Preaching Series on Romans

Romans

My church, Renewal Memphis, is currently in a year-long series on the book of Romans. At some point, every evangelical church works through this foundational letter that Paul wrote.

In particular, I have had the opportunity to take a couple of Sundays to look at Romans 5 and then another couple of Sundays to tackle Romans 7.

Here are those 4 sermons. Continue reading

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An Altered Understanding of a Violent God

paul in prison

With all the continued shootings and mass killings that take place in America and around the world, it truly takes a toll on one’s mind and soul. It is deeply disturbing. In light of such, I have continued to ponder the ways of violence being contrary to what we know of God in Jesus, the Messiah.

The words in quotes below come from a man who was once a religious fundamentalist who used violence to get things done for his God.

One day, as he journeyed to violently kill others in the name of his God, his life was altered. He came to find out his violent concept of God was wrong and his message was, thus, changed forever.

Ponder these. Continue reading

The Underlying Storyline of Romans

RomansRomans might be the most, or at least one of the most, discussed and studied books of Scripture. It’s mined for all words that end with -ation: condemnation, justification, sanctification, glorification, etc. I’ve heard one pastor label it the Constitution of Christianity. It’s as if Romans is viewed as an abridged version of our present-day Systematic Theology texts.

But perhaps we are missing something? Continue reading

Re-Reading a Book on Romans That Asks Us to Re-Read Romans

Nice title to an article, I suppose. But a couple of weeks ago, I picked up a book I had read a few years back. Well, I’m mainly re-reading the parts I had underlined, which totals a solid chunk of the book.

The book?

the-future-of-the-people-of-god-perrimanThe Future of the People of God: Reading Romans Before and After Western Christendom by British scholar, Andrew Perriman. When I first read the book, I posted a review, or walk-through, of the book’s content. You can read that here.

If you know and have engaged with the new perspective on Paul, you’ll know the challenges to much of typical evangelical theological talk concerning aspects like justification. However, what Perriman does is take the new Pauline perspective a step (or three) further. He’s like NT Wright or James Dunn on steroids. Continue reading

Rethinking Romans

JustificationThere is a lot of rethinking going on these days with regards to Paul’s writings, especially centred around the renowned letter of Paul to the church in Rome. Or we call it Romans.

The rethinking doesn’t simply centre around the ‘new perspective on Paul’ and justification, but this encompasses both the whole letter and the multiple parts of the whole.

Author’s such as Andrew Perriman are challenging us to read Romans in its first century, city of Rome context, which was prior to establishment of what became known as western Christendom (I say ‘became’ knowing that Christendom has fallen in western Europe).

Still, Perriman is asking us to consider what is going on for Paul, a second-temple Jew writing to a Jew-Gentile church in the capital city of a majorly pagan empire. What did it mean then? Not what did it mean to Luther as he stood against the imperial Roman Catholic Church of his day, nor even what it means from a ‘new Pauline perspective’.

Perriman’s book is entitled The Future of the People of God: Reading Romans Before and After Western Christendom, of which I posted a review of the book here.

Whether one agrees with the new Pauline perspective, with Tom Wright being its most popular, but not the only, proponent, I believe he offers some great thoughts in his book Justification: God’s Plan and Paul’s Vision.

With the quote below, he offers a ‘thought experiment’, asking this: What if the Reformation had started with Ephesians and Colossians, rather than Romans and Galatians? Continue reading