I know. I’m remiss in posting. Lemme tell you why and you can pick out the lame excuses versus the REALLY lame excuses…
My house looks like Christmas. I don’t just do Christmas a little. I DO CHRISTMAS. So there’s lights and trees and sparkles and stuff everywhere, including the occasional turkey or pumpkin which have not yet found their way back to the decoration room dungeon. That room would stress out even the most non-ADD mind. Shocking I open the door to it with anticipation and awe and wonder and excitement every time. Oh, and also I started teaching again at Redemption House (check it out Here) and traveled like a fool over Thanksgiving and double Oh!…end of year in the sales world is cray x infinity.
Lame over…Discussion Post 6 of 7 below. (It’s the whole kit and caboodle [or kitten kaboodle depending on your love of grammar/animals]…settle in with some festive coffee or hot chocolate first before pouring over this one).
After reading Keck, pp. 289–311, Blackwell, et al, ch. 16 (pp. 136–42), Simmons, “Priest—Sacrifice—Life as Worship,” 85–99 (essay available on Canvas), please respond to the following questions:
(1) Spiritual Worship and the Body of Christ: (A) Discuss how Romans 12:1–2 is a transition from the argument in Romans 1–11 and what follows in the ethical exhortations of 12–15. How is the “spiritual worship” a culminating image that portrays the ‘embodiment’ of the powerful gospel message? How is the rest of the paraenesis in. 12:3–21 an outworking of this “be[ing] transformed by the renewal of your mind”? How do these acts of being a “living sacrifice” reverse the rebellious humanity portrayed in Romans 1–3? How does Paul use liturgical imagery to present his exhortation for the sanctification of the community?
(B) How does Paul in his paraenesis of ch. 12 here direct Christian believers to act towards ‘insiders’ and ‘outsiders’ of the community? How does Paul appeal to (traditions of) the teaching of Jesus in order to exhort the believers to respond to difficult or challenging situations?
After reading Keck, pp. 311–34, Blackwell, et al, ch. 17 (pp. 143–50), and Neil Elliott, “Romans 13:1–7 In the Context of Roman Imperial Propaganda,” pp. 184–204 (essay available on Canvas), please respond to the following questions:
(2) Church & State / Empire: (A) Begin by discussing how you have heard Romans 13:1–7 read in your church tradition. What kinds of appeals have been made to this passage? What kinds of practices and politics have been supported or challenged by use of this passage? What other biblical passages does this passage usually get associated with in your tradition, and what is the message that comes form this association?
(B) Next, briefly discuss your understanding of what Paul is saying in Romans 13:1–7. Then, discuss how this understanding relates to (i) Romans 12:1–21, to (ii) Romans 13:8–14. (What is Paul’s basic message here? How does this relate to the kinds of exhortations regarding ‘spiritual sacrifice’, ‘genuine love’, and ‘not avenging oneself’? What importance is it that Paul is writing his letter to the capital of the Empire? How might this relate to the issue of Judean-gentile relationship?)
(C) Next, discuss your understanding of the proper relationship between this passage and civil (dis)obedience. How does Elliott challenge or strengthen your reading of this passage? What does the “liturgical” (12:1–21) and “eschatological” (13:8–14) framework do to strengthen or mitigate the ‘political’ implications of 13:1–7?