Category Archives: Paul

Romans 9-11 in Outline

Rom 9:1-5 – Paul laments the unbelief of Israel, notwithstanding her many spiritual blessings (cf. Rom 3:1-4). Rom 9:6-13 – Israel’s unbelief does not frustrate the “word of God,” b/c “they are not all Israel, which are of Israel” (9:6); … Continue reading

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Justification by Justification by Faith

In his Lectures on the Doctrine of Justification, Newman complains that, in practice, the Protestant doctrine of justification sola fide results in “substitut[ing] faith for Christ” (Genius of Newman, 188). That is, when the test of your salvation is your subjective awareness of … Continue reading

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The Filioque in Romans 8:9-11

While it doesn’t positively demand this reading, Romans 8:9-11 furnishes a pattern of thought that is suggestive of the Spirit’s double procession from Father and Son: “But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that … Continue reading

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Paul’s Universalism?

As David Hart observed recently, Romans 5:18 is a verse with hard-to-avoid universalist implications: “ἄρα οὖν ὡς δι’ ἑνὸς παραπτώματος εἰς πάντας ἀνθρώπους εἰς κατάκριμα οὕτως καὶ δι’ ἑνὸς δικαιώματος εἰς πάντας ἀνθρώπους εἰς δικαίωσιν ζωῆς.” (“Therefore as by the offence … Continue reading

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The Rock That Followed Them

Paul comments that during their wilderness wanderings, Israel “drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ” (1 Cor 10:4). Why does Paul think that the rock “followed them”? Here’s a simple explanation (one I believe … Continue reading

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Abrahamic Promise

In the Benedictus, Zechariah joyfully recalls “the oath which [the LORD] sware to our father Abraham” (Lk 1:73). What is this oath? Readers of the NT who spend a lot of time with Paul will immediately think of “the promise, … Continue reading

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Epictetus’s modest optimism

In his Entretien avec Saci, Pascal both praises and criticizes Epictetus: “I dare to say that he [Epictetus] ought to be adored, if he had known his impotence…After having so well understood that which one ought to do, look how he … Continue reading

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