This is a series on exploring the book of John for rookies and experts alike! Start here and read more here if you want to follow along.
The author of the gospel of John begins by telling the reader who Jesus is from the outset, similar to the way a musical overture functions. In a dramatic and sweeping pronouncement, John 1:1 declares that the (Greek) Logos, or the Word, was eternal, was with God, and was God himself. He likens the Logos to light, life, and the One and Only Son of God (John 1:4, 14, NIV). John then goes on to illustrate the assertions of the prologue by showing Jesus in a series of stories of personal encounters between himself and individuals (or groups.) As the reader reads through the progression of encounters, a picture of Jesus beings to emerge.
This is a series on exploring the book of John for rookies and experts alike! Start here, if you want to follow along.
Personally, I have always been drawn to the gospel of John as a favorite account. The interaction between Jesus and the Samaritan woman of chapter 4 has long been a story from scripture that has encouraged me, especially when Jesus describes himself as the well of life-giving water. The fourth gospel has a way with words that draws a dramatic and compelling picture—imagery of light and dark, good and evil, the kingdom of heaven and the world below. This kind of epic story telling is hard to resist!
Gal. 5:15 warns the community of believers at Galatia that “if you bite and devour one another, watch out in case you are destroyed by one another,” while 5:26 urges them to “not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.”
These bookend phrases, including a list of vices and virtues in between, are good evidence of (the author) Paul’s knowledge of a specific situation happening among the community. Paul’s employment of strong language, and even the use of his own handwriting (6:11), indicates a sense of urgency that he seems to be writing with…all of this taken together to build the case that he was fervently working to dispel controversial issues that were threatening to tear apart the young church.
“The doctrine of the Trinity is ultimately therefore a teaching not about the abstract nature of God, nor about God in isolation from everything other than God, but a teaching about God’s life with us and our life with each other.
Trinitarian theology could be described as par excellence a theology of relationship, which explores the mysteries of love, relationship, personhood and communion within the framework of God’s self-revelation in the person of Christ and the activity of the Spirit.” –Catherine Mowry LaCugna, “God For Us: The Trinity & Christian Life.”
‘everyday theology’ posts are bite-sized ideas to chew on from scripture, from other works of theology, and from life. feel free to share wherever you hang out on the internet!
Paul’s contrast of the Spirit and flesh in Galatians is strong (and not without some dramatic language!) He uses the Greek word “pistis” (meaning: trust) in this context in chapter 3—challenging the Galatians on the issue of whether they would put their trust in the message of the gospel that they first believed (as Abraham did), or whether they would put their trust in the “works of the flesh” (likely, circumcision as an outward sign.)
To be “sons of Abraham” (3:6-9) means that our righteousness before God comes by way of our trusting in God. It is by faith (belief and trust working together) that we are made right before God and are able to live by the power of the Holy Spirit. Faith is the living out of belief, as we see exemplified in Abraham’s life. He trusted God.
Doesn’t this time of year just make you want to learn something new?
It’s officially autumn (or, fawl, as we Southerners say) and for anyone enrolled in school–that means new classes! There’s a chill in the air so it’s finally appropriate to dig out that old college sweatshirt and wear it with your favorite pair of perfectly-broken-in jeans. While we’re at it, go ahead and fill up your travel mug with some fresh coffee and let’s hit the books, okay? If you’re hungry to learn, grab your Bible, a notebook, and something to write with and let’s get started.
I look at the clock again. How is it that time already? Where had the last 45 minutes gone? I’m scrambling to finish the task I am doing, one of about a thousand that requires me to do it, my hands and my feet, and not anyone else. My pace quickens as I throw in another load of laundry, picking up items on the way to be distributed to their original places.
Here’s the thing about blog writing. It gets under your skin a bit and seeps into the corners of your life. You may be living a perfectly normal day: refilling another cup of coffee, responding to an email, taking a walk to the mailbox, choosing the right pair of shoes for the busy day ahead…and then THE question weasels its way in-between the daily tasks, “Should I write about this?”