A Word in Edgewise

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Monthly Archives: May 2016

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The Imitation of Christ

Last year I had the privilege of giving a chapel address at Acadia Divinity School.  My topic was the imitation of Christ.  Here is a link to the audio file:

You may need to scroll down the page to find my talk.  Actually, there are some wonderful addresses on this site.  It would be worth bookmarking and coming back to in the future.

 

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Pauline Exegesis and the Divine Christ

Here is a link to the third lecture I did at Acadia Divinity School in Nova Scotia in fall 2014.  Thanks to Danny Zacharias, fleetwd1 and Mike Harris for making this video available to me and anyone interested.

https://youtu.be/0pokwuUniYE

 

 

Paul’s Gospel

A few years ago (March 2009) I was invited by Father Donald Nesti, director of the Center for Faith and Culture at St. Mary’s Seminary, Houston, TX, to give a lecture on Paul’s Gospel at St. Mary’s Seminary in Houston, Texas.  I was one of four lecturers on the topic.  The first lecture was by Ben Witherington, the second Carol Osiek, and the final lecture was given by Daniel Cardinal DiNardo (I think it was before he was Cardinal). It was a great experience for me.  I thought I’d share the link with you.  They did a marvelous job capturing the PowerPoint with the lecture.  Comments are always welcome.

 

YHWH Texts in Paul’s Christology

Here is a link to the second lecture I gave last year at Acadia Divinity School.  The series title was “Paul’s KYRIOS Christology.” Thanks to Danny Zacharias and fleetwd1 for making this available.

https://youtu.be/wD9WpqF3siE

 

Kyrios as a Christological Title

 

In fall 2014 I had the privilege of giving the 50th annual Hayward Lectures at Acadia Divinity College in Wolfville, Nova Scotia.  The series title was “Paul’s Kyrios Christology.” I’m expanding those lectures into a book to be published in 2017 by Baker Academic entitled An Early High Christology: Paul, the Lord Jesus, and the Scriptures of Israel.  

fleetwd1 has done a wonderful job wedding my PowerPoint slides with the video provided by Danny Zacharias at Acadia Divinity College in Nova Scotia.  Thanks too to Mike Harris who captured each of the slides for production. Here is a YouTube link to the first lecture on fleetwd1:

https://YouTu.be/zJHXMNn3PKI

 

Rethinking Substitution

I had the great privilege of moderating a discussion at the Lanier Theological Library last week with a number of scholars from across the world.  The keynote speaker for the weekend was Simon Gathercole  of Cambridge, but also on the panel were Craig Evans (HBU, formerly of Acadia Divinity School), Graham Cole (TEDS), and David Moessner (TCU).  There were two topics for the day determined in the main because Simon Gathercole had written recently on them.  First, we spent time discussing  claims about the badly named fragment published in 2012, the Gospel of Jesus’ Wife.  Second, we took up the thesis of Simon’s 2015 publication: Defending Substitution: An Essay on Atonement  in Paul (Baker Academic).  Defending Subsitution

Let me take up for now the latter topic.

Christians in general–Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox–agree on a variety of things but one key thing is this: through the incarnation, life, death, resurrection of Jesus God had acted to reconcile the world to himself.  Nearly all Christians agree with that.

What we don’t agree on and what the Bible does not clearly address is how: how does the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus bring about this reconciliation, redemption, justification, adoption, etc., choose whatever metaphor or image you prefer.  So, for centuries, theologians have developed various theories of atonement.  There is the ransom theory, the recapitulation theory, the satisfaction theory, the moral influence theory, the Christus-Victor theology, and substitution theory.

Most evangelicals have cut their teeth on the substitution theory, and yet recently many scholars have begun to distance themselves from it.  They argue that it is not biblical or not fair or else they say there are better ways to frame how the death and resurrection of Jesus come to play in our reality.

Professor Gathercole has written the book DEFENDING JUSTIFICATION to say that we cannot, indeed, should not, dismiss substitution from discussions of Pauline theology.  Many scholars are talking about participation in Christ and Christ being our representative as better ways of understanding how the benefits of Christ come to people through the finished word of the Messiah.  I don’t see Simon denying those ways of framing the discussion, but I do see him trying to rehabilitate the notion of substitutionary atonement.

Gathercole takes up a variety of Pauline texts including 1 Cor 15:3-8, Rom 3:21-26, among others.  He argues convincingly that substitution is part and parcel of Paul’s thought on what scholars call the atonement.  It is not the only word on it, however.  As Mark Lanier himself pointed out, we cannot dismiss Paul’s notion that the death and resurrection of Jesus disarmed the principalities and powers that cause the masses to live nasty, short, and brutish lives.

This book began as the Hayward Lectures at Acadia Divinity School in Nova Scotia and is part of a series  by Baker Academic edited by Dr. Craig Evans.  It is well worth taking up and reading.

The video of the panel discussion will be available soon at http://www.laniertheologicallibrary.org

Many thanks to Charles Mickey, director of the library, and Mark Lanier, founder, for the opportunity.

 

Reading Paul with Mike Gorman

One of the best scholars I know on Paul is Mike Gorman.  He’s written a number of books and articles on the apostles.  Here is a video he recorded recently on his books published with Wipf & Stock.