“Just as there is a temptation for Christianity to retreat into a message that can be justified on the basis of purely human argument, there is also a temptation for Christianity to retreat into being a system of ideas, rather than being based on a revealing of Jesus…For Paul, Jesus was not primarily someone whose teaching was a source of ideas…Jesus, as risen Lord, also had a continued existence, and thus the church’s existence was in Christ, a part of Christ’s life. The early house-church members were not primarily called by Paul to a set of beliefs and ideas. They were called to participation in Christ.” — Peter Oakes, “Galatians,” p 62 (italics added.)
“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.”
“For perhaps obvious reasons, I love this painting by Carvaggio immensely–and spent a solid hour looking at it and the companion pieces when in Rome this past month. The standard interpretation is that Matthew is the bearded gentleman on the left, with the hand pointing at himself. But I persist in thinking Matthew is the young man slumped over his coins that he is reluctant to give up, and that the finger points at him.”
Matthew Lee Anderson, “The Path Before Us”
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Christian theology and apologetics are exercises of the mind; they are an opportunity for us, as believers, to invite the Holy Spirit in to our thinking to show us the way of understanding. Proverbs 1 paints the picture of Lady Wisdom shouting throughout a city for anyone who has the ears to hear:
“The operation of His life in us is in a true sense spontaneous, that is to say, it is without effort of ours. The all-important rule is not to “try,” but to “trust;” not to depend upon our own strength, but upon His. For it is the flow of life which reveals what we truly are “in Christ.” It is from the Fountain of Life that the sweet water issues.”
Dorothy Sayers on the spiritual, cultural, and ecclesiastical value of work–
“The first is that you cannot do good work if you take your mind off the work to see how the community is taking it – any more than you can make a good drive from the tee if you take your eye off the ball. “Blessed are the single hearted: (for that is the real meaning of the word we translate “the pure in heart”). If your heart is not wholly in the work, the work will not be good – and work that is not good serves neither God nor the community; it only serves mammon.”
As I was leaving the house this morning I caught a glimpse of something out of the corner of my eye. My rose bush had bloomed! Four new roses waved in the breeze with their delicate pale pink petals splayed out toward the sunshine. The field across the street from our house is dotted with a palette of white, marigold, lavender, and bright green. Every now and then you’ll catch the sight of a regal iris, in all of her violet and gold finery, standing tall along the side of the road. Not sure about your part of the world, but here in Tennessee, spring is in full swing.