Monday, July 12, 2010

A dialogue between a Lutheran and a Wrightian on Paul.

Just wrote this up now. Hope you enjoy it. I tried to be as neutral as possible but it is a very difficult thing to do when the Lutheran understanding of scripture so vastly outweighs the Wrightian:

Marc came across two of the college students in a local tavern, and- being in a sour mood- decided to sit down across from them. Something about the negative emotions (be they bitterness, anger, anxiety or hatred) have a way of moving the soul to seek company. And it is never that the company possesses some immanent potential to change one’s mood, but that one truly wishes this would be the case and will act as if it were so (albeit indignantly).
The two students were heatedly discussing a text from Galatians, in a world of rhapsody and intellectual conviction that always replicates history but never produces history. Proud youth. Stupid youth.

“I just cannot see how you could attribute such weight to the mere shells of the subject matter and miss Paul’s point all together!”

“Shells? You moron. Circumcision and Sabbath days are the very markers that would keep Gentiles from experiencing God’s grace in the first place!”

“You and your wretched boundary markers! Enough. The whole of the law is a boundary marker, and not to Gentiles only but Jews. If you had read a page from Romans you would know this already. “

“ And this is my problem with you, you discuss the subject of Law as if it is some painful, evil thing that is an inconvenience to both God and man. “

“Of course it’s an inconvenience! Anything that must be added to check transgression is an inconvenience. Spanking my child is a freaking inconvenience. That doesn’t change the fact that it’s right.”

“You’re at it again! Read Psalm 119 and see what I mean. The law isn’t just a cudgel to beat sinners over the brow with. The Jews would have never taken it that way. It was a gift from God to them…something to delight in, to mull over, to keep as precious.”

“I’m glad you’ve introduced the factor of Jewish reception to your Ebionitic orgy. While we are on that subject, might I take you- say- through the whole of the Jewish history in Scripture from the reception of Law to the time of Christ? I’m sure you’d love to see the affection and adoration your Jews poured out towards their law and how well they kept it.”

“Never so poorly as to be outside of God’s covenant faithfulness.”

“Never so well as to avoid fire breaking out from heaven, pestilence, famine, disease, raiding parties, plagues, and exile.”

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