December 11, 2019

Sunday with Walter Brueggemann: The holiness of the baptized community

Sunday with Walter Brueggemann The holiness of the baptized community The holiness of the church does not consist in true doctrine that everyone accepts. It does not consist in true morality that everyone embraces. We know of course that the church has often specialized in doctrine and morality. But the truth is that the holiness […]

Sunday with Walter Brueggemann: The Involved Life

Sunday with Walter Brueggemann The Involved Life We are called to put on love for the world, the world we have been taught deep in our bones to fear and hate and resist. But we did not learn so from Christ, rather we learned God so loved the world. So in our maturing we need […]

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 […]

Sunday with Walter Brueggemann: We are not self-invented folks

Sunday with Walter Brueggemann We are not self-invented folks There is a mistaken notion that we are self-starters, individuals who “possess” capacity and worth. And we can make do and can do, if we try harder. Such a view belongs to American notions of success and progress. But it really doesn’t work. We cannot make […]

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 […]

The Priority of the Gospels

An ancient Syriac document, allegedly recounting the instruction of the Apostles, enjoins: “The apostles further appointed: At the conclusion of all the Scriptures let the Gospels be read, as being the seal of all the Scriptures and let the people listen to it standing upon their feet: because it is the Gospel of the redemption […]

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 […]

Bruggemann: Our life with God — characteristically open and unsettled

Ah, when I need something to really chew on, Walter Bruggemann is always a good go-to. I have testified here at IM to a journey of having learned something much different than what I was taught in my evangelical background. That is, that God and his people, particularly as portrayed in the Hebrew Bible, share […]

Fr. Freeman on the Two-Storey vs. the One-Storey Universe

Christians must live in a way and learn a manner of understanding that allows the reintegration of the world. • Fr. Stephen Freeman • • • Many of my earliest religious memories are connected with funerals. I came from a large extended family, all of whom lived in the same county. It was inevitable that […]

Richard Beck on Disenchantment and Death

We haven’t quite been able to keep up with each of Richard Beck’s posts in his series on being a “post-progressive,” but today I’d like to make just a few more comments about some of what he says. I know a number of you have been reading Beck regularly and pondering his critique of his […]