Christ’s Gospel and the Gospel of Christ

I recently made the comment here that Romans 12-13, in which Paul is outlining the rule of life for the household of God, is the part of Paul's writings where he sounds most like Jesus. It is a strange quirk of Christianity that its first major advocate sounds so little like the man Jesus, around … Continue reading Christ’s Gospel and the Gospel of Christ

A Tyrant’s Dream? (Disarming Romans 13.1-7)

For most of this series on Empire and Spirit, we've seen how the stories of our Scriptures and the teachings of Jesus and Paul challenged Rome's power and authority. But as I noted last week, this isn't the whole story. In that post, I looked at Jesus' famous teaching, to "Render unto Caesar what is … Continue reading A Tyrant’s Dream? (Disarming Romans 13.1-7)

The Rule of Saint Paul, or, What’s Love Got to Do with It

I was chatting with a friend recently about dating, and specifically about why dating these days is so difficult. He brought up the point that our particular cultural moment's great diversity in approaches, attitudes, and goals people have in relationships makes it difficult to know where we stand at any given time. While theoretically everyone … Continue reading The Rule of Saint Paul, or, What’s Love Got to Do with It

Render unto Caesar

So far this series on Empire and Spirit has looked at how the Gospel teachings of Jesus and Paul challenged the thought world of the Roman Empire. We've seen how disciples of Jesus are to reject the might-is-right Roman models of authority, but are instead to lead through humility; Christians likewise shake up the normal … Continue reading Render unto Caesar

Justice, Faith, and Empire

For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is from faith to faith, just as it is written: 'The righteous will live by faith'. (Rom 1.17) Paul could hardly have imagined the impact these words would have on the world and on Christian thought. To generations of Protestant interpreters, this verse … Continue reading Justice, Faith, and Empire