August 12, 2020

The Yes or No

060807_0829_spiritualit1.jpgThe Gospel According to John 13:1 Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. 2 During supper, when the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him, 3 Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, 4 rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. 5 Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him. 6 He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, do you wash my feet?” 7 Jesus answered him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand.” 8 Peter said to him, “You shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no share with me.” 9 Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!”

John’s account of the washing of the disciples’ feet is an important part of the Christian celebration of Holy Week. No more beautiful picture of the Gospel can be found anywhere in the Bible. Jesus acts out the profound truths of Philippians 2, where God becomes a servant, even to death on a cross.

No one disputes that the washing of the disciples’ feet is a picture of the work of God in Christ. Here is the forgiveness of God, the justification of sinful human beings, regeneration by the work of the Holy Spirit and sanctification by grace.

Prominent in this passage is Peter’s “No.” No- you will not wash my feet. And Jesus’ reply that if Peter does not consent to such a washing, he has no part in him.

What a stark reminder that we add nothing and contribute nothing to our salvation or to the work of God that accomplishes it, but there is still a “yes” or a “no” from Peter. Scripture does not hide or obscure that “yes” or “no,” but places it where any hearer will know that the same choice is before every person to whom Jesus offers himself as gracious savior.

If Christ offers Peter all, even to wash his feet while Peter does nothing, why is Peter struggling to say “yes,” rather than a prideful “no?” There is something about human beings that does not want to admit the need for being saved or to admit the kind of God who would offer to save us completely through his own gracious power and provision. Peter’s “No” echoes every “no” said to a condescending, kind and patient God throughout history.

Peter is showing that part of every person that strangely wants to say “Leave me alone,” rather than say “Yes, love me, wash me, save me, make me your own.” It is the moment of autonomy; the moment when self sees the conqueror coming to vanquish and runs into its fortress.

Of course, Jesus is persistent, not in weakly “knocking on the heart’s door,” but in speaking the Gospel. The Kingdom is here, and all that is required is your surrender. Calvinism or Arminianism aside, it is a very real, very personal surrender that the King demands, even in the form of a slave. “Yes,” and the servant King’s salvation baptizes you into those who belong to him. “No,” and you have no part in him, or his kingdom.

C.S. Lewis and Timothy Keller make it plain in their respective expositions of hell that, in the end, hell is full of people who prefer to be left alone. Hell is the extension of Peter’s “No, you will never wash me.” Hell is the place where the older brother withdraws in resentment over the kind of grace that would wash a prodigal of his mud and receive him back into the family.

There is that momentary, illusory pleasure of autonomy, and then the alone-ness. Some of us know it already and know it well. It is the ultimate drug of a fallen race.

For some years, my theology took away from me this “yes” and “no” that is such an important part of the Gospel. Speculations on sovereignty and predestination brought every discussion around to all the reasons why we can’t “make a decision.” An over-emphasis on total depravity erased the Biblical emphasis on what it means to be human before God.

Yet the simplicity of “yes” or “no” to the offer of Jesus with the basin and trowel cannot be hidden behind a stack of theology rhetoric. Jesus still says “Come to me and drink,” and we say “yes” or “no.” Speculations on causation are not on the agenda in this passage. Peter’s real, personal, completely authentic “yes” or “no” is, and we should be careful to never lose it.

In many ways, Jesus’ offer to Peter raises as many questions as it resolves, especially for a person who believes that the salvation we have in Jesus is sacramental and not a transaction. I don’t know the answer to those dilemmas. What I do know is that Jesus kneels before his disciples, with the shadow of the cross appearing on the horizon. He says he loves us and we will one day understand something of how much, but for now, he does all and is all for our salvation. Such a salvation is perfect in the mediator, and we give nothing for it nor do we prompt its completion. But our “yes” or “no” are present, real and essential to our humanity. To eliminate Peter’s “Yes” or “No” is to do enormous damage to what matters deeply in our relationship with God.

We say “Here I am. Wash all of me,” or we say “No. Not me. Not now. Not this way.” No amount of theology or interpretation can take away that moment when the basin and the towel come to us, and Jesus himself says “If I do not wash you….” There is no extensive footnote explaining how Jesus is making an offer that we are unable to accept. The basin, the towel and the question: these remain before us this Holy Week.

Comments

  1. Thank you for this post. I think you end up having to choose the yes or no multiple times, too, in a way. Facing the basin and towel again . . . saying yes . . . but why the heck is it so hard to?

  2. Hi

    I thought this was really good, and inspiring but I wanted to make a comment.

    We need to remember that Jesus isnt talking to an unsaved Peter, he’s talking to a Peter that has said that he knows Jesus is the Messiah.

    Its a charge to all of us to submit ourselves to Jesus now that we have the freedom to do so. All too often we do what we know we shouldnt, we say “leave me alone” as you put it, because we secretly like our dirty little sins and we dont want them cleansed.

    Rely on Jesus, trust Him, let Him wash our feet.

  3. Geoff:

    1) Do you believe faith says “yes” or “no” to Jesus (or to any of God’s offered promises?)

    2) What evidence do you have that that the disciples are “saved” in the evangelical sense at this point or that there was a point-in-time when Peter went from “lost” to “saved” in the Gospel narratives?

    I can’t see that creating a special category that all words spoken to the disciples are spoken to “Christians” and not to “all persons whom Jesus addresses in the Gospel.”

    peace

    MS

  4. I find it interesting that if a sacrament is an ‘outward sign instituted by christ to give grace’ then why is ‘foot washing’ not a sacrament especially in the RCC.

  5. When I was in seminary, Dr. Timothy George said it should be.

    Here in the mountains, many churches practice it once a year.

  6. Michael,

    I think the real important “No” is the one that we say to Jesus in answer to his command to wash and to serve each other, the neighbor, the unlovely.

    Jesus does not suggest that we do so, but he commands that we do so. And we will not.
    “No” is our answer.

    Maybe “Yes” once in awhile, if it’s convenient, or if it won’t cost too much, or if we think someone is watching. But on the all in all, in the events and progress of our lives, we say…”No”.

    And yet he went to the cross for us anyway. He loves us and forgives us still.

    That’s the gospel.

    – Steve

  7. “What a stark reminder that we add nothing and contribute nothing to our salvation or to the work of God that accomplishes it, but there is still a “yes” or a “no” from Peter.”

    Michael, It seems that this statement demonstrates a noble attempt to reconcile two Biblical truths (God’s sovereign call and man’s necessary response). I appreciate your honesty and balance. I have bounced all over the map on this issue and have concluded that there is much mystery here that cannot be fully explained or understood. I am finally please to let the two co-exist:-)

    Blessings!

  8. Interesting. I always took Peter’s response to be coming from a place of feeling momentarily shocked, deeply unworthy and embarrassed (I’m thinking of his response in Luke 5:8 –“Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.”)

    It never occurred to me that Peter might be expressing a wish to be left alone or denying that he needed Jesus. It’s not an interpretation that resonates with me 🙂

  9. Expat: So the point of this has nothing to do with the reader’s Yes or No to Jesus as he is offered to us in the Gospel? “You will never….” is just momentary embarassment? And we take from this passage that we are unworthy, not that we are given a genuine offer to which we answer?

  10. Steve:

    So your analysis of any person who stands out as imitating Christ in humble service is that they are actually obeying Christ only… “if it’s convenient, or if it won’t cost too much, or if (they) we think someone is watching. But on the all in all, in the events and progress of our lives, we say…”No”.”

    Am I correct that in your view the command to wash one another’s feet must always be heard as a witness to our inability, and those who seem to be actually be humble servants of others should be considered as having other motives?”

    I know that Lutherans often say, in jest, that they are weak on sanctification, but isn’t there more transformative power of the Holy Spirit promised to the believer than you are giving credit for?

    I work at a Christian community with many elderly saints who have, over a lifetime, quite obviously experienced much transformation by Christ. They are still simul justus et peccator, etc, but they are much more likely to wash feet, and truly love others in doing so, than I am. This is the transformative power of the Gospel, not just the doctrine of justification, but also evidence of the Holy Spirit in bearing the fruit of the Spirit in those lives now.

    Is it right to categorize all that as obedience only for the eyes of others and when it is convenient?

    Peace

    MS

  11. Amen.
    Thank you for this Michael. It was good to hear a reminder of the depths of God’s love for us, and of the necessity for us to accept his invitation.

  12. bookdragon says

    I appreciate your meditation, but like expat, it doesn’t quite fit to me.

    Peter says ‘No’ not out of pride, but out of misunderstanding. He accepts Jesus as Lord, and so the idea of his Lord washing his feet is just wrong in his worldview. He says ‘No’ because he just can’t wrap his mind around the idea of a leader acting as servant and lowering himself to wash a follower’s feet. He still thinks of a King the way the world does.

    I think that Peter does say ‘Yes’ to Jesus in terms of his need for Jesus and desire to give himself to Him in his response after Jesus says that Peter will have no part in Him if he refuses to have his feet washed. Of course, Peter’s response also shows that he still doesn’t ‘get it’, but he wants to.

    The passage is summarized for me in Merton’s prayer about not knowing how to please God, but believing that at least the desire to please does. And trusting that following that desire, we will eventually, like Peter, ‘get it’.

  13. Michael,

    I, too, see the works of others to serve their neighbors. And it is always a good thing, especially for the recipient.

    However, “all our righteous deeds are as filthy rags”, and the knowledge of my own motivations informs me (plus casual observations of those around me) that we, for the most part, don’t love one another as we love ourselves. And that when we do, our motives are tainted.

    It’s not our worst that we ought worry about, but rather our best. Because it’s not good enough either.

    The fact that we won’t love the unlovely, except once in a great while shows us that we are unwilling to live as Christ commands us to live. The hammer of god crushes us upon that realization and returns us once again to the cross.

    So, I believe, that Jesus’ command was pure law.
    And that once again, it exposes us. But, that’s alright, for the flipside is Easter!

    Love the unlovely, invite your enemies to diner, give all that you have to the less fortunate and you will be doing great things for your fellow man and woman. It is a wonderful way to live.

    But the law is always there to remind us that in God’s eyes it’s not good enough; to remind us that we do indeed need a savior, lest we ever think all these things we do elevate us in His eyes. They do not. But,then again,they don’t need to.

    My whole point is that to read this passage with a law/gospel perspective will keep us anchored to Christ and from floating around in the nebulous spirituality of the self justification project. We need to be reined in by this word of law.

    I’m not really trying to throw acid on this powerful act of Christ. But, as a good Lutheran, I’m trying always to view it in terms of law and gospel. Both views, I believe are necessary to keep the old Adam in check, and to liberate the new man or woman.

    Thanks Michael!

    – Steve

  14. It’s hard to imagine God washing your feet, actually serving you. I never really thought about it this way before, that this was more than just a sign or illustration but sacramental.

  15. IM:

    Please believe me when I say I wasn’t trying to be snarky.

    My comment was made in all sincerity. It was an interesting viewpoint for me because I had never thought about it like that before. I was in no way trying to challenge you; In certainly not smart enough for that (and I woudn’t do it anyway).

    I’m just a very ordinary housewife (from the RC tradition) who enjoys reading your blog for the widening of my world-view. I get so much from your wonderful blog and have been exposed to so many beautiful ideas, books and sermons, thanks to you. This blog has enriched my life immeasurably.

    I was trying to give you a compliment or at least express my appreciation for a totally unexpected way for me to look at this text. I apologize for the unskillful way in which I did it.

  16. I like this post. I think it’s beautiful.

  17. Expat: I wasn’t taking offense. Just trying to read your response and gauge what you were and weren’t saying.

    Ahhh….the internet. No emotional tone controls 🙂 We can seem to be angry when we are far from it. Sorry to have been misread.

  18. I appreciated this post – it made me think about this incident in a whole new way. To me, Christ was demonstrating the attitude required for one to be included in His Kingdom. Footwashing was generally performed by the lowest of servants, not by the Lord and Master. By humbling Himself in this way, Jesus was unequivocally saying that the essence of following Him is humbly serving others.

    I always saw Peter’s objection to mean, “Wait a minute – You’re the Lord, here. It’s not proper for You to humble Yourself this way!” And once again Jesus was completely crossing up the disciples’ preconceived notions of what Messiah ought to be.

    But I like your insight, too. Peter’s response might really have been spiritual pride. Sadly, so often I respond this way, too. It’s so hard for us to simply free the free gift of God – we want to earn it, we want to think we’re “good enough”.
    Thanks for a thought-provoking post, as usual.

  19. Love the blog.
    Love the post.

    Just a small point: Reformed people don’t believe that God’s Sovereignty takes away our “yes or no.”

    Unfortunately, some Calvinist-types will apply the doctrine of God’s Sovereignty this way, but that is a misunderstanding.

    God’s Sovereignty means that it is God who opens our eyes to the beauty of Christ so that we want, more than anything else, to say “yes!” And if it were not for God’s work in the world, noone would say “yes.”

    A Calvinist can invite people to Christ with as much evangelistic zeal as anyone. It’s just that the Calvinist believes that unless God shows up, the invitation will fall on “deaf ears” and beauty of Christ will be missed by “blind eyes” (2 Cor. 4:4).

  20. That painting–who is the artist? Thanks,

  21. Thank you for this.

  22. I absolutely love the irony between the post and many of the comments:

    Post — “Speculations on sovereignty and predestination brought every discussion around to all the reasons why we can’t “make a decision.” An over-emphasis on total depravity erased the Biblical emphasis on what it means to be human before God.”

    Comments — sovereignty and predestination brought into the discussion.

  23. Emily: No idea.

    WebMonk: 🙂

  24. Steve:

    >But, as a good Lutheran, I’m trying always to view it in terms of law and gospel.

    I love and appreciate your comments on here, brother, but if I replaced “law and Gospel” with any other distinction not explicitly expounded and explained by scripture itself, would you recognize the possibility that you are running texts through a pre-existing grid in a way that is almost certain to result in some distortion?

    For example, if I said “As a good Calvinist, I’m always trying to view it in terms of election and reprobation, would there be some danger?

    I could use many examples. I just wonder if the presence of a hammer tends to make everything a nail?

    peace

    MS

  25. Michael,

    I see what you are driving at. We certainly don’t want to nail ourselves into a box.

    But when it comes to using bible passages as ‘instruction’, there is always the danger, because we are sinful, to turn things around and now we (our performance) are suddenly the focus. “Am I doing enough? Are my motives pure? I’m doing better than that guy. He says he’s a Christian, then why isn’t he doing…?”

    The reason we (some of us anyway) use the law/gospel paradigm for reading scripture, is that we believe that those are the two ways (some believe in a 3rd use) that God acts. Any substative passage will contain either a demand, or a promise (law or gospel). And theologically speaking God is doing one or the other TO YOU (in the hearing).

    He is either trying to kill off the person that thinks that what he does ought to count for something, or He is giving the hearer of the promise new life in the promise of forgiveness.

    St. Paul says that the law kills. And that is true. When the law came in,we didn’t get better…we got worse!(I think that’s in Romans somewhere)

    Some of us old fashioned confessional Lutherans still believe that the spirit of God will accomplish the task of leading us to do good works without the prodding of the law. Believers will not just sit on their keesters (not all of the time anyway).

    We believe in making strict distinctions, therefore, between what God commands and what He promises so that we are not sucked into the religious projects that abound in this age as in every other.

    I know of so many poor Christians that have so much laid onto their backs by well meaning preachers who are just reading from the bible. The handcuffs are being slapped on all over the place in the name of Jesus and it’s just plain wrong.

    The freedom Christ won for us is so easily lost when we fail to distinguish between law and gospel.

    So, I’m really not trying to be crummudgeonish, I just want folks to realize the danger in reading law passages as though they were gospel passages and vice versa.

    Thanks Michael.

    – Steve

  26. Michael Said:

    1) Do you believe faith says “yes” or “no” to Jesus (or to any of God’s offered promises?)

    2) What evidence do you have that that the disciples are “saved” in the evangelical sense at this point or that there was a point-in-time when Peter went from “lost” to “saved” in the Gospel narratives?

    I can’t see that creating a special category that all words spoken to the disciples are spoken to “Christians” and not to “all persons whom Jesus addresses in the Gospel.”
    ———————————
    Thanks for replying.
    1. Yes I do 🙂
    2. Well, I’m not sure the “evangelical sense” of “saved” is necessarily the correct one. But there was a time when the disciples didnt follow Jesus, a time when they did and their lives changed. And a time when they acknowledged him as their Messiah.
    So as far as I can determine Jesus isnt saying “do this and be saved”, he’s saying “do this because you are saved”.

    I personally wouldnt also assume a special category. With most of these things you must work on a case by case basis. Overgeneralisation is generally a bad thing 😉

  27. Is that a Chagall painting? Whether it is or not, it is AND I love it!

  28. Bror Erickson says

    I may be a day late and a dollar short here. But if I could chime in on Steve and Michaels conversation about the Law/Gospel Paradigm. This is not just an arbitrary paradigm foisted on to Scripture, but one that arises from intenses study of Scripture. Luther of all people who slaved in translating the Bible from the original languages into the vernacular, was also one who wanted to let God be God, and to let God’s word stand as it is. But as it is there are at times keys given in scripture keys that open understanding for the rest of Scripture. I’m talking about verses like John 5:39 that let you know even all of the Old Testament is about Christ. Without that verse you might thing the Old Testament was about an angry God on a genocide mission. And then you also have Christ’s admonition at the end of Luke to preach repentance and the forgiveness of sins. If that doesn’t scream preach law and Gospel, then I don’t know what does. and in order to preach repentance and the forgiveness of sins one has to read scripture with a law gospel paradigm. Asking oneself when I preach on this verse is it law? or is it Gospel? If it is only law, where do I find Gospel.

  29. Bror,

    I am a relative newby when it comes to this law and gospel stuff. Less than 10 years (a Lutheran).
    But I can say this; just when I think I’ve got a handle on it, my old Adam rears his ugly head and blows the whole thing all to hell.

    More than a paradigm for reading scripture, I think it is a tool of God to actually do to us what His Word wills.

    I’m reminded of St. Paul when he says in 1st Corinithians “that for those of us who are being saved…”

    The dying (to self) that the law accomplishes, and being raised to new life by the gospel, is a life long process that God does to us by this means of Law and Gospel.

    For me, it is really not something that I can understand and then move on to some other theological concept. I’ve got to live in it. And die in it. But the best part of it (if you can even look at it that way) is that God handles it all from His end. His Word does not return void, but accomplishes that for which it was intended.

    I do find myself doing exactly what you said, saying to myself, “Is this law, or is it gospel?.”
    If you are constantly left with only a list of actions and or feelings that you ought be mustering up, then there will be no gospel there, and hence no freedom and no life.

    Thanks for your comments Bror. It’s nice to get another’s perspective on it. Ninety five percent of the nice folks in our small congregation don’t care one wit about this stuff one way or the other, so it’s good to find someone who knows what I’m talking about… even if I don’t!

    – Steve

  30. Bror, Steve: I’m another Lutheran who greatly values the law/gospel distinction, but I agree with Michael that there are dangers with turning it into a grid through which every passage is interpreted.

    Nor do I think the law/gospel distinction is one of using different coloured highlighter pens to mark off the verses which are “law” and the verses which are “gospel”.

    Rather, as I see it the law/gospel distinction operates as follows:

    1. Law and gospel are two great overarching themes, two great overall messages, of Scripture. The Bible as a whole teaches law and proclaims the gospel.

    2. Law and gospel are, supremely, concerned with the pastoral application of Scripture. That is, once we have worked out what the Bible says, we then need to understand how it is to be used: namely, to proclaim a message of “repentance and the forgiveness of sins”.

    But that means we can still be sensitive to the subtleties of what any particular text is saying. We don’t need to say, “Ah! An imperative! Right, that would be ‘law’ then, so the speaker/writer’s intention is to crush people with the terrors of the law before comforting them with the gospel”. It’s quite likely the speaker’s aim was nothing of the sort, as I’m sure is the case with Jesus in John 13.

    However, in terms of how that passage is applied in pastoral practice, the wider message of law and gospel has great value. Jesus’ aim in the footwashing episode was not to thunder the law in its “second use”. However, in pastoral practice people will either be, or need to be, aware both of their failure to live up to Jesus’ words, and of his continuing love and forgiveness for them. But that’s a conclusion we reach after interpreting the text on its own terms, not before.

  31. John,

    Thanks for helping me to more clearly understand the proper uses of the law/gospel paradigm as it relates to how biblical passages should be understood.

    As I’ve said before, this stuff can(at least for me)be a little confusing.

    Here’s not only what I have been taught, but with each passing day I see it to be more true in my own life and in others’ insomuch as I’m able to observe:

    More than a grid laid over scripture for it’s distinctions(I’m sure there are those that employ law/gospel that way, especially early in their awareness of it), I’ve found that it is a force that God uses(on me)to bring about His will.

    I think that’s what Bror (forgive me Bror) and I are arguing is that when the distinctions are blurred, trouble is sure to follow.

    For example, Jesus washes us to show He comes as a servant and that is what He expects us to be. Do we as followers of Christ, indwelled by His spirit,not know that servanthood is our calling?
    We know what we should do. The law is written upon our hearts. We just will not to do it… except for the odd tip o’ the hat every now and then.

    So when we recieve instruction on how we ought act, think, or feel, from a particular passage of scripture, can this instruction ever make us better Christians, in light of Jesus’ telling us that we have already been washed (by Him)? I say No. We can’t become, or do we need to become better Christians, and since all our righteous deeds are as filthy rags anyway, the point is amplified. Jesus’ washing of us, on the cross and in our baptisms, is enough.

    So what then of our washing the feet of others?

    It is strictly for the benefit of others.

    When we read passages in isolation from law/gospel we make princilples out of them and principles are another term for law and the law kills. St. Paul calls the Ten Commandments, “the ministry of death” (2nd Corinthians)

    Around these parts, you’ve got preachers all over the place running around calling the gospel the law and the law the gospel.
    “If you wanna be a better Christian, you do this…” “It says right here in 1st Smithsonians 7 that if you’re gonna be what Jesus wants you to be than you’d better stop doing this…”

    When a person enters a church door, he is on fire..with the self (what he’s done, or is doing, or what he will yet do… ).
    Instead of putting the fire out with the proper use of the law (to kill him off to the self), the preacher throws gasoline on the fire by using the law as biblical principles for living. “Do this and…”. The onus has now shifted back to you.

    The imperative should crush us. Unless of course, it’s softened or watered down to.. “try your best, or as much as humanly possible.” “yada yada yada”.

    If you think you’re “doing alright” with an imperative then you haven’t been sufficiently crushed. How then, is the gospel to go to work on you? You’re forcing God to paint on a used canvas. God wants to kill you!

    “A new commandment I give you, love one another, as you’ve been loved”

    That tells me what to do (as if I didn’t already know it). More than that, it puts out my fire, and brings to bear…His fire.

    Thanks Michael!
    (I promise no more comments on this subject…for awhile)

    – Steve

  32. Bror Erickson says

    John H,
    Hah, caught you, you miserable beggar. I though you said you were on a blogging fast!:)
    That said I will agree with you to a point. One can use the Law/Gospel paradigm in a very blunt and unimaginative way. But that is not the fault of the paradigm. Luther never meant it to be used in a way that writes off law, nor did Walther later on.
    I have had the wonderful pleasure of seeing how useful this scriptural paradigm can be in pulling out the nuances of many passages. And also in applying that dreaded third use of the law without clouding the gospel. Translating the Sermons of Sasse’s and a Bo Giertz devotional book, have only shown me what a treasure this really is when used properly. I have seen it used improperly, in a sort of hack job way. But even then I find it preferable to most of what I find outside of Lutheran circles. Don’t blame the paradigm! And don’t misconsture it for what it isn’t. Christ gave it to us. Blame the practitioner if you must.

  33. I’m almost certain that’s a Marc Chagall. It has his style written (or painted) all over it. I love Chagall! If you can ever see one up close, they’re even more beautiful. Among the painters of his age, he’s my favorite. Oh, and I love the post too! I used to belong to a church back in NY that did foot-washing once a year. It’s a beautiful expression of the gospel enacted.

  34. Bror: unfortunately I forgot that a blogging fast needed to involve stopping reading and commenting on other blogs, as well as not posting on my own. So it all went a bit wrong. “Give me self-control, O Lord, but not yet!” 😉

    I agree that the paradigm is highly valuable and, indeed, critical to a proper understanding and experience of the Christian faith. My problem was only with it being used in the wrong way and at the wrong time, turning it into something of “blunt instrument” to assault blameless texts. But I think we’re probably in agreement on that.

    So you plan to publish your Sasse and Giertz translations? Two of my favourite Lutheran writers!

  35. Bror Erickson says

    John H,
    Some of my Sasse translations have been published piecemeal in Logia, and also Concordia pulpit Review. The same is true of some of my Bo Giertz translations. However, the devotional book I translated in a joint project with Rick Wood for CPH will be out this summer.

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