Our church is listening to the New Testament during the forty days of Lent. Through our partnership with the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, every church member who wanted one has been given an MP3 version of the New Testament. We will be listening together and continuing the conversation online.
You can also download audio Bibles for free (in many different languages!) from the good folks at Faith Comes by Hearing.
I think it was Scot McKnight who suggested that the “New Perspective on Paul” would make a lot more sense to traditional Protestants if they assumed that Ephesians was the epitome of Pauline theology rather than Romans or Galatians. (He may have merely been reporting an observation of N. T. Wright, and I don’t have time right now to look it up.) If that’s the case—and I think it is—then the “Ephesians Road” version of the “plan of salvation” developed by Trevin Wax and now elaborated by Derek Leman will be of interest.
According to Leman, the “Romans Road,” familiar to evangelical Christians, is not untrue, but it is incomplete:
Whereas the Romans Road says, “You can be forgiven and live forever,” the Ephesians Road says, “God is making a perfected cosmos and you can join in.” The Romans Road is limited because it ends in mere acceptance of future blessing. The Ephesians Road is more complete because it ends in all things united in Messiah and calls for us to work with Messiah through the community to bring about healing and redemption for the world.
Here is Leman’s summary of the “Ephesians Road”:
- Salvation is about God’s plan for the world (Ephesians 1), including the election of Israel, the adoption of Israel as the people of God, the inclusion of Gentiles in salvation, and the uniting of all things in Messiah symbolized by the new unity of Jew and Gentile in Messiah.
- Salvation is only by unearned favor (Ephesians 2:1-9), raising us from the dead and saving us from God’s wrath.
- Salvation comes with a calling that must be fulfilled in the community of faith (Ephesians 2:10-22), including good works, kingdom community of mutual blessing between Jew and Gentile, and imaging God to the world.
What do you think?
Jeanie Miley has some very kind words to say about Formations adult Bible study curriculum, of which I am the editor:
For years we have used the FORMATIONS study material, written by moderate Baptists across the country. The lessons are edited and printed by the publisher Smyth and Helwys. I have been so impressed by these current commentaries on the prophets, written by Brett Younger, that I ordered copies for each member of the class. Brett has an unusual ability to peer into the biblical material and connect it with contemporary culture. He has made the ancient material in Malachi, Micah, Habbakkuk and Zephaniah come alive for us.
Nicholas Carter: “Blogging: a great pastime for the elderly“:
Did you see that new Pew study that came out yesterday? It put a big fat exclamation point on what a lot of us have come to realize recently: blogging is now the uncoolest thing you can do on the Internet. It’s even uncooler than editing Wikipedia articles or having a Second Life avatar. In 2006, 28% of teens were blogging. Now, just three years later, the percentage has tumbled to 14%. Among twentysomethings, the percentage who write blogs has fallen from 24% to 15%. Writing comments on blogs is also down sharply among the young. It’s only geezers – those over 30 – who are doing more blogging than they used to.
I am such a blogger.
Update: This comment from Norman Geras requires reading and re-reading:
[Reading] tends to be more fun when the writing that you’re reading shows evidence of some reading by the writer. If there’s reading in the writing, reading can be riotous. It can be rolling-in-the-aisles rantabulous; rosy, red, rudely robust and rollicking. It can reap and rebel and renew; roam and refresh; react and reflect, recollect, reconnect. Writing without reading can be rotten – really really rotten.
Interesting article about the personal names in the opening chapters of Genesis by Richard S. Hess over at The Bible and Interpretation. I wish I knew more about onomastics than I do. The Medieval Names Archive does a fantastic job of tracking the naming practices of the period roughly AD 500–1500, and there are several online sources for information about ancient Rome. If something comparable exists for the ancient world, I would appreciate a heads-up.