Yesterday I finished reviewing my Bible study notes on 2 Corinthians. It stands as the single most powerful statement for the otherworldly perspective for Christian faith. I look back over the years of Christian teaching I received in different churches and still shake my head. They make much of the words, but then define them to death so that the direct assertions become shadowy suggestions. In the end, you could have a fat guy in an expensive suit, who drove to church in an expensive car, justifying his pursuit of worldly wealth as fully in keeping with Scripture. “You can’t just throw away everything! You have to take care of your family.”
Nobody says you have to play at communist property redistribution, but all the examples these clowns cited were so trite and unrealistic that it disemboweled Paul’s flat assertions about not taking in stride suffering and sorrow. The most powerful gift you can give your children is not a prosperous future, but a demonstration of faith to live in defiance of materialism. “Salvation” is not eternal fire insurance; it starts with the sacrificial living here and now.
Today I’ll be working on Galatians, wherein Paul flatly states that Christians are the New Israel, and that the Old Israel is now nothing more than history lessons. Dispensationalists offer some of the most tortured reading of this letter.