Tag Archives: Paul

Salvation by Allegiance Alone – Chapter 3

This is the fourth in a series of posts engaging with Matthew Bates’s Salvation by Allegiance Alone.  The earlier posts can be read here:  first, second, third.

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

  1. 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.

Audio of Tyndale Chapel Sermon

Earlier in the summer I had the privilege of preaching at the mid-week community chapel at Tyndale University College and Seminary.  The primary text for my sermon was the account of the apostle Paul’s visit to Athens found in Acts 17:16-34.  The sermon was entitled, “An Earthquake of Heaven, An Earthquake of Love.”  If you are interested in hearing the sermon, it is available for download or streaming through the Tyndale Chapel website.

When in Romans: A Short Review

An upcoming opportunity to preach on a passage from the book of Romans provided me with a convenient excuse to dive into Beverly Roberts Gaventa’s new book, When in Romans: An Invitation to Linger with the Gospel according to Paul.  In addition to being one of the most cleverly titled books I’ve come across in some time, the book confirms Gaventa’s place in the rare company of biblical scholars whose writing demonstrates theological sensibilities and is at the same time accessible to pastors and laypeople.  (I would also place Richard Hays and Michael Gorman, among others, in this category.)  Gaventa is clearly informed of the most recent scholarly debates, as evidenced in the endnotes, but she wears her learning lightly.  Her lucid prose is peppered with references to contemporary culture, including, for example, a discussion of Terrence Malick’s film, The Tree of Life. Continue reading When in Romans: A Short Review

“It’s the End of the World as We Know It”: Audio Series (Part 4)

In Part 4 of my lecture “It’s the End of the World as We Know It”: Paul, the Kingdom, and Living between the Times, I continue to explore the plight of humanity in bondage.  Standing behind the fallen principalities and powers are the cosmic slaveholders Sin and Death.  Under the reign of Sin and Death, the powers often compete with one another seeking to enlist human beings and demanding that they sacrifice themselves and one another for the sake of ensuring the survival of the principality.  Human beings are taken in by the various deceptive tactics of the powers and find themselves developing a type of perverse love or allegiance for the very forces that seek to hold them in bondage.  For human beings in such a predicament, help can only come into the system from above. Continue reading “It’s the End of the World as We Know It”: Audio Series (Part 4)

“It’s the End of the World as We Know It”: Audio Series (Part 3)

In the previous section of my lecture, “It’s the End of the World as We Know It”: Paul, the Kingdom, and Living between the Times, I argued that the Gospel is the story of the God of Israel who is on mission to save the world that he has created and that he loves.  This is apparent in Galatians 4:4-5, where Paul writes, “But when the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, in order to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as children” (NRSV).  This motif of a redemptive mission or liberating invasion suggests that humanity is, in some sense, in captivity. Continue reading “It’s the End of the World as We Know It”: Audio Series (Part 3)