It’s been awhile since I’ve posted anything; recovering from a back injury has necessitated that I limit the amount of time I spend in front of the computer. I thought I’d break my silence with the text of a sermon I preached in the Providence Community Chapel yesterday during the school’s Week of Prayer. Perhaps the sermon can in some way be as edifying for you to read as it was for me to preach.
If you’re in the Winnipeg area tonight and looking for something to do, consider dropping by the McNally Robinson bookstore for my free public lecture: “‘It’s the End of the World as We Know It’: Reclaiming an Eschatological Imagination.” If you’re not able to make it, but are interested in the topic, you’ll have another chance to hear the lecture on Tuesday at the Cultural Arts Centre in Steinbach, MB. Failing that, you could always consider registering for my upcoming modular course the week of March 4-8 at Providence Theological Seminary on “The Holy Spirit and Last Things.”
In chapter 3, “Jesus Proclaims the Gospel,” Bates turns to confronting a longstanding problem in modern Protestant Christianity: the reconciliation of the Letters of Paul with the Gospels.1 The writings of Paul have long been a haven for certain forms of Lutheranism and conservative evangelicalism espousing the centrality of a particular understanding of justification by faith. While the Gospels have often been the playground of some liberal forms of Christianity attempting to advance a social agenda based upon ethical principles. The irony is that in their readings of their respective canons-within-a-canon both groups have lost sight of the animating center of the canon as a whole, as well as Paul’s Letters and the Gospels in particular, namely the crucified and living Lord Jesus Christ. Continue reading Salvation by Allegiance Alone – Chapter 3
- Interestingly, Bonhoeffer felt the need to make a similar move in his famous treatise Discipleship. Although, Bonhoeffer began with the Synoptic Gospels before turning his attention to Paul. ↩
I taught an intensive intercession course on the “Life and Thought of Dietrich Bonhoeffer” during the first week of January this year. While the students were responsible for completing some reading prior to our week together in class—including Christianne Tietz’s excellent, new short biography, Theologian of Resistance: The Life and Thought of Dietrich Bonhoeffer—most of the major engagement with the primary sources in the Bonhoeffer corpus has been taking place over the past few weeks following the conclusion of our time together in class. In recent days, the students would have encountered this remarkable passage from Bonhoeffer’s doctoral dissertation in which he addresses the question of what is means “to believe in the church.” The passage is noteworthy not only because it was penned by a theology student who was a mere twenty-one years old at the time, but also because it anticipates in many ways the central themes of Bonhoeffer’s ecclesiology that will come to the fore throughout his life. Continue reading Bonhoeffer on What it Means “To Believe in the Church”