

The Faith of Jesus

Did Jesus exercise faith? Yes. That is inexplicably controversial today. Among many other indications that Jesus exercised surpassing faith, the account of Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness stands out. Eat bread, Satan says. Man lives by the Word of God, not by bread alone, Jesus answers, . . . . Continue Reading »

Democratized sociology

Sociologists have known for a long time about the social constraints on knowledge, ethics, beliefs. It’s the sociologist’s stock in trade. What we have witnessed in the past couple of decades is the democratization of sociology. Now everyone’s a sociologist, and even, unlike some . . . . Continue Reading »

Three into the one

Brown makes the interesting observation that the phrase at the end of 1 John 5:8 is not “the three are one” but “the three are into one” (Greek, eis to hen ). Spirit, water, and blood are not quite a united witness but three witnesses tending toward one end, one conclusion. . . . . Continue Reading »

Outpoured Spirit

Raymond Brown helpfully observes, “For the Christian the life-giving moment of the Spirit was not simply the descent of the Spirit upon Jesus in the form of a dove, but the Spirit flowing from within Jesus after his death. And the flowing blood, the sign of the sacrificial victim, showed that . . . . Continue Reading »

New Creation

Spirit and water are the agents of the first creation. Jesus doesn’t come that way. He doesn’t come by water only. Neither did renewal under the law. Cleansing came by water baths and also by shedding and distributing blood. Neither does the church. It doesn’t grow by water only, . . . . Continue Reading »