Paul’s Political Gospel, Pt. 2

Paul’s thought is most fundamentally shaped by the Scriptural narrative of the Creator God and his call of Israel as his special possession.  The God of Israel created the world and everything in it.  He spoke a creative word, ordering the world and placing humanity within the garden of Eden.  God charged Adam and Eve […]

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Paul’s Political Gospel, Pt. 1

Over the last half-century or so, evangelical Christians have envisioned the relationship between politics and Christian faith as a complicated and thorny problem.  For some, politics and Christian faith are best kept completely separate.  Faith isn’t political and the church ought to stay out of politics.  Nothing but trouble awaits us when we—as Christian people—try […]

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Paul’s Conversion of Political Imagination

I’ve finished my presentation for tomorrow’s day conference at GRTS.  I’m looking forward to a great day of lively discussion.  I’ll tidy up my paper afterwards and post it here, but here’s just a teaser from a section on the conversion of Paul’s political vision: Saul realized that God had begun his resurrection agenda with […]

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Conference on Christian Political Participation

If you’re in West Michigan on Monday, plan to come to Grand Rapids Theological Seminary for our annual Talking Points conference.  This year’s theme is Christian Civic Engagement: Right, Responsibility, Opportunity. Dr. Amy Black of Wheaton College and Dr. George Marsden of Notre Dame are speaking, and I’m giving a presentation on Paul’s political vision. […]

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Advice for Seminoids

We had an interesting discussion in class yesterday about the challenges of enduring church life while in seminary.  My students are a joyful bunch who love Jesus and his people, but they reflected honestly on the difficulty of dealing with the disconnects between what they study in class and what they observe in church. It […]

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Political Pressures & Christian Identity

The passions aroused during an election season often drive sub-Christian behaviors and speech-patterns from professing Jesus-followers.  It’s all too easy to allow the cultural climate and its political pressures to shape our identity and even the orientation of our churches. A snippet from Richard Hays’s reflections on Galatians 2: Whenever we allow the identity of […]

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Sign of Society’s Degradation?

Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassell was knocked out of their game against the Ravens yesterday.  In a pretty classless move, the Kansas City fans, frustrated at his performance, cheered Cassell’s injury. I heard someone on the radio decrying this unfortunate episode as another sign of our society’s increasing ugliness.  Within two decades, he said, games will […]

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Paul & Politics

I’m spending the day (powered by the Greek God omelette) writing about Paul & politics. That Paul was little concerned with politics is a predominant view and many may prefer to hold to it in a day when Christian faith is so badly integrated with public political life. In a few talks over the next […]

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Paul Unleashing Damnation

We had an interesting discussion last night in Galatians about Paul’s wish that God would damn certain people in Gal. 1:8-9: But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you something other than what we previously preached to you, let him be damned!  As we said before, I will also say […]

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