I’m reading Fred Craddock‘s book, Preaching, for a class on, well, preaching. In it, it notes – while avoiding the Augustine dispute with Donatus – that the preacher’s moral character is a part of the sermon. I see the same thing in 1 Thessalonians 2. Paul is intent to give a good account of himself. He is no Sophist, he declares, using his talents to make money, to trick people, to be lazy. What he is has to give is too important to hold on too and to prevent by simply being lazy. He works to contribute to the
This past Sunday, the Sunday School class made it through chapter three of 1 Thessalonians. Remember, we are, much to the chagrin of canonical theologians, going through the New Testament chronologically. James was first, and now 1 Thessalonians. The thought occurred to me as to what the good news was for Paul. He did not provide us a lexicon. So, the only source for the good news was the Septuagint. We find it in Isaiah, in several places – both times pointing to the good news that God has won. In 1 Thessalonians, it is not much different. But,
Next week, our Sunday School class will begin to read 1 Thessalonians as we explore the New Testament canon chronologically. Granted, Childs and others of the canonical stripe may disagree with this method, but I find that for those who are developing their own theology, especially historical theology, beginning with the earliest writings and progressing forward helps them to understand the idea of theological progression. I am personally aided by reading the canon this way because it helps me to understand – and thus appreciate – theological progression and the very real fact that New Testament theology was not
This is classwork. It was supposed to be only between 750 to 1000 words. Ugh. ___ The second chapter of 1 Thessalonians serves as Paul’s self-defense of a previous mission, perhaps against the persecution which the community was presently suffering (5.3, but more especially, 2.14-16) and is delivered in an epideictic style. This defense is able to state that both Paul and the community are worthy of praise, with this relationship being co-dependent, while the persecutors are worthy of blame. The author is defending against charges of motives of impure intentions (2.3), insincerity (2.5), and self-aggrandizement (2.5). It includes
Since I have nothing to post this morning, I’m going to post a response I gave about the above mentioned topic: ___ I agree with you that often times, pulling “end times” theology (I use this vs. eschatology), from Paul, as with the entire New Testament, is subjective. Of course, often times, many of our theologies aren’t well formed from the New Testament, but based upon subjective reasoning. I believe, or rather hope?, that we can move towards objectiveness in theology and biblical criticism. I was thinking about that question, before you asked, all evening, sleeping, and this morning.
I had posted on this, and as all my posts, it feed to my Twitter account to which Brian retweeted and a conversation with another tweeter began. Since then, a good friend whom I’ve ever met via Facebook has done some marvelous work on lining out the very biblical reasons why the rapture mentality (I almost put mental in italics, but I didn’t out of respect of those who believe the rubbish) is very false. For me, I still refer back to John Locke (not from TV’s Lost) and his quote that some force submission by stating that they
To those who have been once gathered to Christ he promises eternal life with him, by which statements the reveries of Origen and of the Chiliasts are abundantly refuted. For the life of believers, when they have once been gathered into one kingdom, will have no end any more than Christ’s. Now, to assign to Christ a thousand years, so that he would afterwards cease to reign, were too horrible to be made mention of. Those, however, fall into this absurdity who limit the life of believers to a thousand years, for they must live with Christ as long