The Mission of the Church

Over the next several days I plan to engage the new book by Kevin DeYoung and Greg Gilbert, What Is the Mission of the Church? A few weeks ago, someone sent me a notice about this book.  I was initially eager to see a good biblical and theological treatment of the topic from these authors.  When […]

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God’s Supremacy & Ecclesial Unity

Most interpreters recognize that Rom. 3:21-31 is a crucial text in Paul’s pastoral letter to the Roman Christians.  While 3:21-26 typically receives the most attention because of its apparently heavy-duty theological orientation, Paul makes a few pivotal arguments in vv. 27-31. Paul’s presentation here reminds us that his primary concern in this letter is to […]

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Reading Scripture & Ridding the Church of Boasting

Paul wrote Romans to make a case for the unity of all Jesus-followers in Rome.  All those in Christ, Jewish and non-Jewish, are siblings in God’s one new family by the Spirit. In the remaining five verses of Romans 3, Paul marshals two fascinating arguments aimed at the claims of Jewish privilege in the people […]

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Prayer for the Weekend

O God of unchangeable power and eternal light: Look favorably on your whole Church, that wonderful and sacred mystery; by the effectual working of your providence, carry out in tranquility the plan of salvation; let the whole world see and know that things which were cast down are being raised up, and things which had […]

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Epochal Shift & Ecclesial Unity

I began an open-ended journey through Romans a few months ago, but have taken quite a rabbit-trail since early September, chasing down some issues raised by current discussions of the Christian gospel.  Now, back to Romans. I stated previously that Romans is not a timeless treatise of abstract theology.  It is, rather, a pastoral letter […]

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Cruciformity & Continual Ecclesial Renewal

Preparing to lead a discussion on Paul, I was going back over N. T. Wright’s 1978 Tyndale lecture, “The Paul of History and the Apostle of Faith.”  Had to pause over these lines for a few moments: Salvation history cannot be triumphalistic, if it is to be true to itself.  As the risen Lord is recognized by the […]

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“and they were told to wait a little longer…”

Preparing for a lecture today I came across this from Richard Bauckham.  He expresses so beautifully and succinctly how the cross doesn’t bring closure, nor does it indicate any sort of easy explanation for the devastating presence of evil in God’s good world.  It is, rather, the overpowering signal of God’s coming triumph over evil. The cross […]

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CEB on Being the Dwelling Place of God

I really like the way that the Common English Bible translates Ephesians 5:18-21.  I’ve argued here that the five participles that follow the command to “be filled by the Spirit” are participles of means and not of result.  That is, Paul lays out the sort of things that churches should do in order to be […]

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Prayers for the Weekend

These prayers are from the African Methodist Episcopal Church: For Our Enemies O God, the Father of all, whose Son commanded us to love our enemies: Lead them and us from prejudice to truth; deliver them and us from hatred, cruelty, and revenge; and in your good time enable us all to stand reconciled before […]

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Singing to Celebrate & Embody the New Humanity

After finishing up a few projects, I’m happy to be digging again into Steve Guthrie’s wonderful book, Creator Spirit: The Holy Spirit and the Art of Becoming Human. After the corruption of creation and community, the Spirit works to restore our humanity.  Integral to this is the Spirit’s restoring us to one another, uniting us together in […]

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