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Posts tagged "Romans 7"

Reading Gilead and the Tyranny of Should

Reading Gilead and the Tyranny of Should

This one comes to us from our friend Connor Gwin.

I have started reading Marilynne Robinson’s Gilead five times. I know, I know; I really should read it. Everyone says it is so profound and wonderful and moving. It won the Pulitzer for God’s sake.

And I haven’t finished it yet.

I bought the audiobook so that I could easily listen in my car but I haven’t made it past the first few chapters. Perhaps it is the narrator’s voice.

I know I should read it because my well-read friends have read it. I know I should read it because I want to be…

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A Treatise Against Christian Hypocrisy

A Treatise Against Christian Hypocrisy

Because I am an immediate devotee to anything Mark Burnett produces, I suffered through an entire season of Fox’s Coupled this summer. If you aren’t familiar with this romantic tale, then pat yourself on the back for being a better person than me. The premise is simple: twelve single women get to filter through a lot of men to see if they can ultimately be “coupled” off. You know the drill: island location, loads of Mai Tais, one affront to feminism after another.

There was one character that had me rapt for the entire season. Her name is Alexandra “Alex” Clark,…

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Running For Cover: The Unbearable Weight of Goodness in Broadchurch

Running For Cover: The Unbearable Weight of Goodness in Broadchurch

This one comes to us from Nick Rynerson:

Before we get into it, let’s have a quick chat. Nick here. Hey. If you haven’t watched the first season of Broadchurch don’t read this yet. Seriously. Stop. The show is on Netflix right now. Borrow your friend’s password and binge-watch it! It’s only eight episodes. Go on! Get! It’s not that I don’t want you to read this. It’s just that I’m pretty much going to ruin the ending of season one, and it’s a doozy.

Sometimes I wonder why I write. I usually feel guilty after I write something for publications that…

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Joan Rivers Fought the Law...

Joan Rivers Fought the Law…

If you’re like me (and I hope you’re not), then the name Joan Rivers meant little more to you than “that horribly plastic old woman who can’t think of anything better to do than provide red carpet snark for E!”. Which is why, as news of her passing spread last week (having occurred during a “minor elective procedure”) it seemed at best trivial and at worst ironic, especially in light of other recent celebrity comic deaths.

And then I saw this video, from April 1967…

… and I had the following thoughts:

1. Joan Rivers used to look like a human being!

2. Wow. She’s really…

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Marcel Proust on Self-Sabotaging Discipline

Marcel Proust on Self-Sabotaging Discipline

Someways into the Frenchman’s third volume, his masterful forays into the life of the mind sound a distinctly practical, as well as Lutheran, note. The sentence structure takes some getting used to (occurrence of the word ‘which’ in English language, a probably corollary of overwrought syntax, has almost halved since the time of Moncrieff’s translation, though not without a promising recent resurgence), but the sentiment is timeless. The narrator recalls trying to write more and for other good habits, but his desired behavior eluded him still-more when he tried to exercise self-control:

If only I had been able to start writing! But…

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Seven Signs Romans 7 Applies to You Perfectly (Look at Number 4!)

Seven Signs Romans 7 Applies to You Perfectly (Look at Number 4!)

You know you didn’t want to click this. You saw it and let out a wail of despair that Mockingbird is resorting to “click-bait” headlines, but you saw the adorable puppy as the featured image and clicked anyway. So now here you are.

“Click-bait” is a tactic used by all different kinds of websites (perfected by Buzzfeed and Upworthy) to inflate page views and Facebook shares. These raw statistics make a site more attractive to advertisers and drive revenue for a site. I’ve definitely succumbed to these. They aren’t inherently bad, but when I waste away a good chunk of my…

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A Few Words on the Paradox of Christian Living

A Few Words on the Paradox of Christian Living

Another set of quotes from Mark Seifrid’s phenomenal essay about Romans 7, found here:

“As weak and fallen human beings we are bound to have a lord. It is not in our power to choose that lord. We do not make Christ our Lord. Rather, God in grace has given us Christ as our saving Lord…

The apostle does not think in terms of the transformation of the fallen human being–at least not in the way we usually conceive of “transformation”–but of our being created anew by the saving power of God in Christ… All growth and progress…

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Fighting a Long-Lost Battle in Romans 7

From Mark Seifrid of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary:

perspectives-on-our-inner-struggle“Paul does not speak of the Christian struggle with sin in Romans 7. He describes a battle already lost, long ago in Adam. Nevertheless, in sheer wonder, the long-lost battle has been decided in our favor by God in Christ. The Christian is thus called to walk the very narrow path marked by the intersection of the new creation with the present fallen world. On the one side we are subject to the danger of the despair that loses sight of God’s work in Christ. On the other hand, we are subject to the danger of a pride that falsely supposes that the power of salvation is now ours, if only we realize its potential. Such a pride in its own way also loses sight of God’s work in Christ. It brings a ‘therapeutic Christianity’ that turns outward achievements, whether individual, corporate, or social, into a measure of spiritual progress and a mark of the presence of the kingdom. It does not see that what has been accomplished in Christ is located abidingly in Christ, not in ourselves. Our salvation, and therefore all true progress, both individual and corporate, does not rest in our hands…

As Paul tells the Philippians, progress is a progress in faith (Phil 1:21). It is not a turning inward but a being-turned-outward. It is hearing the address of the gospel afresh within the changing circumstances of life. To use Paul’s language, it is again and again ‘reckoning yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus’ (Rom 6:11)… Not only the first step but every step of Christian progress begins with Paul’s sober and realistic confession in Rom 7:25b […with my flesh I serve the law of sin]. It begins with the acknowledgment that as long as we remain in this body and life the unhappy truth that we ‘serve the law of sin’ remains.”

-Mark A. Seifrid, Perspectives on Our Struggle with Sin

John Calvin Does the Thing He Hates

John Calvin Does the Thing He Hates

From the Genevan Doctor’s commentary on Romans 7–as a quick disclaimer, he was better at thinking than writing too sympathetically:

He now comes to a more particular case, that of a man already regenerated… But though the will of a faithful man is led to good by the Spirit of God, yet in him the corruption of nature appears conspicuously; for it obstinately resists and leads to what is contrary. Hence the case of a regenerated man is the most suitable; for by this you may know how much is the contrariety between our nature and the righteousness of the law…

The…

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The Armstrong/Hamilton Conundrum

The Armstrong/Hamilton Conundrum

Despite the title, this is not a post about a Big Bang Theory episode. This week, we’re interacting (again) with humanity’s seeming inability to grasp the moral complexity of the rest of humanity. As Lance Armstrong gets dumped by Nike, a major sponsor, is stripped of his Tour de France titles for doping, and steps down from the chairmanship of his Livestrong Foundation, talking heads (on TV and otherwise) wonder what to make of the man. After all, he has, almost through force of personal will, raised tens of millions of dollars for the fight against cancer. On the other…

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From Derision to Compassion: The Death of Junior Seau

From Derision to Compassion: The Death of Junior Seau

It was like a switch was thrown. I was at an open gym, shooting baskets with a bunch of guys, talking about the news of the day: the apparent suicide of former NFL great and presumptive Hall of Famer Junior Seau. Many of the guys couldn’t believe that a man who was so famous, so rich, who had so much, could be depressed. What could possibly be so bad about his life that it wasn’t worth living? The tone of the conversation quickly became derisive. Seau must have been weak. Fragile. Pathetic. Then someone suggested that his brain may have…

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Fear of Flight Attendants, Fear of Death and Why We're All Paul

Fear of Flight Attendants, Fear of Death and Why We’re All Paul

As you may have heard, an American Airlines flight attendant made national headlines as her routine pre-flight intercom schtick devolved into a dire warning to passengers that the plane faced imminent danger and would likely crash after take-off. This prompted passengers to take matters into their own hands and forcibly apprehend the attendant until authorities could defuse the situation and send the travelers on their not-so-merry way.

One such passenger on the flight, theology blogger Sharon Hodde Miller, described her experience while also highlighting something we hold dear here at Mockingbird- her inability to live up to her own professed beliefs….

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