Showing posts from October, 2006

Philippians 2:5-11 Humility & the Incarnation

5. Paul has been discussing unity through humility. In order to more fully demonstrate the humility that he is discussing, he presents Christ as the ultimate expression of humility. As we see in the verses below, he does not present specific actions and teachings in Christ’s life that point to humility. He holds up the totality of the Incarnation as the height of humility.
He encourages the church to have this same mind or attitude that Christ had. The word “mind” comes from the Greek word phronema which means mindset. As someone in class mentioned, it is the state of mind that controls and results in your normal action. Whatever your phronema will determine how you act.

6. This passage begins to show the depths of humility that came with the Incarnation. First, He did not “regard equality a thing to be grasped”. Paul is not suggesting that Christ is not equal to Father. In fact, the opposite is being suggested. The word “grasped” means to have or hold onto something th…

Philippians 1:12-16

Phil 1:12-26 Paul's Confidence

12 &13. Paul adds more words of comfort. Even though Paul has endured the shipwrecks, imprisonment, beatings and unfair accusations, he proclaims to them that this is done for the advance of the Gospel. This is reminiscent of the Old Testament story of Joseph. Joseph has been sold into slavery by his brothers, only to find imprisonment due to unfair accusations. However, through his prison experience he was released and became a leader in the Egyptian government. It was through his leadership he saved the nation and his family from famine. After it was all said and done he proclaimed, “What they meant for evil, God meant for God.” What a testimony?
In what way did the gospel advance? Fr. Farley mentions that “advance” is a military term that imagines an army advancing through uncharted territory in order to take more land. Therefore, this imprisonment is not a setback but is taking more “land” for the gospel. One Father states, “the…

Book Review: Beginning to Pray

Beginning to Pray is a wonderful little book that is simple to read and opens up a world of prayer that is a beautiful encounter with God. Met. Bloom writes very complex ideas into truly simple and wonderful language. There is a sense that Met. Bloom truly knows what it means to pray. The following link will give more info about Met. Bloom.

It is difficult to summarize so much that the book presents. In fact, there are so many nuggets of truth, I imagine multiple readings over time would enhance its value. Here are several things that were especially meaningful to me as I read the book.

1. Prayer is not formulaic or ritualistic. By this I mean, that prayer is not some magic incantation that forces God to behave for us. It is an encounter and a relationship (26). Bloom makes this clear by saying that it can not be forced by us for there is nothing that we can do to make God interact with us. We want God to react and respond to our cries but he has much more justification to co…

Book Review: Partakers of the Divine Nature

The heart of Orthodox theology is the notion of theosis. This is the ability to participate in the life of God and be transformed by this communion. It is a deep communion that allows man to truly touch God and be changed into God’s likeness. The book Partakers of the Divine Nature summarizes the Orthodox theology of theosis. Coming from Evangelical Protestantism there are a multitude of book on living the Christian life. This is the definitive Orthodox version and draws each individual into the life of God. This review summarizes the contents of the book and provides an understanding for partaking of God’s life.

Theosis is a term that describes the process of the Christian life. It is a Greek term that describes becoming like God. This is not a novel idea rooted in late Orthodox theology, but has been part of the teaching of the people of God since the beginning. In the first chapters of Genesis, God creates man in the image and likeness of God. The image is an unbreakable stamp of Go…

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Philippians 1:1-11

Philippians 1:1-11

I. Introduction:

Vs. 1 Paul opens this letter differently than most of his letters. He usual opens with an assertion of his apostolic authority. Here he opens by describing himself as a slave. The bond between Philippi was deep and unlike many of the churches, no one there was challenging his authority. They loved and cared for him deeply, and Paul shares this love by using a term that would suggest their common vocation—that of slaves of Christ.

Vs. 2. Grace to you is a common secular greeting among the Roman world. Paul transforms this phrase. Now the phrase is blessing from God and an acknowledgment that all grace and peace comes from God above. Fr. Lawrence notes that linking Christ and the Father in this blessing is also a tacit belief in the full deity of Christ.

II. Thanks for the Philippians

Vs. 3&4. This portion of the letter begins by Paul giving thanks for the Philippians. It is interesting that Paul say that they give him joy, and that h…