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Category Archives: Pauline Studies

A really wordy paraphrase of Ephesians 2:1-10

A Sermonic Midrash on Ephesians 2:1-10 Preached on Sunday, March 18 at Church of the Servant King in Portland, Oregon. Hear, listen, understand, and know, brothers and sisters what state you used to be in. Do not forget the slavery you once labored under. Do not forget the bondage that once owned you, dominated you, […]

A midrash on 2 Corinthians 10:3-5

For though we live fully as human beings, living fully in this world, loving this world, and suffering with, in, and for this world, we do not wage our war according to the pattern of this age, the old age, the age of death, the age that assumes and asserts its sovereignty and normality. For […]

Unequally yoked

So this may just be a throwback to some of my conservative evangelical roots, but I’m sure many of us are familiar with the common pastoral injunction that Christians, biblically speaking, ought not to ever even consider marrying one who was not a Christian. After all, this is what Paul referred to in 2 Cor […]

Cruciform love

Yesterday I (re)read most of Michael Gorman‘s excellent book, Cruciformity. Gorman’s paraphrase of Paul’s encomium to love in 1 Corinthians 13 stuck out to me in a new way: Cruciform love is faith in action. It does not seek its own good but the good of others. Indeed, for the good of others it renounces […]

Live blogging with Doug Harink: Lecture 3

Sadly I’m late to this last session which is entitled “The Messianic Mission: The Revolutionary Subordination”, a reference to the work of John Howard Yoder. In this session Harink will be talking about the much-despised household codes about “submission” in 1 Peter and the Pauline corpus.

Body and bride, ctd.

Further to this whole connection between the images of the body and the bride, consider the way Ephesians 5:26-33 frames the issue: Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, in order to make her holy by cleansing her with the washing of water by the word, […]

Body and bride

When the image of the church as the body of Christ is conceived as indicating a monopersonal, ontological identification between Christ and the church, it is usually found to be something of a contrast with the image of the church as the bride of Christ, which is clearly an interpersonal rather than a monopersonal image. […]

The bride, not the wife

It is interesting that the church is described by Paul, not as the wife of Christ, but as the bride (2 Cor 11:2; Eph 5:27). Clearly there is something important about this distinction. A spouse stands in a settled and determined relationship. The vows have been made, the union has been actualized, the relationship has […]

Love, Conflict, and Church Order

Ran across a quote I found interesting in a book I’m proofreading the other day on Paul’s correspondence in 1 Corinthians about church order: Paul does not settle a question of disorder or division with a form of order or an organizational structure. Rather he underlines the diversity of contribution by naming it as a […]

Theosis Defined

Gorman offers the following definition of theosis as it applies to the thought of St. Paul: Theosis is transformative participation in the kenotic, cruciform character and life of God through Spirit-enabled conformity to the incarnate, crucified, and resurrected/glorified Christ, who is the image of God. (p. 125) The only thing I might tweak here would […]

Cross Talk

As I’ve been blogging through Mike Gorman’s excellent new book, Inhabiting the Cruciform God, I thought it might be good to mention that Mike is himself now actively blogging. His blog includes a great series on theological interpretation among other things. Definitely worth a look.

Justfication as Theosis

Again, from Gorman: Because the faithful and loving crucified Christ is the image and self-revelation of God, the paradoxical process of justification by co-crucifixion, or resurrection through conformity to the crucified Christ, means that the pisteuontes (“believers”) are those who are becoming like God and thus experiencing the process of theosis inasmuch as they embody the […]

Justification as Co-Crucifixion: Summary

Again from Gorman, here is the summary of his view of justification: Justification is the establishment of right covenantal relations–fidelity to God and love for neighbor–by means of God’s grace in Christ’s death and our Spirit-enabled co-crucifixion with him. Justification therefore means co-resurrection with Christ to new life within the people of God and the […]

Cruciformity as Theoformity

More good stuff from Michael Gorman’s new book, Inhabiting the Cruciform God: To be more specific, Paul has not two soteriological models (juridical and participationist) but one, justification by co-crucifixion, meaning restoration to right covenantal relations with God and others by participation in Christ’s quintessential covenantal act of faith and love on the cross; this […]

Against Cheap Justification

Michael Gorman’s new book, Inhabiting the Cruciform God: Kenosis, Justification, and Theosis in Paul’s Narrative Soteriology is just a goldmine. Mike was kind enough to send me a copy, so today I’ll be posting a smattering of quotes and thoughts from my reading of the book thus far. At the center of the book is […]

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