According to some Christian outlooks we were made for another world. Perhaps, rather, we were made for
this world to recreate, reclaim, and renew unto God's future aspiration by the power of His Spirit. - R.E. Slater
Secularization theory has been massively falsified. We don't live in an age of secularity. We live in an age of
explosive, pervasive religiosity... an age of religious pluralism. - Peter L. Berger
Exploring the edge of life and faith in a post-everything world. - Todd Littleton
I don't need another reason to believe, your love is all around for me to see. - anon
Thou art our need; and in giving us more of thyself thou givest us all. - Khalil Gibran, Prayer XXIII
Be careful what you pretend to be. You become what you pretend to be. - Kurt Vonnegut
Religious beliefs, far from being primary, are often shaped and adjusted by our social goals. - Jim Forest
People, even more than things, need to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone. - anon
... Certainly God's love has made fools of us all. - R.E. Slater
An apocalyptic Christian faith doesn't wait for Jesus to come, but for Jesus to become in our midst. - R.E. Slater
Christian belief in God begins with the cross and resurrection of Jesus, not with rational apologetics. - Eberhard Jüngel, Jürgen Moltmann
Our knowledge of God is through the 'I-Thou' encounter, not in finding God at the end of a syllogism or argument.
There is a grave danger in any Christian treatment of God as an object. The God of Jesus Christ and Scripture is
irreducibly subject and never made as an object, a force, a
power, or a principle that can be manipulated. - Emil Brunner
Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh means "I will be that who I have yet to become." - God (Ex 3.14)
Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy. - Thomas Merton
The church is God's world-changing social experiment of bringing unlikes and differents to the Eucharist/Communion table
to share life with one another as a new kind of family. When this happens we show to the world what love, justice, peace,
reconciliation, and life together is designed by God to be. The church is God's show-and-tell for the world to see how God wants
us to live as a blended, global, polypluralistic family united with one will, by one Lord, and baptized by one Spirit. - anon
The cross that is planted at the heart of the history of the world cannot be uprooted. - Jacques Ellul

Friday, November 8, 2013

N.T. Wright, "Paul and the Faithfulness of God" (Vol 4) - Jesus, the Incarnate God Come

Jesus as Israel’s Story of God Freshly Revealed
My argument so far is that the Jewish-style monotheism of ‘divine identity’ which Paul so emphatically reaffirmed had also emphatically been redrawn around Jesus. In particular, I have argued that in several key passages we can detect the overtones of that Exodus-based narrative which formed the basis for the hope that YHWH, having long since abandoned Jerusalem to its fate, would one day return to save his people and to establish his glorious presence in the temple. As we have seen, there is excellent evidence that this was what Paul intended to convey, in one way and another, in one kind of argument or another. For him, Jesus was to be identified within the second-temple Jewish belief in who the one God was –and would be. This is the full expression of the eschatological dimension of monotheism, carrying within itself also the creational and cultic dimensions. In him, that is to say, Israel’s God had indeed returned, and to him therefore could be transferred all that had been said about ‘wisdom’ as the mode of his presence, the ‘wisdom’ through which the worlds were made. He was therefore to be discovered in biblical texts which spoke of the kyrios, translating the adonai which devout Jews said in preference for the sacred name YHWH; and, as such, was to be worshipped, and invoked in prayer. The relationship his followers enjoyed with him was to be understood, and could be spoken of, in the way that devout Israelites from ancient times had spoken of their relationship with YHWH himself. So far, so good.
But is this enough to enable us to understand why not only Paul, but apparently all his Christian predecessors and contemporaries, came to this belief? I think not. We have demonstrated that Paul (and presumably his predecessors and contemporaries) thought of Jesus in categories belonging to Israel’s God, and particularly within the narrative which spoke of long-awaited return of this God to Zion. We have not quite explained why they would think this way. This brings us to the second major hypothesis of the present chapter (689-690).
Because some get caught in a web of wondering if this way of seeing Paul might be supersessionism, I want to cite 1 Corinthians 8:4-6 to show that for Paul the classic Jewish creed — the shema — gets captured by Paul but in so doing he enters Jesus into the very heart of divine identity. Jesus is the Lord of the shema.
1 Cor 8:4    So then, about eating food sacrificed to idols: We know that “An idol is nothing at all in the world” and that “There is no God but one.” 5 For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as indeed there are many “gods” and many “lords”), 
6 yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live.


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