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Paul’s Understanding of Resurrection (iii)

Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians (of the ones that have survived, though actually the fourth he wrote) has quite a different feel from 1 Corinthians, and offers some of the most profound reflections in Paul on Christian discipleship and ministry. In it, he makes some fascinating new connections between the resurrection, suffering, and Christian living. 

In Eph 1.19–20, Paul talks of the ‘incomparably great power for us who believe’ which is the ‘same mighty strength’ by which God raised Jesus from the dead (compare 1 Cor 6.14), and he is clear that the Christian life is to be one of power (1 Cor 4.20, 2 Tim 1.7). We might expect, then, that Paul’s language about Christian ministry will be all about the power, success and victory of the Christian life—but here we find the opposite! For Paul, ministry is about frustration, weakness and brokenness—so how can this be the foretaste of the resurrection life that we anticipate? The answer is that, paradoxically, the resurrection-shaped (‘anastiform’) life is actually the cross-shaped (‘cruciform’) life, because it is the life of Jesus.

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Paul’s Understanding of Resurrection (ii)

Last year, I wrote some reflections for BRF’s Guidelines Bible reading notes, and they have just been published. I contributed my thoughts on texts in Paul’s letters relation to the resurrection. This is the second section of what I said: 5. Cosmic fulfilment 1 Cor 15.42–58 In the last part of this chapter, Paul moves […]

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Paul’s Understanding of Resurrection (i)

Last year, I wrote some reflections for BRF’s Guidelines Bible reading notes, and they have just been published. I contributed my thoughts on texts in Paul’s letters relation to the resurrection. This is what I said: When I came to faith as a teenager, I was taught that I could know the forgiveness and love […]

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A plea for inclusion

In response to my observation’s about the contradictions and inconsistencies in the Ozanne Foundation and its supporters, David Bennett, a gay celibate Christian, makes this appeal. David is originally from Australia and, having studied at Oxford, he is now undertaking research at St Andrew’s, Scotland. His book A War of Loves is due out later this […]

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What does the New Year mean?

Like millions of others, I stayed up until midnight on December 31st last year (!) in order to see with friends the turning of the numbers from 2017 to 2018, and together we shared the familiar rituals: party poppers; shouts of ‘Happy New Year’ (with an unnatural emphasis on the ‘New’); singing a Scottish song […]

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What did large churches ever do for us?

Most of my experience, discipleship and ministry has been in large (or largish) churches. As a student, I attended St Aldate’s in Oxford. After attending small churches in Southampton and Slough, I had the formative experience of seeing a medium-sized church grow large in Poole, Dorset, and in Nottingham have been involved in what had […]

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Where will it all end?

Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard […]

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What on earth is God up to?

Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: “Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Messiah. For the accuser of our brothers and sisters, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down. They triumphed over him by […]

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Sermon series: Signs of Life

Many churches take time out from the rhythm of the lectionary in order to focus on particular issues of faith and discipleship by having a sermon series on a specific theme. Quite a lot of work goes into planning and preparing these—so wouldn’t it be a good idea to share them?! The first of these […]

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What on earth is going on?

I watched as the Lamb opened the first of the seven seals. Then I heard one of the four living creatures say in a voice like thunder, “Come!” I looked, and there before me was a white horse! Its rider held a bow, and he was given a crown, and he rode out as a […]

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Who’s in charge around here?

John, To the seven churches in the province of Asia: Grace and peace to you from him who is, and who was, and who is to come, and from the seven spirits before his throne,  and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To him […]

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