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Showing posts from January, 2020

Understanding Romans 3.21-4.25, Part Two: Paul’s Use of Genesis 15.6 and Psalm 32.1-2 in Romans 3.21-4.25, 5.1-11, and 6.1-11

In part one of this essay, ‘Understanding Romans 3.21-4.25’, I argued that Paul’s understanding of the righteousness of God is through our faith in Jesus Christ, not Christ’s faithfulness, in the phrase ‘faith of Christ’ (Rom. 3.22 in particular).  As I look more at his use of the Old Testament, Genesis 15.6 and Psalm 32.1-2, in this essay, we will gain some further insight into why this is so.  My main interest, however, will be to show how these two Old Testament texts, quoted in Romans 4.3 and 4.7-8, respectively, are a part of Paul’s argument already in Romans 3.21-31, throughout 4.1-25, and even possibly in Romans 5.1-11 and 6.1-11.  This is a bold thesis, that these verses feature so much throughout so much of Romans.  Paul is certainly not grabbing two Old Testament texts for their rhetorical value; he is, rather, arguing exegetically and theologically. The relevance of these arguments shows itself in how we understand ‘justification’ theology in Paul.Paul’s use of these Old Tes…

As the United Methodists Split, Perhaps a New Evangelicalism Will Arise

So, the ‘United’ Methodist Church in the USA is going to split—that is, if everyone can carry the apparently amicable divorce agreement all the way through the process at the General Conference in May this year.My goodness, this has been a long time coming!  Ecclesiastical wheels have no oil.
I remember speaking to a senior Methodist scholar about the situation several years ago.  ‘Oh,’ he said, ‘a split will never happen because we Methodists are an international denomination.  African Methodists will hold us together.’  I let the comment go, but I wondered how he came to such reasoning in light of the even larger Anglican Communion just earlier going through a break-up in its US province.  The Episcopal Church saw departures of orthodox Christian churches and dioceses, helped by African archbishops, that finally led to most of them coming together in 2009 as the Anglican Church of North America, with others following.  Why wouldn’t the Methodists see a similar thing happen?  (Excep…