Many years ago, when I was a Protestant and attending Peninsula Bible Church in Cupertino, I think it was 1997 or 1998, I taught a 51 week long course on the Letter to the Romans. In addition to the Letter I relied, primarily, on Martin Luther's lectures on Romans, but also the writings of John Calvin, Lorainne Boettner, J. Vernon McGee, and Matthew Henry. I very much enjoyed all the reading and writing. I felt very proud of myself, and by the time I finished the course I felt like I was an expert on the Letter. But, in fact, after my year teaching Romans I had become cemented in antinomianism and hypocrisy. Only now I feel like I am beginnging to understand the Letter, but only beginning. I am not deep, but this is what I think I know: The Letter isn't about theologogical systems. It isn't about election or justification or supercession or predestination. It is about love and how I am to live in love, which means living in thanksgiving and repentence, always experienceing God's mercy and working with God to make myself into a conduit for that mercy.
When I was a boy, I asked my Dad how to understand some passage in the Bible. He didn't answer my question. Instead, he asked me me a question: "What is the nature of God?" Of course, I knew the answer to that question: Love. So, here I am, a maiddle-aged Orthodox Christian, only learning now what my Dad tried to teach me when I was a boy.
13 hours ago