01 June 2009

Christianity Is Not Renewed Exhortation

This is the God who is on the move. In the gospel of Christ (for Paul an event) God steps on the scene. Far from allowing the human agent to stand alone at the road fork, this invasive God powerfully meets both the incompetent, enslaved agent and the powers that enslave him in their own orb. God does that, however, not in a renewed word of exhortation, but rather in the logos tou staurou [word of the cross], the totally strange word-event that shatters 'the wisdom of the wise and the discernment of the discerning' . . . (1 Cor 1:18-19). And in that meeting the divine agent does something unheard of. . . . meeting the incompetent and enslaved human agent in the gospel of his Son, God creates the corporate, newly competent and newly addressable agent, forming this new human agent in the image of his crucified Son.

--J. Louis Martyn, "Epilogue: An Essay in Pauline Meta-Ethics," in Divine and Human Agency in Paul and His Cultural Environment (ed Barclay and Gathercole, 2006), 180; emphasis original

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