Monday, October 28, 2013

Weekly Talk- The Bible in Modern Society

I have not posted a weekly talk for a few weeks, because I was teaching Isaiah in SBS and then playing catchup the week after, but during that time I did listen to This talk on Q Ideas about what is the role the Bible should play in our modern society. It really is a mixed discussion going through several topics. My favorite part about it is probably the people involved in the talk: Tim Keller, Brian Mclaren, Allister Mcgrath and a catholic priest from NY city. It is a diverse group and it's worth the 40 minutes just to see these guys interact, but they also have some good stuff to say about the modern usage of the Bible.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

F.F. Bruce on a Holistic Pauline Theology

I am teaching a bible study on Ephesians, and for part of my preparation I am reading through a commentary on Ephesians by F.F. Bruce. It is written for the laymen who is serious about studying the bible, and I really enjoy it's simple and straightforward introduction and explanation of Ephesians. I really enjoyed one paragraph and wanted to quote it in full:

"In many protestant circles it has been customary to look upon the doctrine of justification by faith as the be-all and end-all of Paul's teaching. Justification by faith is certainly fundamental to all of his thinking, and it comes readily to the surface no matter what subject he is dealing with. Even in Ephesians it is uncompromisingly affirmed: 'by grace have ye been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, that no man should glory' (Eph. 2:8). It was inevitable and salutary in the Reformation age that the attention of Christians should be directed afresh to the ground on which men and women are accepted as righteous by God. But it is a pity when Paulinism is identified so exclusively with the emphasis of Galatians and Romans that the corporate and cosmic insights of Colossians and Ephesians are overlooked, or felt to be un-Pauline. True Paulinism has room for both, and our Christian thinking must similarly make room for both if it is not to become lop-sided and defective." (pg.15)

Bruce goes on to explain how Ephesians and Colossians are connected thematically around the "cosmic christ" and the implications of Christ's supremacy on the nature of the Church. I had never quite connected these two books together to see how they pair together theologically, and really enjoyed seeing him weave some strands between the two. And he really does not force these connections or pull them from a hat, but just points out what is there. The connections make most sense when we consider that both were written when Paul was in prison in Rome and that both were carried by Tychicus. After Paul wrestled with the "collosian heresy" and asserted the cosmic, supreme and divine nature of Jesus in the book of Collosians, he further explored and meditated on Christ and his church in the book of Ephesians....and the result of these two books is a strong theological strand that should not be overlooked.