Blogroll: Sussex Parson
I read blogs, as well as write one. The 'blogroll' on this site reproduces some posts from some of the people I enjoy reading. There are currently 8 posts from the blog 'Sussex Parson.'
Disclaimer: Reproducing an article here need not necessarily imply agreement or endorsement!
"Yes, they are infants, but they are His members. They are infants, but they receive His sacraments. They are infants, but they share in His table, in order to have life in themselves."
The Works of Saint Augustine, Part 3: Sermons (New City Press), 5:261.
The Life and Teaching of the Apostle Paul
Sources for Paul’s life
The Acts of the Apostles – chapters 9, 13 onwards – Acts written by Luke, a companion of Paul (Colossians 4:14, “Our dear friend Luke, the doctor…”), the “we” passages (16:10-16:18; 20:4-21:19; 27:1-28:30)
New Testament letters / Epistles – probably normally dictated to an amanuensis – Rom 16:22, “I, Tertius, who wrote down this letter, greet you in the Lord” – 1 Cor 1:1, Sosthenes named alongside Paul; Colossians & Philippians 1:1, Paul and Timothy; 1 & 2Thess, Paul, Silas and Timothy; sometimes the person carrying the letter named at the end e.g. Col 4:7; personal handwritten greeting at the end – e.g. Col 4:18 – may have helped to authenticate the letter – 2 Thess 3:17; Gal 6:11
Letters to churches: Romans – Paul’s longest letter
1 & 2 Corinthians
Ephesians – possibly a circular letter to churches of the region
Colossians – similar to Ephesians
1 & 2 Thessalonians
Letters to individuals: 1 & 2 Timothy ) The pastoral epistles – written to pastors
Philemon – regarding the run-away slave, Onesimus
Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians and Philemon – the “Prison Epistles”
Addressing particular situations – e.g., 1 Cor 1:11; 5:1; 6:12-13; 7:1; 8:1; 11:17f; 16:1ff – one side of a correspondence
Intended to be read by other churches – Colossians 4:16
13 out of 27 books in the NT written by Paul – 31.56% of NT text
(The letter to the Hebrews, which is anonymous, was traditionally attributed to Paul, but most scholars would doubt this)
Saul of Tarsus in Cilicia on the Mediterranean coast in Asia Minor (Acts 22:3) - ? between 5BC and AD 5
A Roman citizen (Acts 16:37)
Acts 22:3 – “I studied under Gamaliel and was thoroughly trained in the law of our ancestors. I was just as zealous for God as any of you are today.”
Paul’s ethnic and religious credentials – Philippians 3:4b-5
Of the tribe of Benjamin (Romans 11:1)
A Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee (Acts 23:6)
A tent-maker – Acts 18:3 – sometimes supported himself in ministry by his trade
Acts 7:58; 8:1 – At the stoning of Stephen – “… the witnesses laid their clothes at the feet of a young man named Saul…. And Saul was there, giving approval to his [Stephen’s death]”
Persecutor of Christians (Acts 22:4-5; Galatians 1:13-14)
Conversion on the road to Damascus (Acts 9; 22; 26; Galatians 1:15ff)
Flees to Jerusalem (Acts 9:26)
Introduced by Barnabas to the Apostles in Jerusalem (Acts 9:26ff)
After 2 weeks, flees again to Tarsus (Acts 9:30) – 10 year “silent period”
Barnabas asks him to come to Antioch to help on the Gentile mission (Acts 11:25-26) and they teach the church together there for a year
“famine visit” to Jerusalem with relief for the Jewish Christians (Acts 12:25) – with John Mark who probably wrote Mark’s gospel (later Paul and Barnabas have a sharp disagreement about whether or not to take Mark with them in Acts 15:36-41 ad they part company).
Acts 13:3 – Paul and Barnabas sent off by the church at Antioch (“apostles”) – c. AD 46
Paul’s missionary activity is often divided up into 3 missionary journeys, followed by his transportation to Rome
1st missionary journey - Cyprus and Southern Galatia (Acts 13-14) – Pisidian Antioch, Iconium, Lystra, Derbe
“first for the Jew, then for the Gentile” (Romans 1:16) - synagogue
“God-fearers” – Gentiles who have attached themselves to Judaism without fully converting
Turning to the Gentiles – Acts 13:46ff
Paul opposes Peter at Antioch over Judaizing (Gal 2:14) c. AD 49
The Council of Jerusalem (Acts 15) c. AD 50
2nd missionary journey with Silas (Acts 15:40-18:22) from Antioch over land to the churches of Southern Galatia and at Lystra joined by Timothy, north into Northern Galatia. At Troas (where Luke joins them) Paul has his vision of the Macedonian and begins his evangelisation of Greece. Philippi, Thessalonica, Borea. In Achaia = Southern Greece, Athens, Corinth (where Paul remains for almost 2 years). Ephesus in Asia. Quick trip back to Antioch via Jerusalem.
The Aegean Period (Acts 18:23-20:38) c. AD 53-58 – overland from Antioch through the Galatian region to Ephesus (for 3 years), through Troas to Macedonia, then south to Corinth. After winter, back to Miletus near Ephesus to Jerusalem.
The Caesarean and Roman Imprisonments – Journey to Jerusalem with a collection for the poor (Acts 21:23f; cf. 1 Cor 16:3f; 2 Cor 9; Rom 15:25ff). Riot and arrest. Removed to Caesarea. Imprisoned by Felix, the Roman governor for 2 years c. AD 58-60 (Acts 23-26). Appeal to Cease. Acts 23:11. Shipwrecked on Malta c. AD 61. Acts end with 2 years under house arrest in Rome (Acts 28:31).
Scholars think Paul was probably released in AD 63 and visited Spain and the Aegean before being re-arrested and executed under Nero c. AD 67.
Some issues / themes
Apostolic Authority – a witness of the resurrection - 1 Corinthians 15:8-11
The Apostle to the Gentiles / (non-Jewish) nations (Romans 11:13; 1:5; Galatians 2:8)
Paul’s missionary strategy of seeking to be all things to all men (1 Corinthians 9:22-23)
Persecution from Jews and Jewish Christians – “Judaizers”
Jewish – Gentile relations in the Early Church
Do Gentiles have to be circumcised and obey the Old Testament Law of Moses (Torah) in order to be Christians?
What is the role of the Law of Moses in the Christian Life?
Romans 1:1-4 – a very brief summary
Righteousness / justification by faith – Romans 1:17
“in Christ” – (Faith) Union with Christ – cf. in Adam
The church as the body of Christ – Romans 12:4ff; 1 Cor 12:12ff; Eph 4:4; Col 1:18, 24; 3:15
“already but not yet” – in Jesus’ death and resurrection, redemption is partly realised now and will be completed fully and finally when Christ comes again, death is no more and the presence of sin is removed
New Creation – Romans 8:19-21
The Common Worship Collect for the Conversion of St Paul
who caused the light of the gospel
to shine throughout the world
through the preaching of your servant Saint Paul:
grant that we who celebrate his wonderful conversion
may follow him in bearing witness to your truth;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
The Common Worship Collect for Peter and Paul, Apostles
whose blessed apostles Peter and Paul
glorified you in their death as in their life:
grant that your Church,
inspired by their teaching and example,
and made one by your Spirit,
may ever stand firm upon the one foundation,
Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever.
I recently preached through Malachi and it just so happened that where we went to church on the Sunday after Christmas the sermon was on Malachi 1:1-14. I reckon the preacher probably did a better job that I did (though he didn't preach on exactly the same segment) so I steal his headings here with a possible view to next time:
3 ways the people have dishonoured God:
(1) by their actions, v7
(2) by their words, v7
(3) by their attitude, v13
3 glorious truths about God they have forgotten:
(1) God wants to be known, v1
(2) God loves his people specially and particularly, v2
(3) God is a great king
I am no expert on its origin or meaning but I think it is a jolly good thing that the church has some Ordinary time.
To be sure each Sunday is a special celebration of the resurrection. And there are seasons of festivity of all sorts. Great.
But much of life is ordinary, isn't it? For many of us it is often mundane, sometimes menial. Christian discipleship is often a matter of simple and humble obedience where God has put me for the time being, to the obvious tasks that come to hand. Life has its ordinary daily needs of eating, cleaning, washing and so on which must always be attended to. And growth often comes from a long and unspectacular obedience in the same direction. It means reading my Bible (which I have read before) again today. Praying, perhaps some of the same prayers. Relating to my sometimes all too familiar family which still has the same foibles. There are few quick fixes. Every day there is me!
The ordinary matters and is significant.
It is possible, essential even, to serve God in the ordinary. Marc Lloyd
Including for example:
Then shall the Minister examine whether he repent him truly of his sins, and be in charity with all the world; exhorting him to forgive, from the bottom of his heart, all persons that have offended him; and if he have offended any other, to ask them forgiveness; and where he hath done injury or wrong to any man, that he make amends to the uttermost of his power. And if he have not before disposed of his goods, let him then be admonished to make his Will, and to declare his debts, what he oweth, and what is owing unto him; for the better discharging of his conscience, and the quietness of his Executors. But men should often be put in remembrance to take order for the settling of their temporal estates whilst they are in health.These words before rehearsed may be said before the Minister begin his Prayer, as he shall see cause.The Minister should not omit earnestly to move such sick persons as are of ability to be liberal to the poor.
Evans' account of his involvement as an expert witness in the High Court case which followed when David Irving sued for libel having been called an anti-Semite, a holocaust denier and a falsifier of history.
Somewhat technical in places. I skipped part of the chapter on the allied bombing of Germany.
Could be seen as a practical application of Evans' defence of objectivity in history.
Shows how Irving could take in the general reader and to some extent many professional historians who would sometimes claim, for example, that for all his faults he was unrivalled in his use of German manuscript sources. Unfortunately, Irving's editing and translation were often grossly biased so that his claims could never be trusted without referring back to the original source, which obviously virtually no one will do.
Ben Macintyre, A Spy Among Friends: Kim Philby and the Great Betrayal
Highly readable, interesting, entertaining. A glimpse into a somewhat vanished time of class privilege, supposed honour and booze. Amazing that Philby could fool so many for so long and could even make something of a come-back after his treachery had been guessed at.
Le Carre's afterward evokes a particular voice captivatingly. Marc Lloyd