The Weekly Hit List: February 6, 2015

Jerry L. Walls, author of Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory, was interviewed by David Baggett for Moral Apologetics.

“Well, I was raised in Knockemstiff, Ohio, and ‘hellfire and damnation’ was often preached about in my little country church, especially during revivals. Listening to the sermons at Bethel Chapel, there was no doubt that issues of life and death were at stake in how one responded to the gospel.  I was converted at age 11 in response to a sermon on the text, ‘there is but one step between death and thee.’

“Several years later, I went to Princeton seminary, and many students as well as faculty were dubious about the idea of hell, and some rejected the afterlife altogether. The clash between my religious formation and my formal theological training was existentially riveting for me, and provoked me to think seriously about heaven and hell and whether there really are good reasons to believe in them or not. After graduating from Princeton, I went to Yale Divinity school, where I wrote a master’s thesis on hell, and I have been thinking and writing about these issues ever since!”

Read the entire interview here.

 

Rejoicing in Lament Media:

J. Todd Billings, author of Rejoicing in Lament, wrote “Lament: Self-Indulgent Whining, or Faithful Complaints?” for Reformation 21.

“As I spent more and more time in study and prayer with the Psalms I realized how often I had been ‘skipping over’ its sharp cries of grief, its protests to the Lord, its complaints about enemies. In a Christianity always seeking to be upbeat, centered on helping us to discover and fulfill our dreams, I had missed the centrality of lament: raw complaints and protests before the Lord.

“As a cancer patient whose life expectancy had likely been chopped off by decades, I felt grief and anger. But am I supposed to ‘bring those emotions to church,’ and risk being a complainer? The prayer of Psalm 102:23-24 was clear enough: ‘In the course of my life he broke my strength; he cut short my days. So I said: “Do not take me away, my God, in the midst of my days.”‘

“Apparently, God can handle our complaints.”

Read the entire article here.

 

In a new video, Todd Billings reminisced reminisced on how the community at Western Theological Seminary supported him during some of his darkest days.

 

Quick Hits:

Colossians (Brazos Theological Commentary on the Bible) by Christopher R. Seitz was reviewed by Steve Bishop.

Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory by Jerry L. Walls was mentioned by Patheos blogger Keith Parsons.

 

Lectionary Reflection for the Third Sunday after the Epiphany

This excerpt comes from Jonah (BTCB) by Phillip Cary, commenting on Jonah 3:1-5:

So far the Lord’s words to Jonah are almost the same as before (1:2). Just in case we wondered whether Jonah’s escapades had done anything to change the Lord’s intentions, we hear the same word that got the whole story going at the beginning.

Yet there is a slight difference, a clarification perhaps. Jonah is to call to Nineveh, not just call out against her. His voice is to go to these people and get into their ears rather than rising up over them to heaven. We are getting our first hint that Jonah’s message to Nineveh is not to be all destruction, despite our first impressions.

Once again the word of the Lord sets everything in motion, but this time in the mode of obedience rather than flight. The will of Jonah is, for the first time in the book, actively conforming to the word of the Lord. At least for a little while we are seeing a new Jonah, the way we expect when one is converted to God and reborn.

But we should also know—and unless we are complete fools, we Christian readers should know this from our own experience—that the reborn self still contains much of the old Adam who was to be drowned in baptism. The story of sin and redemption does not end with rebirth.

 

©2010 by Francesca Aran Murphy. Published by Brazos Press. Unauthorized use of this material without express written permission is strictly prohibited.

Lectionary Reflection for the Second Sunday after the Epiphany

This excerpt comes from 1 Samuel (BTCB) by Francesca Aran Murphy, commenting on 1 Samuel 3:1-10:

The twilight scene in which the call story begins could grace a pre-Raphaelite painting: the lights slowly fading from temple and its environs. First we are shown Eli laying up for the night, sleep gathering in his rheumy eyes: “Eli was laid down in his place, and his eyes began to wax dim, that he could not see” (3:2).

The temple is shutting down for the night, and “the lamp of God” is about to be put out “in the temple of the Lord, where the ark of God was, and Samuel was laid down to sleep” (3:3). “The temple of the Lord” makes us think of Solomon’s Temple, as yet unbuilt, of course, not of a backwoods temple-shrine in Shiloh.

The empirically minded fifth-century Antiochene theologian Theodore of Mopsuestia rightly asks why the psalmist can refer to what is really a tabernacle as a temple and answers that “the tabernacle may be called the temple, the testimony of Kings [i.e., Regum] clearly instructs, since the construction of the temple had not begun at the time”: the Shiloh shrine is temple because the ark of the covenant there domiciled in its tabernacle (Exposition on Psalms 10, in Franke 2005: 210).

Living in the house of the Lord was evidently taken literally: because it characterizes their sleep positions by reference to the temple lamps, we can see that Eli is sleeping in an antechamber to the temple, and Samuel perhaps before the ark. The pre-Raphaelites would enjoy illustrating this because it is lucidly allegorical, representing by the state of visionless sleep that the people are not awake to the presence of God, that “the word of the Lord was precious [or sparse]; there was no open vision” (3:1).

The divine call comes when, at a real and spiritual moment of twilight, “the word of the Lord” is sparse and the light of “open vision” has almost been quenched in the land. The priest himself, the obvious recipient of the call, has become spiritually sluggish (Eli’s “eyes began to wax dim, that he could not see”; 3:2).

The temple light is about to be dimmed: “And ere the lamp of God went out in the temple of the Lord” (3:3); then, as the unwitting prophet-to-be is “laid down to sleep” (3:4), God’s word strikes. God’s word is so much an unknown word, a new sign, that neither the boy nor the priest his “father” spontaneously recognize it.

 

©2010 by Francesca Aran Murphy. Published by Brazos Press. Unauthorized use of this material without express written permission is strictly prohibited.

The Weekly Hit List: January 9, 2015

Rejoicing in Lament (February 2015) by J. Todd Billings received a 5-star review from Christianity Today.

“Few words have the power to chill the soul as does cancer. Combined with terminal, the effect is both exponential and surreal.

“It is trite to say that a cancer diagnosis will change your life. Hearing these words from a doctor is profoundly disorienting, more like an out-of-body experience than a medical judgment. Once the sentence is pronounced over us, like some strange and terrifying sacrament uttered by a priest, we are never the same.

“At age 39, theologian J. Todd Billings was diagnosed with a rare form of blood cancer. In his remarkable book Rejoicing in Lament: Wrestling with Incurable Cancer and Life in Christ (Brazos Press), he presents an unflinching look at how life changes after a medical death sentence. In the same tradition as C. S. Lewis’s A Grief Observed and Joan Didion’s The Year of Magical Thinking, Rejoicing in Lament is brave, honest, and probing. But this book has one important difference. Most writers in this genre look at death and dying through the eyes of a family member who survives. Billings surveys the same terrain, but through the lens of someone who is dying, someone whose landscape includes both ‘a narrowed future’ and ‘a spacious place.’ It is territory marked by fog and light, sorrow and joy. Billings wrote the book during various stages of his treatment, and its contours reflect the shape of a journey that isn’t over.”

Read the entire review here.

 

Three forthcoming Brazos Press titles were included in The Englewood Review of Books‘ Top 50 Books For Christian Readers to Watch for in 2015“:

 

Nonviolent Action: What Christian Ethics Demands but Most Christians Have Never Really Tried by Ronald J. Sider (February 2015)

“Every once in a while a book substantially changes the conversation, and even the posture, of the church. What Ron Sider’s Rich Christians in An Age of Hunger did to change how Christians think about poverty, Nonviolent Action promises to do for how we think about war. This book is for every person who is appalled by evil but conflicted in how to respond to it in a way that honors Jesus, the Prince of Peace. It is not just for pacifists. It is for skeptics, war hawks, liberals, and conservatives—but is not for the faint of heart, for in the end it is a clarion call to take the cross as seriously as we have taken the sword.”
Shane Claiborne, author, activist, and founding partner of The Simple Way

 

Spiritual Friendship: Finding Love in the Church as a Celibate Gay Christian by Wesley Hill (April 2015)

“Wesley Hill captured my imagination by presenting a vision of friendship—spiritual friendship—that has been our Christian heritage. Each of us who make up the body of Christ will be enriched and our corporate witness to a broader culture enhanced if we can find a way to live into this vision.”
Mark A. Yarhouse, Rosemarie S. Hughes Endowed Chair and professor of psychology, Regent University

 

The Justice Calling: Where Passion Meets Perseverance by Bethany Hanke Hoang and Kristen Deede Johnson (fall 2015)

Here two authors with firsthand experience in the justice movement encourage us to ground our call to justice in sound biblical and theological teaching as we engage with the most critical global needs of our time. The authors connect justice to Scripture, the character of God, and the long traditions of the church so that our passion meets perseverance and justice becomes an enduring and integrated part of our life and faith.

 

Kingdom Conspiracy Media:

Books at a Glance reviewed Kingdom Conspiracy.

David Matthew reviewed Kingdom Conspiracy.

Joshua Ryan Butler reviewed Kingdom Conspiracy.

Scot McKnight wrote “On the term ‘Kingdom.'”

 

Quick Hits:

Rejoicing in Lament by J. Todd Billings was reviewed by Reformation 21 in “New & Noteworthy Books in 2015.”

Craig Detweiler, author of iGods, will present at Calvin College’s January Series on Monday, January 12, on  “iGods: How Technology Shapes our Spiritual and Social Lives.”

Craig Detweiler discussed the positive and negative ways in which technology shapes our lives with the Centre for Public Christianity.

Can We Still Believe the Bible? by Craig Blomberg was reviewed in Denver Journal.

Generous Spaciousness by Wendy VanderWal-Gritter was reviewed by Drew McIntyre.

Colossians (Brazos Theological Commentary on the Bible) by Christopher Seitz was reviewed by Chris Woznicki.

A Beautiful Disaster by Marlena Graves was reviewed on Traces of Faith.

 

Ebook Specials:

Secret Faith in the Public Square: An Argument for the Concealment of Christian Identity by Jonathan Malesic is only $1.99 (93% off) from participating retailers through January 12.

Lectionary Reflection for the First Sunday after Christmas Day

This excerpt comes from Luke (BTCB) by David Lyle Jeffrey, commenting on Luke 2:22-40:

Strikingly, even before the offering for the firstborn can be accomplished by his parents, Simeon takes Jesus up in his arms, blessing God and saying, “Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word. For my eyes have seen thy salvation, which thou hast prepared before the face of all people; a light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel” (Luke 2:29–32 KJV).

I cite the KJV here because of its proximity to the language of the liturgy in the Book of Common Prayer (1662) and thus primarily to draw attention among English speakers to this passage being the fourth poetic or hymnic passage encountered thus far in Luke to have entered into Christian liturgy. It has been part of daily prayers since the fourth century; in the Eastern church it is said at vespers, in Western use generally at compline, from which it enters the Book of Common Prayer. Simeon’s benedictional praise poem has thus also itself become a “sign to many” for two millennia.

Now suddenly appears yet another surprising figure, namely Anna (Hebrew Hannah, meaning “grace”). Luke tells us that she is a prophetess and, more remarkably, that she has spent most of her long life in the temple precincts, “serv[ing] God with fastings and prayers night and day” (Luke 2:37). She is a widow, her husband having died seven years after her marriage. She is of the tribe of Asher and a daughter of Phanuel (whose name is a variant of “Peniel,” recalling Gen. 32:30: “face to face [panîm el-panîm] with God”), and it appears that, most unusually for any woman, she has effectively been an intercessor at the temple for more than sixty years.

She is eighty-four at least (the syntax here is ambiguous); for Luke it is evidently a fact of interest that she is so advanced in age. Later commentators, possessed of the conviction that no apparently incidental number would have been included in the narrative by the biblical writers unless there was a spiritual reason for it, sometimes treat the number as symbolic or figural and see Anna’s responsive thanksgiving as constituting her as a mystical sign of the church (e.g., Bede, Homilies on the Gospels 2.38: seven [a number for the “fullness of time”] multiplied by twelve [a biblical number for revelation of God’s purposes]).

Be that as it may, all commentators see her appearance as highly significant to Luke. In some deep sense, Jesus is an answer to the prayers of Anna, even as to those of Simeon. Arriving on the scene precisely at the moment of Simeon’s prayer she acts as what dramaturgists call “fifth business”; in her words she not only gives thanks to God but, Luke adds, like the shepherds, also immediately begins to spread the good word “to all those who looked for redemption in Jerusalem” (2:38).

Calvin sees the examples of Simeon and Anna also as prefiguring the evangelical joy of the church, “that the faithful may encourage each other to sing God’s praises with one voice, and mutually to take up the strain” (1972: 1.98).

 

©2012 by David Lyle Jeffrey. Published by Brazos Press. Unauthorized use of this material without express written permission is strictly prohibited.

Lectionary Reflection for the Fourth Sunday of Advent

This excerpt comes from Luke (BTCB) by David Lyle Jeffrey, commenting on Luke 1:26-38

As the curtain rises on this second scene, Mary is described simply as “a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David” (1:27). That is all.

There is no description of her domicile; it is simply inferred from the verb (eiselthon, “entering,” typically used with reference to “coming into” a house) that she is at home privately, precisely as one would expect a young woman of that time to be, in seclusion from the gaze of men. In such a culture, the virginity of a young woman was both her own and her family’s central concern, a matter of honor.

We, who live in a time of sexual laxity more resembling Roman than a normatively halakic Jewish culture, may too easily underestimate the degree to which sexual purity was then integral to both personal and family honor.

It is exceedingly unlikely that a man other than her father or younger siblings would have access to a young woman in her familial home. Thus, we should not be at all surprised that Mary was taken aback by the appearance of the angel Gabriel. Here we need to bear in mind that there is no reason for us to imagine that Mary was confronted with one of the angels as imagined by the painters, whose wings are visual attributes designed to distinguish them symbolically from humans: Dan. 9:21, for example, refers to “the man Gabriel.” That he was not, however, human but a divine emissary must have been suggested by his bearing or radiance.

That Mary is a virgin, moreover, is emphasized by repetition of the term parthenon. This firm identification heightens the sense of the extraordinary in the event of Gabriel’s direct address to Mary (Hebrew Miriam), since, as we have seen, it was so unusual in Jewish culture for any man, let alone a strange man, to salute a woman, especially an unmarried woman, directly (Lightfoot 1979: 3.25).

But what he says is still more extraordinary: “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!” (Luke 1:28). The term kecharitōmenē (“highly favored one”) is highly unusual, precedented in the Septuagint only in Dan. 10, where Gabriel is likewise the speaker, and it establishes here a connection between Mary as singular “chosen one” and her most saintly Old Testament predecessor in relationship to the eschatological fulfillment of God’s purpose to redeem his people.

Mary is perhaps to all outward appearances quite ordinary, but in the divine perspective she is to be revealed as extraordinary on a level yet unimagined in her culture. (Gabriel’s form of address to her, his calling her kecharitōmenē , suggests in historic Catholic exegesis her having found favor before the angel declares it; the parallel with Daniel supports that implication.)

The subversion of normative cultural expectation is heightened in several ways, some highlighted by the pairing of this narrative with that of the announcement to Zacharias of John’s birth: special births in scripture had always been announced to the father to be; this time it is the woman who hears first. Gabriel says to Mary, “The Lord is with you,” not merely in greeting but in the context a strong affirmation of her chosenness. The following phrase, “blessed are you among women” (Luke 1:28), is missing from some manuscripts but anticipates the response of Elizabeth in 1:42.

All of this together makes the angel’s greeting a stunning indication of Mary’s importance to what follows.

 

©2012 by David Lyle Jeffrey. Published by Brazos Press. Unauthorized use of this material without express written permission is strictly prohibited.

Lectionary Reflection for the Twenty-Fourth Sunday after Pentecost

This excerpt comes from Ezekiel (BTCB) by Robert W. Jenson, commenting on Ezekiel 34:

Here, in my view, is one of the places where we must allow ourselves some of the conceptual play that is both the delight and temptation of theology. As it happens, the same classic doctrine provides an answer to both of our questions.

First the major problem and its remarkably available resolution. For our whole passage to make straightforward sense, the Good Shepherd must be at once God and a descendent of David. And that, of course, is exactly what classical Christology says of Jesus the Christ.

In the traditional formulation: the hypostasis of God the Son is the hypostasis also of the human Davidic Messiah, Jesus. In more contemporary language: “God the Son is Jesus the Christ” is an identity statement. By either formulation of the rule: you cannot refer to God the Son without thereby referring to the man Jesus, and you cannot refer to the man Jesus without thereby referring to God the Son.

A development of this claim within classical Christology then provides the conceptual framework within which we may understand the text’s calling a descendent of David simply “David.” In the jargon of traditional theology this development is called “the communication of attributes”: if God the Son and Jesus are the same person, then what is true of the one must somehow be true of the other, divine and human attributes must somehow be mutually “communicated.”

One of the things true of God the Son is that he transcends the divisions of time; therefore Jesus must somehow transcend them and so indeed be able to sum up in himself the whole Davidic history, appearing as himself the paradigm of Davidic rule.

One unit of the composition (34:25–29) remains before the conclusion. Here we see nature itself transformed by the rule of the eschatological Good Shepherd—shepherds, after all, live with nature. Such marvels as are here promised did not appear in Ezekiel’s day, nor were they seen as the exiles returned. If they are to happen at all, they await the day when David’s shepherding will be universal and open for all to see, so that “creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and will obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God” (Rom. 8:21).

Finally the construction is rounded off and concluded by a version of Ezekiel’s regular finishing formula. Here the formula is completed by another and beautiful variant of the covenant promise: what the people will hear and learn when the Lord who is David takes over as shepherd is, “You are my sheep, the sheep of my pasture, and I am your God” (Ezek. 34:31).

 

©2006 by Robert W. Jenson. Published by Brazos Press. Unauthorized use of this material without express written permission is strictly prohibited.

Lectionary Reflection for the Twenty-Third Sunday after Pentecost

This excerpt comes from Matthew (BTCB) by Stanley Hauerwas, commenting on Matthew 25:14-30:

No parable has been more misused than Jesus’s parable of the talents. Once any parable is abstracted from Jesus proclamation of the kingdom, once any parable is divorced from its apocalyptic context, misreading is inevitable.

Speculation begins, for example, about how much a talent might be or whether the master’s observation that the money could have been put in a bank might mean that Jesus approves of taking interest. Speculative uses of the parable have even been employed to justify economic practices that are antithetical to Jesus’s clear judgment that we cannot serve God and mammon.

Jesus is not using this parable to recommend that we should work hard, make all we can, to give all we can. Rather, the parable is a clear judgment against those who think they deserve what they have earned, as well as those who do not know how precious is the gift they have been given.

The slaves have not earned their five, two, and one talents. They have been given those talents. In the parable of the sower (Matt. 13:1–9), Jesus had indicated that those called to the kingdom would produce different yields. Those differences should not be the basis for envy and jealousy, because our differences are gifts given in service to one another.

So are the talents given to the slaves of the man going on a journey. It is not unfair that the slaves were given different amounts. Rather, what is crucial is how they regarded what they had been given. Jesus makes clear in this parable that we can do only what we have been given.

 

©2006 by Stanley Hauerwas. Published by Brazos Press. Unauthorized use of this material without express written permission is strictly prohibited.

Lectionary Reflection for the Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost

This excerpt comes from Matthew (BTCB) by Stanley Hauerwas, commenting on Matthew 22:15-22:

[The Pharisees] ask Jesus whether he thinks it is lawful to pay taxes to the emperor. It is a clever question that is meant to put Jesus in an impossible position. If Jesus says that taxes should not be paid, it would make him a rebel against Rome. If he says that taxes should be paid, he will appear to be on the side of the Herodians, collaborators with Rome, and he will not be a credible prophet.

Jesus is not taken in by their flattery, not only recognizing them as hypocrites but naming them as such. He refuses to respond directly to their question but instead asks them to show the coin used for the tax. Rome, it seems, not only required a tax, but wanted the tax paid in Roman coinage.

Those who sought, like the devil, to entrap him brought the required coin to him. He asked them, “Whose head is this, and whose title?” They answered that it was the image of the emperor’s head. Jesus then told them that they should give to God the things that are God’s and to the emperor the things that are the emperor’s. When they heard this answer, they were amazed and left him.

Unfortunately, through much of Christian history, Christians have not been amazed by this answer. Rather, they have assumed that they know what Jesus meant when he said we are to give to the emperor what is the emperor’s and to God what is God’s. It is assumed that Christians are a people of a double loyalty to God and the state. Christians are told that they should never let their loyalty to the state qualify their loyalty to God, but they never seem clear when and if such a conflict might actually happen.

Jesus requests the coin, minted to pay the tax, to be given to him. He does not possess the coin. He does not carry the coin, quite possibly because the coin carries the image of Caesar. Jesus’s question is meant to remind those who carry the coin of the second commandment: “You shall not make for yourself an idol, whether in the form of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or worship them” (Exod. 20:4–5).

Jesus’s answer that the things of God are to be given to God and not to the emperor is a reminder to those who produced the coin that the very possession of the coin makes them idolaters. Jesus is not recommending in his response to the Pharisees that we learn to live with divided loyalties, but rather he is saying that all the idolatrous coins should be sent back to Caesar, where they belong.

Just as Jesus knows no distinction between politics and religion, neither does he know any distinction between politics, economics, and the worship of God. Those who have asked him whether they should pay taxes to the emperor are revealed to be the emperor’s faithful servants by the money they possess.

That God and the emperor cannot both be served is, moreover, not solved. For many, this account of Jesus’s claim that we are to give to the emperor what is the emperor’s and to God what is God’s creates an insoluble problem because they do not see how followers of Jesus can then live in the world as we know it. But to recognize that we have an insoluble problem is to begin to follow Jesus.

 

©2006 by Stanley Hauerwas. Published by Brazos Press. Unauthorized use of this material without express written permission is strictly prohibited.

Lectionary Reflection for the Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost

This excerpt comes from Matthew (BTCB) by Stanley Hauerwas, commenting on Matthew 22:1-14:

A king gives a wedding banquet for his son, sending his slaves to call on those who had been invited, but they would not come. He sent other slaves to tell them that a great banquet has been prepared. But those invited made light of the invitation and went about their daily business. Some even seized the king’s slaves, mistreated them, and killed them. The king was enraged and sent his troops to destroy the murderers and burn their city.

Again he sent his slaves into the street, gathering all who were found there, both the good and the bad, and the wedding hall was filled. When the king came to see the guests, one man was not wearing a wedding robe. The king asked him, “friend”—the same address of the owner of the vineyard to those first hired—how did you get in without  a wedding robe? The man was speechless.

The king had the attendants bind him and throw him into outer darkness with weeping and gnashing of teeth. Jesus concludes that “many are called, but few are chosen.”

This parable reprises Matthew’s gospel. Jesus has come to feed us. He has fed the five thousand and the four thousand. The kingdom is about food and, in particular, food for the poor. But the food given by Jesus is not only to feed the hungry but to stage a banquet.

This is a feast of God’s abundance. Yet many seem to think that they have all they need and refuse to take the time to attend the king’s banquet. They act as if they need no king, consumed as they are by their daily lives. Some, insulted by the persistence of the king’s invitation, even kill his slaves. Jesus, just as he had in the parable of the wicked tenants, suggests that the way the king’s slaves were treated is the way that Israel had treated God’s prophets.

This is an extraordinary parable that makes for uneasy reading for those who want Jesus to underwrite a general critique of elites in the name of creating a community of unconditional acceptance. To be sure, just as the previous parables had been, this parable is meant to make those in power and the well-off uncomfortable. Most of us, particularly in the commercial republics of modernity, refuse to recognize that we are ruled by tyrants or, worse, that we have become tyrants of our own lives.

We believe that we are our own lords, doing what we desire, but our desires make us unable to recognize those who rule us. We have no time for banquets prepared by the Father to celebrate Jesus’s making the church his bride. We have no time for the celebration of that great thanksgiving feast in which we are “living members” of the king’s “Son our Savior Jesus Christ” (Book of Common Prayer 1979, 365). Such a people are right to be challenged by God’s hospitality to those who must live in the streets.

Yet this parable also makes clear that those who come to the banquet from the streets are expected to be clothed by the virtues bestowed on them through their baptism. If the church is to be a people capable of hospitality, it will also have to be a community of holiness. Jesus expects those called to his kingdom to bear fruit (Matt. 21:43). He has made clear in the Beatitudes how those called to his kingdom will appear.

To be poor and outcast may well put one in a good position to respond to Jesus’s proclamation of the kingdom, but Jesus expects the poor and downcast to live lives worthy of the Lamb who will be slain. Only a people so formed will be able to resist emperors, who always claim to rule us as our benefactors.

 

©2006 by Stanley Hauerwas. Published by Brazos Press. Unauthorized use of this material without express written permission is strictly prohibited.