December 12, 2019

God’s Purpose and our Purpose

This morning I will be teaching to about 40 men in an addictions recovery program. I love these guys; they are very open, and very hungry spiritually. I will be going through Ephesians chapter 1, where the main idea is that our salvation is much broader than we usually understand, and also tied into God’s […]

Romans 5-8: The Gospel for Weak and Strong

It is right and good to finish reading Romans with chapters 5 through 8, because these chapters are not only the high point of the letter but the solution to the problems vexing the Weak and Strong relations in Rome’s house churches. • Reading Romans Backwards, p. 141 • • • Romans 5-8: The Gospel […]

Romans 1-4: An Argument with the Weak (2)

These chapters are far from abstract theology and are instead pastoral theology for the church at Rome. The questions Paul both asks and addresses are questions Paul has heard time and again in his mission, and the questions are those either of Jewish opponents or more likely of fellow Jewish converts to Jesus. The questions […]

Romans 1-4: An Argument with the Weak (1)

Paul’s polemic in Romans 1-4 with the Judge/Weak arises only because the Weak believe the path to moral transformation for the Strong can be achieved only by adopting and observing the Torah. Romans 1-8 occur then in two blocks: the argument against Torah observance as the path to moral transformation, and an argument in favor […]

What if Romans 9-11 is really the main point of Romans?

Pastorally, this means the entire narrative of Romans 9-11 is not about who gets saved in the deeply personal sense but about who the gospel agents are in God’s redemptive plans. It’s about where we are in the plan of God for cosmic redemption. • Reading Romans Backwards, p. 65 • • • What if […]

Another Look: A Horse of a Different Color

Another Look: A Horse of a Different Color This post was originally part of a series in which we reviewed this book: Misreading Scripture with Western Eyes: Removing Cultural Blinders to Better Understand the Bible by E. Randolph Richards & Brandon J. O’Brien IVP Books (2012) Misreading Scripture is one of the most important books […]

What Was It Like for Christians in Rome When Romans Was Written?

To read Romans 1-11 well, one must know the context, and that context is mostly portrayed in Romans 12-16. • Reading Romans Backwards, p. 57 • • • In Scot McKnight’s new and wonderfully helpful book, Reading Romans Backwards, Scot contends that “Romans is too often read as if it were theoretical theology. It’s not. […]

Scot McKnight’s Brilliant Insight

Scot McKnight’s Brilliant Insight This summer, I’ve dipped back into Paul’s epistle to the Romans, something I come back to time and time again. I’m trying to work through at least the passages that make the major argument in Douglas A. Campbell’s immense study, The Deliverance of God: An Apocalyptic Rereading of Justification in Paul. […]

Why I am an Ally – Part 4

A Look at Leviticus 18 and Act 15. In the last three posts we introduced some of the people I have met in my life journey, discussed Romans 1 & 2, and looked at the story of Sodom and Gomorrah. Today we want to take a rather different look at Leviticus 18 and Acts 15. […]

Why I am an Ally – Part 3

If you are new to this series you might want to jump back in and read Part 1, where I talk about some of my personal interactions, or Part 2, where I discuss Romans 1 (and 2). Thank you to everyone who posted comments. They have definitely enriched the posts. One of my paragraphs in […]