Between Creeds and Criticism
Of course, everyone's experience is different, and yet most of us are drawn to ask some version of "How we can live in such an evil world if a good God exists?" My goal here is to offer some brief theological and personal reflections on how to put evil in its proper context as a Christian and to see evil in the world not as necessary for good, but understanding that even in its ability to negate and twist, there is an occasion for us all to live out our vocation to become like Christ. That is, to become the person of the resurrection. This means contemplatively and prayerfully walking through evil in the world rather than ignoring it, pretending it is tame or simply trying to banish it from one's mind in order to delude oneself with happy thoughts. I will also consider practically the ethics of how we should perceive and treat those who do evil things in our daily lives.
In this episode, Nick and Allison discuss the wide-ranging topic of women in Luke/Acts, touching on various elements of the doctrine of God, the Holy Spirit and Pentecost, how we should read narrative, and commenting on the evangelical tendency to downplay narrative in the quest for 'propositional' truths.
Allison also makes Nick (makes, hah!) drink cheap red wine in honor of a certain someone. You can infer who this might be, but we ain't telling.
In thinking through much of John Wesley's teachings and writings, I am often struck by the idea of prevenient grace. Most of my Reformed brothers and sisters find the entire concept to be compelling, but for other reasons offer objections to the doctrine—I find these to be unsatisfying but will leave them aside for the moment only to note anecdotally that there is some significant correspondence between common grace and prevenient grace.
"For the Gift of God has apocalyptically revealed [i.e. displayed] the [i.e., his] liberation to all people."
The Greek verb Ἐπεφάνη is regularly used in the LXX (the Greek Old Testament; that is, the Greek translation of the Hebrew, which would have been Paul's primary Bible) to refer to God's revelation of himself to various people (Jacob: Gen 35:7), to Moses and the totality of Israel (Num 6:25), and to show kindness and mercy to the various Psalmists (Ps 31:16, 67:1, 80:3 and others). More citations could be offered, but the point is relatively clear: this verb refers to an apocalyptic unveiling of God's presence and purpose for humanity. God has also revealed himself to people in wrath as well (Rom 1:19): the interplay between "apocalyptic" language and "revelation" language in Rom 1:18-20 strongly suggests that God has been revealed to all people, even the unrighteous in Romans 1 and to the present righteous in Titus 2. There appears, therefore, to be no distinction in God's revelation to all people, as the categories of righteous/unrighteous are Paul's major binary thinking, especially as it relates to his eschatology (c.f. 2 Cor 2:15; 4:3, 9).
“[Insert pretentious quote and/or Bible verse]”