In Part 1, I described how Matt Bates in Salvation by Allegiance Alone had a helpful description of the gospel that included the enthronement of Christ and gave it a distinctly V shape. In this post, I will give a few reasons why I don’t think allegiance is the best macro term for translating pistis (usually rendered as faith or trust).
For reasons generally related to religious aversion, the Pacific Northwest (PNW) has long been dubbed “spiritually dark,” and, more recently, the “None Zone.” Here, ‘darkness’ and ‘absence’ are words used to describe the spiritual environment of the region. However, I suggest we consider a different word to describe the PNW: grey—a term that captures a particular attitude toward life . . . a mundane, humdrum, dullish mood about the nature of everyday reality.
Lately, it seems like nothing falls into place. Nothing comes easily to me. I wrestle. I strive. I fight. And . . . nothing. There’s a little voice within that enjoys pointing out that if God were really in control of the whole universe, then it would be easy for him to change my circumstances. It would take him no effort whatsoever to make a tweak here and there and poof! my life would be fixed. That voice takes my good theology—a high view of God’s meticulous rule—and comes to poor conclusions that God is withholding something good from me.
Many years ago while visiting New York City, a friend and I were approached by a guy selling Rolex watches… for forty dollars each. My friend bought one. The watch kind of looked like the real deal. Although it wasn’t very heavy and the second hand didn’t move smoothly, it could fool the casual glance. You know the rest of the story: the watch kept poor time, scratched easily and stopped working within a few weeks.
The Christian Art of Dying: Learning from Jesus by Allen Verhey Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2011 423 pp. $22.50. The most recent statistics reveal that apart from Enoch and Elijah, the death rate among human beings is 100 percent. People are dying. My mother died three years ago. My best friend died…Continue reading The Christian Art of Dying: Learning from Jesus – Book Review