The formation of a new international polity is integral to the Apostle Paul’s understanding of the gospel. The Church provides a model for transformed international relations.
Luke’s account of Pentecost frames it as the installation of a prophet. As we reflect upon the shape of the prophetic vocation and the content and shape that Luke’s narrative gives to the Church’s calling we will be empowered for our political vocation in the twenty-first century.
When Paul Tillich’s Theology of Culture hit the shelves of the Anglosphere in 1959, the book seemed to go against the prevailing mood of the time. Wages and living-standards across North America were up as the post-war ‘Keynesian miracle’ took its full effect. While the previous year had seen economic contraction in U.S. output, it was to be a small pause in a seemingly unstoppable advance. Canada and Australia also rode high in the economic league-tables, as the administrations in Ottawa and Canberra saw conditions of near full-employment.
In 1 Corinthians 7:29-31, Paul articulates the reality of eschatological imminence. Against this background, he advances an ethic that maintains a delicate balance between occupation with and preoccupation with our present world order.
Matthew 16:13-20 has fuelled theological conflict between Roman Catholics and Protestants for centuries. However, revisiting this controverted text, we can recover neglected truths about the character of the Church that are good news in an era of Christian institutional decline.
Many of my friends on social media have changed their profile pictures to the Arabic N to indicate their support for and solidarity with Christians who are currently being persecuted in the Middle East. A White House petition calling for the United States Government to offer support to Christians in Iraq has over 41,000 signatures at the time that I am writing this, and is quickly adding more. . . . How should Christians feel about all of this?
Current crises across the Middle East and other war-torn locations demand careful consideration of war, just war theory, and other tenets of military interventionism. The Christian theologian faces a particularly daunting task in this respect because the eschatological principles of God’s kingdom appear contrary to what might be a faithful Christian ethic in the penultimate present.