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Category Archives: Petrine Epistles

The Revolutionary Subordination: A note from Doug Harink

Many thanks to Doug Harink, both for his lectures which I live-blogged over the weekend, and for the great time of fellowship we got to have together. Doug has kindly sent me a follow-up note on the lectures that speaks to some key points about the matter of the “revolutionary subordination.” Let me express my […]

The messianic mission

Harink claims that the call, in all its dimensions, to “be subordinate” is the messianic mission to which they are called. The messianic mission of the church is to love as Christ loved. That means to be subordinate. To become a servant. To give one’s life away in love for the other, even for the […]

Subordination as a messianic war against injustice

For Harink, 1 Peter’s (and Paul’s) call to subordination is not a call to acquiescence in the face of injustice. Rather it is the radical commitment to the belief that Christ’s own movement of self-giving love in the face of oppressive power is the only true way to be liberated from the oppression of the powers. Subordination […]

The social order and the messianic revolution

Harink makes a vital point about the call to subordination in 1 Peter. The call to subordination does not, in any sense, describe God’s design for a normative social order. Rather it describes the mode of action that the messianic revolution inaugurated by Jesus ought to take in the midst of an unjust society. The […]

The calling of freedom

When 1 Peter tells people to “be subordinate” it is vital to recognize them as already free in Christ. The call to subordination addresses them exactly as free, liberated persons. It is not a call to “fit” into existing systems. Rather it means to serve, love, give oneself for the sake of the other. Thus […]

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.

Born from, into, and for the apocalypse

According to Harink the church is apocalyptic in three ways. It is born from the apocalypse of Jesus the Messiah. This singular event grounds and constitutes the life of the church, which otherwise would be “no people.” Likewise, the church is born into the apocalypse of Jesus. The church is freed from the powers of the fallen creation into the […]

An apocalypsed people

Doug Harink calls the church “a people ‘apocalypsed’ through Jesus the Messiah.” What this means is that God’s revelation (which is salvation) takes the form of invading a world enslaved to other powers. The church is “apocalypsed” in that through the action of the whole Trinity (1 Pet 1:2) it is set free from the […]

Holiness and ecclesiology

Harink emphasizes the point that the church’s holiness is decidedly not rooted in its own desire or effort to be “different” from the nations. Rather the church is holy only through the distinct action of the Holy Spirit. The church does not express its holiness by its moral effort, but rather by the Spirit’s own […]

A people created by the Trinity

For Harink, the church is what is — an elect, exilic community in diaspora – because of the radical action of the whole Trinity. Thus he translates 2 Pet 1:2: To the elect exiles of the Diaspora . . . according to [kata] the foreknowledge of God the Father, in [en] the sanctification of the Spirit, because of [eis] […]

Harink on diaspora

While exile speaks to the church’s homelessness among the nations, diaspora indicates the church’s sending into the nations, its call to take roots therein. Exile and mission are two sides of the same kind. The exilic people are set apart, sanctified, called to bear witness to God’s holiness, and precisely as such are sent in […]

Exile and suffering

Clearly exile, in 1 Peter involves suffering. The church to whom he wrote was clearly suffering for the sake of their refusal to worship other Gods. Peter’s encouragement to them takes the form of encouraging them to persist in enduring under these conditions. To be an exilic people is to practice vulnerability to the nations’ […]

Harink on exile

Peter’s reference to the church as “exiles” doesn’t mean at least two things, according to Harink. It doesn’t mean that they are literally exiles from their homes. Most of the people who received this letter were living where they always lived. Likewise the term does not mean that Christians are “exiles” in this world in the sense […]

Harink on election

Election expresses the priority of God, in love, to create a people. It is the purpose of God, in mission, to bless “the peoples”, the world as a whole. Thus election is not simply to some sort of status, but rather to life-giving service of the world. Moreover, election founds “the biblical politics of peace.” Because […]

Elect, exiles, diaspora

These three words begin 1 Peter. According to Doug Harink, these three words form the nucleus of what he calls Peter’s “dogmatic ecclesiology.” These three words encapsulate his whole understanding of the church.

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