Posts

Preach the gospel (preaching resource for 10/23/22)

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This post exegetes 2 Timothy 4:1-22, providing context for the RCL Epistles reading for 10/23/22. What is provided draws on several sources — John Stott's commentary in particular. "Paul in Prison" by Gustave Doré (public domain via Wikimedia Commons) Introduction In 2 Timothy, Paul is reflecting on about 30 years of labor as an apostle and evangelist. And now with his execution imminent, Paul has come to the end of his work of proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ. As he writes in chapter 4, having fought a good fight, having finished his course, and having kept the faith, Paul awaits his ultimate reward, the crown of righteousness reserved for him in heaven. In reading Paul's words in this chapter, we are profoundly stirred. May God give us a similar commitment and passion for proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ in our day! Paul begins chapter 4 with a charge to his son in the faith, Timothy:   1 In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the li

On Being Human: theological anthropology

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This post begins a series that overviews " On Being Human, Essays in Theological Anthropology " by incarnational, Trinitarian theologian  Ray S. Anderson . Introduction On Being Human compiles essays from Ray S. Anderson written originally for students of psychology and theology at Fuller University. Anderson's goal in writing was "to distinguish between human personality as a cluster of attributes manifested in behavior and the core of the human self as personal being created in the image of God" (vii). In pursuit of that goal, Anderson made the important distinction between personality (which pertains to phenomenology ) and personhood (which pertains to ontology ). He also sought to show the vital connection between the doctrines of the Trinity ( theology ) and humanity ( anthropology ) noting (as does Karl Barth) "that theology has become anthropology since God became man" (viii).  On Being Human has three parts: 1) The Form of the Human, 2) Being H

Suffer for the Gospel (preaching resource for 10/9/22)

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This post exegetes 2 Timothy 2:1-15 (the larger context of  the RCL Epistles reading for Oct. 9, 2022). This post draws on multiple sources, including commentary from John Stott. "Jesus the Good Sower" (public domain via Wikimedia Commons) Introduction (2:1-2) Living as we do in a consumer-driven, comfort-crazed culture, we need to be reminded that following Jesus and sharing in his gospel ministry will often mean forgoing personal gain and enduring hardship. Such is Paul’s message in 2 Timothy 2, where the apostle challenges his sometimes timid protégé Timothy to be willing to suffer for the cause of Christ.  Paul begins his exhortation with these words: 1 You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. 2 And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others. Paul is instructing Timothy to be strong in order to fulfill his calling to transmit the gospel on to others in a

Guard the Gospel (preaching resource for 10/2/22)

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This post exegetes 2 Timothy 1:1-14 (RCL Epistles reading for Oct. 2, 2022), drawing on multiple sources including commentary from John Stott. St. Paul the Apostle (public domain via Wikimedia Commons) Paul wrote 2 Timothy to his friend and co-worker Timothy. Locked up in a Roman prison and nearing execution, Paul's concern is to pass along to Timothy a message of encouragement and exhortation.  We are reminded by Paul's words that there is a constant danger of the gospel being corrupted within every Christian church. Therefore, we all need to heed Paul’s charge to Timothy. Moreover, we must work together to equip and release a new generation of Timothys—young leaders who will carry the sacred deposit of the gospel into the next generation. Paul’s greeting (1:1-4) 1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, in keeping with the promise of life that is in Christ Jesus, 2 To Timothy, my dear son: Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. 3 I

The Nature of the Ascension Event

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This post summarizes Chapter Six of  Space, Time and Resurrection  by T. F. Torrance. The post was written by  Torrance scholar  Tom Noble   for a meeting of the  Torrance Reading Group . For addtional chapter summaries, click on the chapter number:  1 ,  2 ,  3 ,  4 , 5 . "Ascension of Christ" by Matejko (public domain via Wikimedia Commons) Was Jesus' Ascension an actual, historical event, or was it a non-material, "spiritual" experience? Torrance argues that it was an objective, material  event in space and time . But what is the nature of that event? What follows is Tom Noble's summary of Torrance's thought, with questions and comments in italics. A primary point is that the Ascension, which has the same "baffling character" as the Resurrection, must be understood in correlation with the Incarnation ( anabasis / katabasis ). How is the event of the Ascension related to space and time? Lutheran reformers asserted that the divine Logos did no

A Christian approach to material possessions (preaching resource for 9/25/22)

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This post exegetes 1 Timothy 6:3-19  ( the RCL Epistles reading for Sept. 25, 2022) drawing on multiple sources including commentary from John Stott. "St. Paul Writing His Epistles" (public domain via Wikimedia Commons) In 1 Timothy 6:3-19, the apostle Paul instructs Timothy concerning how Christ-followers should relate to material possessions. The instruction addresses several groups within the church at Ephesus: covetous teachers (vv3-5), Christian poor (vv6-10), Timothy himself (vv11-16), and Christian rich (vv17-19). Instruction to covetous teachers (6:3-5)  3 If anyone teaches otherwise and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching, 4 they are conceited and understand nothing. They have an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions 5 and constant friction between people of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness