August 22, 2003

Below are some notes on the structure of Romans. Thanks to my student, John Lewis, who has done some interesting structural work on Romans, and shared his overall outline of the book with me. These notes are all tentative. First, the general overview, and then some discussion of the linkages between the different sections: 1. Paul’s greeting to the Romans; summary of the gospel, 1:1-17 (obedience of faith) 2. Jew and Gentile under God’s judgment: Humanity under sin, 1:18-2:29 3…. Read more

August 22, 2003

Alabama’s struggle over the Ten Commandment monument is important and intriguing on a number of fronts. One fascinating aspect is the behavior of Alabama Attorney General Bill Pryor. Pryor has been nominated for a federal judicial seat, and when he appeared in DC in June for hearings on the nomination he spent most of his time trying to assure everyone that he was not a right-wing nut. Now, he is among those standing in opposition to Justice Moore, who has… Read more

August 22, 2003

Alabama’s struggle over the Ten Commandment monument is important and intriguing on a number of fronts. One fascinating aspect is the behavior of Alabama Attorney General Bill Pryor. Pryor has been nominated for a federal judicial seat, and when he appeared in DC in June for hearings on the nomination he spent most of his time trying to assure everyone that he was not a right-wing nut. Now, he is among those standing in opposition to Justice Moore, who has… Read more

August 21, 2003

Some more quotations from the same Auden essay (the whole thing is wonderful): He is, like CS Lewis in Allegory of Love , comparing Greek conceptions of love with medieval and modern romantic coceptions, but adds a dash of de Rougemont: The Tristan-Isolde myth is unGreek because no Greek could conceive of attributing absolute value to another individual, he could only think in comparative terms, this one is more beautiful than that one, this one has done greater deeds than… Read more

August 21, 2003

In an introduction to a volume called The Portable Greek Reader , W. H. Auden made these comments about Greek philosophy: The great difference between the Greek conception of Nature and later ones is that the Greeks thought of the universe as analogous to a city-state, so that for them natural laws, like human laws, were not laws of things, descriptions of how in fact they behave, but laws for things. When we speak of a falling body “obeying” the… Read more

August 21, 2003

Who was the most spiritual man of the Old Testament? Judging from word count alone (admittedly not an infallible guide), the answer would have to be Samson. The Spirit comes on him four times, more than any other OT character. Samson was the most spiritual man prior to Jesus. Read more

August 20, 2003

An insight on the conversion of Levi in Luke 5:27-32, suggested by my wife: Levi is called away from his tax booth, leaves everything to follow Jesus, and in the very next scene is hosting a banquet. There are two dimensions to this: first, Levi leaves a profession notorious for greedy taking and begins to give (like Zaccheus); second, Levi’s discipleship not only means that he is given a place at the Lord’s table, but also that he becomes a… Read more

August 20, 2003

An insight on the conversion of Levi in Luke 5:27-32, suggested by my wife: Levi is called away from his tax booth, leaves everything to follow Jesus, and in the very next scene is hosting a banquet. There are two dimensions to this: first, Levi leaves a profession notorious for greedy taking and begins to give (like Zaccheus); second, Levi’s discipleship not only means that he is given a place at the Lord’s table, but also that he becomes a… Read more

August 20, 2003

Sermon notes for August 24: What Shall We Do? Luke 3:1-38 INTRODUCTION John’s message of impending judgment on Israel is not some side issue for him or for Jesus. Both are prophets of doom, warning Israel as Moses warned Pharaoh. This message is an essential part of “preaching the gospel” (v. 18), and is good news because God is coming to take out the trash. THE TEXT “Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate… Read more

August 20, 2003

Some very interesting material in Richard Muller’s book on the Trinity, the fourth volume of his monumental Post-Reformation Reformed Dogmatics . First, a couple of quotations about the treatment of the Trinity in early Reformed Orthodoxy: One of the major features of this period was “a broadened sense of the significance of the doctrine [of the Trinity] as a basis for understanding the divine operation in other doctrinal topics (notably predestination, the ordo salutis, and covenant)” (p. 83). Jerome Zanchi’s… Read more

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