Reading Romans Backwards

This week I began reading Scot McKnight’s new work, Reading Romans Backwards: A Gospel of Peace in the Midst of Empire.

Why might this book be a helpful voice on studies in Romans? McKnight offers a different angle on the intent behind Paul’s most well-known, most taught and preached letter in all of the New Testament. As he notes in a recent interview:

“So we read the book of Romans as if it were an evangelistic tract to get people saved. No. The people to whom Paul is writing this letter are saved. He is not sketching how to get saved. He is sketching the foundation of reconciliation…” Continue reading

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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

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