There’s a scene in The Shawshank Redemption in which an old inmate named Brooks is about to be paroled after fifty years of incarceration. But he’s scared of getting out. Prison is all he knows. So he attacks another inmate in order to stay. Some of the other prisoners think that Brooks has gone crazy.
The Galatians were being foolish. Or, more literally, they were not thinking things through. The whole province was slipping into legalism, but they should have known better. In Galatians 3, Paul listed some of the theological reasons why the Galatians should not have been deserting Christ and falling for a false gospel. One reason is
“O foolish Galatians!” (Galatians 3:1) Have you ever acted foolishly? What does it mean to be foolish, anyway? The Greek word translated “foolish” is anoētos. It means “non-thinking,” or “not thinking things through.” The Galatians were deserting Christ and accepting legalism and a salvation-by-works gospel. Paul charged them with not thinking things through. They were
Legalists from Israel were corrupting the Galatian churches, teaching them they needed to be circumcised and to keep different laws to be saved. Paul hit back. Hard. Paul’s greeting to the Galatian churches (1:1-5) strongly emphasized that God is the main actor in salvation. God sends the preacher (v 1a). God raised Jesus from the
I’ve been reading through John Wesley’s journals and diaries for the years 1735-1738. They are fascinating. It’s interesting to read about his travels to America during this time; his impressions of Georgia, colony life, and the weather. I cringed a little to read his descriptions of the Native American tribes he hoped to witness to. It’s even
By Shawn Lazar Sola fide or fides caritate formata? Are we saved by faith alone, or faith formed by love? During the Reformation, that was one of the questions faced by Martin Luther, and it is an objection that the Free Grace movement still hears today. Faith in Jesus isn’t enough, some people say, you
“Faith itself has been taken captive by legalism.” ~Gerhard Forde Ever since Paul’s fiery denouncement of Judaistic law-keeping in Galatians and Romans, the Christian tradition has recognized, if only grudgingly, that legalism is the death-knell of faith in Christ. Even those churches most closely identified with deeply legalistic tendencies (I am thinking of Catholicism and