Country and God, Part Three

(In part one of this series we looked at the prophetic criticism of Israel’s national religion which viewed God as the defender and justifier of a blasphemous and idolatrous arrangement. The priests served the king and not God. They propped up the royal regime by claiming that YHWH was on… Continue reading

Country and God, Part Two

As citizens of a supposed democracy, we may think we are exempt from the mistake of confusing God with country. We have no anointed kings (although #45 would love to assume such a title). But we do have a system where many of the same dynamics are at work which characterized kingdoms and empires. As Shakespeare said, “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet” (or in this case as rotten). Kings and emperors have been replaced by oligarchs, corporations, and ruthless politicians. Continue reading

Country and God, Part One (Amos 7:10-27)

Read the Scripture Sometime around 760-750 BCE a man from the kingdom of Judah was called by God to become a prophet. This call marked the beginning of Israelite Classical Prophecy, one of the most amazing and influential religious movements in the history of the world. The prophet was a… Continue reading

Paul and the Gospel, Part Seven

Two useful words when considering the role of Scripture in formulating our individual and corporate theologies in our unique time and place are exegesis and hermeneutics. Exegesis comes from the Greek word exthegeisthai meaning “to lead out/to explain/to interpret”. Exegesis is a critical investigation of a text within its various… Continue reading

Paul and the Gospel, Part Six (Accompaniment, Incarnation, Solidarity)

Within the Jewish and Christian faiths, creation and redemption are intimately related. Creation is ultimately the product of the will of its Creator. Such a creation is cherished and sustained by God. God, who is omnipresent, is present through each part of creation from the intricacies of the atom to… Continue reading

Paul and the Gospel, Part 5

The challenge of our time (as with all times) is to find metaphors which reveal the essence of the gospel in ways which speak to us in our unique cultural context.  In our last article we looked at the different metaphors the writers of the New Testament used to communicate… Continue reading

Paul and the Gospel, Part Four

The use of metaphors is a very important way for humans to express themselves and abstract or complex concepts and actions. Here is a useful definition of metaphor: A metaphor is a figure of speech that describes an object or action in a way that isn’t literally true, but helps… Continue reading

Paul and the Gospel, Part Three

The royal proclamation is not simply the conveying of true information about the kingship of Jesus. It is the putting into effect of that kingship, the decisive and authoritative summoning to allegiance. Paul discovered, at the heart of his missionary practice, that when he announced the lordship of Jesus Christ,… Continue reading

Paul and the Gospel, Part Two

The Greek word translated “gospel/glad tidings/good news” in the New Testament is euangelion. “Eu” in that word means “good.” That meaning continues in English words like euthanasia (good death) and eulogy (good word spoken at funerals and memorial services for someone who has died). “Angelion” means “message.” (The Greek word… Continue reading