“Before God, Unmasked”, Session 5

Below are the videos for the lectures from my Romans class this past Monday night, when I taught on Romans 8 and 9 – 11 for Biblijski institut Zagreb.  This is two hours of lecture, captured in nine videos.

The class is titled, “Before God, Unmasked.”  I chose this title because one central implication of Paul’s gospel, as I see it, is that God both knows us intimately (better than we know ourselves; he knows ALL the ugly stuff and hidden actions) and loves us completely.  Ergo, because of what God has done for us through Jesus Christ, we can stand before him without a mask, without a veil.

As the Mighty TK says, “The gospel is this: We are more sinful and flawed in ourselves than we ever dared believe, yet at the very same time we are more loved and accepted in Jesus Christ than we ever dared hope.”

  1. The Ground of Our Confidence in Christ. Salvation–biblically understood–is now & future, “a life of wholeness and health, regardless of physical circumstances, lived in the presence of God by the Spirit of God, now and forever.”

2. Eternal Security, the doctrinal issue.

3. Eternal Security, the pastoral issues.

4. Eternal Security.  Further exploration of the pastoral issues surrounding the doctrine of eternal security. I am drawing on the whiteboard here, depicting how I used to think I spent every day swinging back and forth between salvation and damnation. God loves us, holds onto us, in spite of all he knows about us.

5. Introduction to Romans 9 – 11.  What is the central idea of these chapters?  How do they fit into the letter’s argument?

6. Paul’s Inductive Argument As a Unified Whole.  Here, I describe the inductive nature of Paul’s argument in Romans 9 – 11. John Calvin’s failure to read these chapters inductively and holistically has led to a host of doctrinal problems. Here is my outline of the argument.

7. How Reading the Argument Inductively Changes the Conclusion.  Calvin’s specific error with regard to Romans 9 – 11 is that he drew a theological conclusion from 9.18 without realizing that (or appreciating how) 9.18 fits into a sustained argument that Paul does not complete until the end of chapter 11. He [Calvin] made this error because he failed to appreciate the inductive nature of Paul’s argument. Here, I show how the argument as a whole abrogates conclusions drawn from 9.18.

8. “All Israel will be saved.”  What does Paul mean by this puzzling statement in Romans 11.26?

9. Final questions and answers about Romans and other new Testament topics.

Narrative Discipleship: Romans Session 4, pt 2

This post includes the final hour of my lecture on Romans 8 from 11 June.

6. Awaiting Redemption: I describe the Jewish hope of the resurrection—bodily, cosmic—and how the New Testament writers hold the same hope. We are not waiting resurrection as disembodied spirits, nor are we waiting for God to discard the present creation and replace it with something better. We await REDEMPTION, both of our bodies and of the creation around us.

7. The Spirit at Prayer: how the Holy Spirit works in our prayer life.

8. God Works All Things Together for Our Good: here we talk about the great promise of Romans 8.28-30, that God has determined to use everything that happens in your life, everything that he does and allows, to accomplish his purpose for you: that you would reflect Jesus, appropriately bearing God’s image.

9. Foreknown: the relationship between foreknowledge and predestination, understood in biblical context, is the foundation for an Arminian reading of Paul.

10. Foreknown, pt 2: continues the discussion of the relationship between foreknowledge and predestination.

Narrative Discipleship: Romans Session 4, pt 1

Below are the videos to the first hour of lectures from this past Monday night, when I taught on Romans 8 for Biblijski institut Zagreb.  I will post the second hour shortly.

This lecture is part of a series on Romans.  The series is titled, “Before God without a Mask.”

I chose this title because one central implication of Paul’s gospel, as I see it, is that God both knows us intimately (better than we know ourselves; he knows ALL the ugly stuff and hidden actions) and loves us completely.  Ergo, because of what God has done for us through Jesus Christ, we can stand before him without a mask, without a veil.

Here is a handout, “Paul’s Mind Scriptures,” that is important for the lecture.  It is a catena of passages where Paul talks about the place of the mind (worldview, mindset, values) in the Christian life.  It’s not an exhaustive list, but it hits the high points.

Part 1. Here, I deal with the textual variant in Romans 8.2; does Paul say that God has “set ME free from the law of sin and death”?  Or “set YOU free”?

Part 2. How does Romans 8.1 connect with what precedes it?  The basic outline of what Paul says here about God’s victory over sin in our lives.

Part 3. Here, I talk about “walking by the Spirit.”  What does it look like to “set your mind on things of the flesh”?  This part of the discussion continues in the next video, part 4.

Part 4. Most of the conversation here revolves around the texts on the handout (linked above), “Paul’s ‘Mind’ Passages.”  The Powerpoint for this part of the class is very static; you would do better to look at that handout.

Part 5. This part of the conversation focuses on the day-by-day work of the Holy Spirit in the Christian’s life.