Friday, April 11, 2014

Catch Nicole's wonderful concert, and more of Tom's wonderful book

Nicole on balcony
Madly busy so hardly time to blog. Caught up with Nicole Cabell for lunch on Weds and she's doing a wonderful concert at the Barbican on Saturday - The Apostles with Sarah Conolly and Gerald Finely amongst others.  We had lunch at the Cafe Royal and they gave us a tour afterwards including the wonderful Dome Suite (if you have £9,000 to spend for a night).

Tom Wright's Paul and the Faithfulness of God also continues to enthrall. Here a few more gems:
  • When Christianity became the religion of the Empire it faced new challenges and temptations, and did not always rise to the challenges or refuse the temptations.
  • "Paul has no familiarity with  Jesus Christ, only with Jesus should never forget that it is beyond an author's power to take a term that is in current use in the linguistic context of his life and turn it into a proper name." (Quoting Giorgio Agamben)
  • The word 'entrusted' is always used by Paul in the same sense that it bears in secular Greek: to entrust someone with something is to give them something which they must take care of and pass on to the appropriate person.
  • The claim in Romans 3.31 more than a way of saying 'I will now proceed to prove my point by some exposition of Genesis'  It is a way of saying...that the faithful death of the Messiah...picks up and fulfils the major themes of the Pentateuch itself.
  • ...the Messiah's faithfulness revealed, in action, the faithfulness of God.
  • because [Jesus] is Israel's representative, he can be the appropriate substitute, can take on himself the curse of others, so that they do not bear it any more.
  • In [Romans] 8 it is ...the covenant God who 'does not spare his only son'. Instead of Abraham, God; instead of Isaac, Jesus; and, instead of a death averted, a death embraced.
  • Here then is Paul's vision of how the Messiah, particularly in his death and resurrection, had redefined around himself the very grammar of election, looking all the way back to Abraham. The patriarch believed, and was declared for ever 'in the right'. His seed would be enslaved within a land not theirs; God's faithfulness would guarantee both Passover and promise:inheritance, and blessing for the world. They waited. Psalms and prophets sang of peach, a covenant of justice. And, instead: exile; hope lost; the rise of bestial empires. Then, when the times and tears had overflowed, God sent his only son, the strangest king, to be for Israel what they could not be: obedient; faithful; Passover in person. He was the seed, the servant and the son; the chosen; the beloved; the victory won.
What a wonderful book! What a wonderful writer! And what a wonderful message of God's love, grace and faithfulness that Paul delivers and Tom expounds.

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