Over the years, we’ve featured a number of posts engaging deeply with Paul’s letter to the Romans. Each and every time, we find ourselves asking how Paul’s letter to the emerging Christian community in the heart of the Roman Empire might have been heard. Each and every time, we find ourselves wrestling with what they might mean for us today. These are some of the more provocative posts from that series.
Clobber Texts by Brian Walsh
“When I hear folks say that homosexuality is the litmus test for “orthodox biblical faith,” while legitimating and enjoying the benefits of an economic system characterized by exploitation, injustice and environmental rape, then I’ve got to admit that I just don’t take that kind of talk too seriously.”
We’re All Sluts by Amy Fisher
“What if there’s something in very act of calling something good OR bad – labelling something true or wicked – calling someone in or out. What if the very act of judgment – of deciding – of looking around you and assuming that you know better – is the sort of thing that bears with it all the wrath and the fury?”
In The Alleys by Andrew Stephens-Rennie
“In face of all the evidence, and the stories continually rebroadcast on state television, Paul dares to proclaim this so-called gospel, whose good news – if you were to believe it – had overthrown the powers of death and the grave. This so-called gospel that calls into question the authority of Caesar, the prince of the Pax Romana, into whose gated community, this missile of a missal was being read.”
O Come, O Come Samuel: Reflections on my Epidural by Marica Boniferro
“I try to be gentle with myself for the choice I made to have an epidural. When, in the midst of hours of churning and relentless pain, the nurse revealed she thought I “only” had about three hours of labour left, it was the exhaustion more than the pain that jolted me into this decision. I often comfort myself with the fact that I lasted without any intervention until I was about 6 or 7 cm dilated. But, in the deepest place in my being and my heart, I wish I had held out for those final 3 cm.”
To Hell With Romans 13 by Brian Walsh
“Let me put my cards on the table right from the outset. I am sick and tired of hearing Christians who have something at stake in the status quo of economic, social and political systems of injustice appealing to Romans 13 to legitimate unswerving obedience to oppressive and deceitful regimes.”
To Whom Shall We Live or Die? by Rachel Tulloch
“How can we hold strong convictions that may be opposed while still retaining unity? The modern liberal thinks that is impossible. We have to get rid of the convictions. But for Paul, that unity is found not in agreement of all particulars, but in the direction of our actions and convictions. To whom do we eat or not eat? To whom do we celebrate or not celebrate? More crucially, to whom do we live or die? To whom do we belong?”
Creation’s Groan by Andrew Stephens-Rennie
The disciples were waiting on something and someone to overcome, to outlive, to outlast to outplay the imperial hand, to finally conquer the band of thieves who were killing, cursing, crushing them at every turn. They wait and they long. They long for the dawn of a new age, a new page, for Jesus’ fire and rage against the Roman machine swallowing them whole.
And where are we now? I hate to say it, but it looks like nothing much has changed.
Living in the Tragic Gap by Sylvia Keesmaat
Living in in the Spirit
means holding the tension
of the tragic gap,
living in the tension of hope and reality,
and allowing that tension to break our hearts open,
so that the heartbreak of God,
becomes our heartbreak as well.