My papers on Galatians and Ephesians at IBR/SBL 2022
My papers at IBR/SBL 2022: How does the first half of Galatians 6:16 help us understand what Paul means by the “Israel of God”? In the united body of Christ in Ephesians, is there room for plurality?
What does Ephesians say about reconciliation?
We humans are not very good at living up close with others. This is especially true when we have a history of conflict with those others. Reconciliation isn’t easy. No matter how much you might want healing, it’s hardly ever a matter of just everybody getting on and pretending the hurts didn’t happen. In Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, he says some very important, fundamental things about peace and reconciliation, and gives many other very practical teachings about how to live together in light of these truths.
Playing your part (Ephesians 4:16)
Paul’s vision for Christ’s body is unity in diversity. It’s not just flat uniformity, nor is it just diversity for the sake of diversity. It’s diversity for a common purpose.
The one and only God (Ephesians 4:4–6)
In this part of Ephesians, the apostle Paul makes an unavoidably scandalous claim: The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ is the one and only God.
This unity (Ephesians 4:2–3)
In the classic film Monty Python and the Holy Grail, the King of Swamp Castle issues an appeal for unity: “This is supposed to be a happy occasion. Let’s not bicker and argue about who killed who!” It’s become a classic line used to poke fun at people who are trying to bring peace and unity without showing any understanding of the reality of the situation or the depth of hurt that’s been caused. While we might never end up being quite as absurd as Monty Python, Christians can sometimes talk about unity a little like this. That is, we can treat unity as some ideal state where everybody just gets on, no matter how deep our differences are and no matter what hurt has been caused. And yet—unity really matters. Christians are called to unity. Christian unity is anchored in the truth of the gospel.