These chapters [Romans 2-4]are far from abstract theology and are instead pastoral theology for the church at Rome. The questions Paul both asks and addresses are questions Paul has heard time and again in his mission, and the questions are those either of Jewish opponents or more likely of fellow Jewish converts to Jesus. The questions of Romans 2-4 are shaped for the Weak in the churches of Rome.
1 Corinthians 11:23-26 is a primary NT theological text about the Lord’s Supper. Philippians 2:5-11, the famous kenosis hymn, expresses some of the highest Christology in the NT. However, in context, neither was included in its respective epistle to teach doctrine. Rather, both passages are explicitly designed to give pastoral instruction to local congregations. The Corinthians passage is part of an exhortation for the members to practice inclusive love, generosity, and hospitality when they eat together as a church family. Paul included the hymn in Philippians to drive home their need to serve one another selflessly in a church that was in danger of schisms. Though both certainly do contain weighty theology, we miss Paul’s real point if we fail to lean into his pastoral intent.
Point - Scot - McKnight - Romans - Water
This is the same point Scot McKnight is making about Romans. Long revered as the high water mark of doctrine in the NT, the traditional view of Romans as a systematic presentation of the ordo salutis (the conceptual order of salvation) for the sake of teaching soteriological doctrine misses the real point of the epistle, which is to encourage Roman Christians to “Welcome one another, therefore, just as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God” (Romans 15:7).
Furthermore, approaching the text in that way ends up misunderstanding the theology by universalizing it and turning teachings that had a particular focus into principles that are meant to...
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