My dear friend Michael Eltringham emailed me last night from Dubai, with a great textual reminder from Paul's writings. He wrote: "I've been stirred, more recently, around his [Paul] clear view on both those he deems are part of his world (sons) and body of truth he teaches EVERYWHERE- 1 Corinthians 4:17 "For this reason I have sent to you Timothy, my son whom I love, who is faithful in the Lord. He will remind you of my way of life in Christ Jesus, which agrees with what I teach everywhere in every church."
What a great encouragement.
1. As we have seen in Paul's writings he encourages us to approach theology with great humility, patience and brotherly love;
2. Ephesians 4 gives us the key pieces in Paul's theology that he cannot compromise on;
3. His life and his theology line up fully - wow, what a challenge to imitate;
4. He teaches the same message everywhere... not pressurized to teach the latest, coolest, even politically correct;
5. Lastly, he is so convinced that his disciples teach the same message. The authenticity of life and message lining up, matched with the diligence of the same message taught everywhere, empowers the disciples to do likewise.
In whatever theological conversation I find myself, my mind drifts back to the Trinity. The questions immediately being to flood my mind:
1. Is this debate in anyway evidenced in the Trinity?
2. How do the Father or the Son or the Spirit display this conversation?
3. In what way do the persons of the Trinity remain united and diverse in this truth at the same time?
4. Are we guilty of elevating one person of the Trinity more than the others in a way that is different from the texts?
5. Where do my preferences and prejudices sneak in to disrupt my full and mature grasp of the subject?
I am loving restudying the book of Ephesians. It is a remarkable story. We read of the community being established in Acts 19. We read of her pending demise in Revelation 2. And in-between we find this great six chapter letter in which Paul seeks to keep this church he loves, on course. When we read this letter that way, we find pieces of truth we may otherwise miss because we may read the book as a theological treatise rather than a letter that tucks into the unfolding of a church plant - at a very vulnerable moment of her unfolding story.
We will spend the next few blogs exploring what the Trinitarian verses in this letter, teach us about our God