more power to you… if you believe

The Mom is taking Romans. "Taking" means listening to lectures and doing in-depth study:  our church has various "classes" that they run before service on Sundays–this season’s run includes one on Romans. Not all of them are lecture-style; the one Sam & Rej are in is very interactive, discussion-style ("The Scandel of Evangelical Politics"). But The Mom doesn’t like it when speakers want you to "break into small groups" and have that "sharing time"–she admits to wanting to be "entertained" a little… let someone else do the work, and she’ll just take it in! :P

However, the "Professor" (let her pretend, she never got to University after all) has work lined out for them. First of all, they are to read the entire book of Romans in one sitting–every week (or even every day if we could!) Then of course, there is the week’s section to read over and title the paragraphs, and after the class there’s the scribbled notes to transcribe. (Not to worry, there’s no exam at the end! :))

So you know what’s coming! Since lj is a great place to organize things with tags. We’ll use a cut for you, at least! Except… just this great little section from Peterson’s introduction (which Dave did not include): "The letter to the Romans is a piece of exuberant and passionate thinking. This is the glorious life of the mind enlisted in the service of God. Paul takes the well-witnessed and devoutly believed fact of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth and thinks through its implications."

A good title for this section: GOOD NEWS OF GOD’S RIGHTEOUSNESS; "God’s Gospel Unveils God’s Righteousness" (v. 16 & 17)

  • Unique from his other letters, Paul is writing to a church he did not found, so he "treads carefully", not wanting to butt in [my term] where he shouldn’t.
  • Possible reasons for writing: the Jews had been expelled from Rome, and when Jewish Christians were later allowed to come back, there was probably an expectation that they would resume their former role as superiors to the Gentile Christians–Paul addresses this tension; also, he perhaps wants to make Rome his new "home base", as he is hoping to travel to Spain–so he wants to make sure the message is clear.
  • It’s difficult for us to let the letter speak for itself, since our thinking is coloured by the Protestant Reformation, and by the post-holocaust culture.
  • Paul’s conversion and calling both came together/at the same time.
  • God could be said to have a sense of humour, in calling a PHARISEE to be the Apostle to the GENTILES (he becomes a "Christian Pharisee"?)
  • Paul is "not ashamed" of the Gospel: though being crucified was definitely something to be ashamed of, BUT "it is the power of God"–because of the Resurrection: it was the resurrected Christ who appeared to Saul (before he became Paul), which made all the difference for him (for anyone!)

 In other news, The Mom is hoping to make Apple Butter today! OH, and there is now a 42-cup coffee perk in place, though for this Family of Three, only 30 cups is made. (Now, keep in mind that one coffee MUG is equal to TWO of these so-called "cups"!)

Walk to Rivendell:  It’s about noon… Attack at the Ford!!

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