Monday, March 13, 2023

A radical claim—even now

But surely not, a skeptical reader might say. I can agree that God ought to mean the one from whom all things come (1 Cor 8:6). But, Paul, certainly you don’t mean that the God who creates all things and is over all things acts most fully in the life of a singular human being, just one man? The meaning of “God” is that particular, that restricted in scope? The high point of the story that names who God is comes through a fleshly Jew? That can’t be the claim.

Au contraire, Paul might reply, God’s eternal majesty and glory as Creator leads precisely to this: “In the fullness of time, God sent forth his Son, born of a woman” (Gal 4:4). Indeed, Paul would continue, the glory of the God who made “the light shine in the darkness” is seen most fully “in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Cor 4:6). To see God’s glory, says Paul, one must believe in the life, death, and resurrection of his Son—that is, after all, what it is to look on the face of Jesus.—One True Life: The Stoics and Early Christians as Rival Traditions, 88 (emphasis original)

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