In the days ahead, I’m hoping to post a series of reflections on the chapters of Matthew W. Bates’s book Salvation by Allegiance Alone: Rethinking Faith, Works, and the Gospel of Jesus the King. When I first heard of Bates’s book about a year ago, I knew that it was a title I would have to read. His main thesis seems to overlap in some significant ways with some of my own thinking emerging from my reflection upon the themes of discipleship, apocalyptic theology, and the pistis Iesou Christou (faith in/faithfulness of Jesus Christ) debate, alongside of my dissertation work on the theologies of Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Stanley Hauerwas. Furthermore, the title of the book resonates in some interesting ways with a sermon I preached that will be appearing in a forthcoming book. In that sermon, based on Romans 1:1-7, I suggest that the Gospel can be understood as “the Neverending Story of King Jesus.” Continue reading Salvation By Allegiance Alone
The following is an excerpt from John Chrysostom’s (whose name literally means “golden-mouthed”) Easter homily (ca. 400) that has been permanently embedded into the Pascha liturgy of the Eastern churches. Continue reading A Golden-Mouthed Proclamation of the Resurrection
The following is the conclusion to a lecture I recently gave, entitled “Parsing the Grammar of Atonement.”
All of the biblical metaphors for atonement are needed. They serve as necessary imaginative windows into the utterly irreducible reality of the reconciliation accomplished in the person of Christ. “The metaphors,” Colin Gunton observes, “are the means by which it is possible to speak of the meaning of the gospel narratives taken as a whole.”1 This quotation from Gunton is helpful as it gestures towards two significant aspects of how metaphors function, both of which are sometimes forgotten when the metaphors are pressed in an overly theorized direction. Continue reading Proclaiming the Crucifixion
- Colin E. Gunton, The Actuality of Atonement: A Study of Metaphor, Rationality and the Christian Tradition (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1989), 42. ↩
“With the basin, God’s people are schooled in the humility necessary to serve in Christ’s upside-down kingdom.1 The practice of foot-washing challenges our deeply held goals and aspirations by replacing popular conceptions of success with a vision of radical downward mobility. Continue reading On Feet and Forgiveness
- Reflecting on the practice of foot-washing, Jean Vanier writes, “It is always very moving for me when someone with disabilities washes my feet or when I see a person wash the feet of their mother or father. It is the world turned upside down.” Jean Vanier, Drawn into the Mystery of Jesus through the Gospel of John (Ottawa: Novalis, 2004), 228. ↩
“The Christian life is the lifelong practice of attending to the details of congruence—congruence between ends and means, congruence between what we do and the way we do it, congruence between what is written in Scripture and our living out what is written, congruence between a ship and its prow, congruence between preaching and living, congruence between the sermon and what is lived in both preacher and congregation, the congruence of the Word made flesh in Jesus with what is lived in our flesh.” – Eugene H. Peterson, As Kingfishers Catch Fire: A Conversation on the Ways of God Formed by the Words of God (New York: Waterbrook, 2017), xviii.
The following sermon was preached on Ash Wednesday, March 5, 2014 at Good Shepherd Community Church in Scarborough. The Scripture readings were Genesis 3:17-19; 1 John 1:5-10; Luke 18:9-14.