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Posts Tagged ‘2 Corinthians’

The apostle Paul’s anguished struggle for reality in his relationship with the Corinthian believers probably explains the precision he seeks in this letter. Theirs may well have been one of those uneasy friendships where everything that can go wrong does. In a crazy-making ecosystem like this, the slightest ambiguity takes a direction that is the opposite of what is intended.

In ordinary life, the word ‘dysfunctional’ comes without effort to our lips. It probably applies here. (more…)

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We are not pawns. Yet we are players in a Great Game in which everything is at stake and large powers move amid shadows and light.

We do not move alone, do not decide alone, do not—no matter our pretensions—create our own future, alone.

Theologians, as they should, make passable stabs at systematizing all this. They boil it down into its crystallized form. Some of us outliers memorize these schemata. It hardens into backbone, sometimes, allowing us to live, flex, thrust, chase with the kinds of agile coherence that a healthy body manifests.

But in reality, redemption’s story is a drama, not a code. (more…)

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This business of Christian witness in a world gone mad is exquisitely complex. And beautiful.

Balance is required, a certain astute way with a dance.

Why did I once think things were simple, easy, and clear? (more…)

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To tell the truth is often difficult and occasionally excruciating. People of good will do not love the ‘hard conversations’ that life thrusts upon us. Rather, we endure them. We sometimes abhor the anticipation of them, frequently tremble through them, and with some regularity second-guess our execution of them. (more…)

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The Bible maintains a consistently high regard for those human qualities and actions that are noble, elevated, and good. Indeed, it encourages one to view such things in proximity to that dignity or glory which belongs in its purest form only to God.

Yet the biblical witness remains unimpressed by the tawdry or ungenuine proxies for those qualities represented by—for example—class or economic potency or impressive speech or educational credentials. It is not that any of these things is necessarily bad, just that they are awful measures of what is truly good. Too often, such things elevate what deserves to remain low and blind our eyes from recognizing what is best esteemed. (more…)

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Anyone inclined to doubt that the apostle Paul was a complex man who enmeshed himself in the most complicated relational webs need only peruse 2 Corinthians 12 to be set right. In a discourse impregnanted with the most dazzling emotional transparency, Paul struggles to articulate the relationship that makes restoration of equilibrium between him and the Corinthians a non-negotiable objective. (more…)

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