Sunday, February 08, 2004

Romans 5 notes

Paul Tillich's sermon on this text, "You Are Accepted," was one of my early favorites; before I began reading the Bible seriously, I'd memorized chunks of Tillich sermons from so much reading and re-reading. I'm also partial to Romans 5 because it segues into the marvelous baptismal theology of chapter 6.

• With this chapter I'm referring again to the CEV. Although generally the CEV strikes me as plain and unliterary, 5:9a wonderfully exclaims, "But there is more!" I also like 5:17a with its "Death ruled like a king..."

• 5:6 CEV "at a time" sounds like just any casual random time – but the Greek is about God's fullness of time, kairos time:

• Good pride about sharing God's glory? Yes . . . I love Paul's words in Romans 8 about "the glory of the children of God," but just as we find God's the ultimate manifestation of God's glory in the weakness and vulnerability of the human Jesus dying defenseless on a tree of shame, so too the glory of our living baptized into the cross must be a crucified glory. Yet, as heirs of the Reformation, we sometimes so emphasize the cross we come close to not mentioning the empty grave, though for Paul, that apostle who "determined to preach only Christ crucified," Jesus always is at one and the same time both crucified and risen. Romans is the "purist gospel," the "Gospel According to Paul," and for Paul the Gospel is death and resurrection.

• Pastor Scott's reminder: Christianity – and Christians – have thrived in adversity, in desert experiences. I realize I think and write the same and similar things again and again, and recently I said Yahweh and Israel first encountered each other in the desert, as through experience, revelation and sacramental provision Israel learned Yahweh's nature and their identity as the People of God.

• Adam/Christ: Scott [and Paul!] mentioned their actions affected all humanity. Paul calls Christ Jesus the "new Adam." And in his genealogy, Luke refers to Adam as "Son of God!" ...in one of the multitude of incarnational images in the Old Covenant scriptures, A-dam, "son of the earth," also is son of heaven!

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