Thursday, May 13, 2004

Romans 8 again!

This past week I reread (one of) Krister Stendahl's classics, Paul Among Jews and Gentiles, in which he primarily argues that in writing to the church at Rome, Paul wasn't concerned with that assumed protestant works/faith dichotomy, but instead Paul's emphasis on justification by faith alone - sola fide - "...was...for the very specific and limited purpose of defending the right of Gentile converts to be full and genuine heirs of the promises of God to Israel." (page 2) Having noted that, this time I want to post another note on Romans 8, not part of the more general overview but regarding Stendahl's interpreting/translating Romans 8:26-27
8:26In the same way, the Spirit also helps our weaknesses, for we don't know how to pray as we ought. But the Spirit himself makes intercession for us with groanings which can't be uttered. 8:27He who searches the hearts knows what is on the Spirit's mind, because he makes intercession for the saints according to God. NIV
26. Similarly, the spirit also helps us out in our weakness. For example, we don't know beans about praying, but the Spirit himself speaks up for our unexpressed concerns. And he who X-rays our hearts understands the Spirit's approach, since the Spirit represents Christians before God. from The Cotton Patch Version of Paul's Epistles evidence of glossolalia! I'll quote Pastor Kris a few more times regarding Romans 8. First from page 111, "He [Paul] has spoken of how in the cultic cry of 'Abba! Father!' the Spirit bears 'witness with our spirit that we are children of God' (8:16)" Then, "He speaks of how we groan with the whole of creation as we wait for the redemption to take place...This groaning...places us in a position of weakness. But now the groaning takes on another connotation. There is an unspeakable sound in the church that is not human pain and longing but of the Spirit. The unspeakable groan of glossolalia is that of the Spirit interceding for the saints." Continuing, "Thus...the gift of glossolalia is not a sign of spiritual accomplishment [but] the gift that fits into his experience of weakness. Further on in this section, which is almost at the end of the book, Dr. Stendahl discusses the famous 1 Corinthians 12 passage and then later on Acts 2, which he explains as a different type of glossolalia, a different expression and exploitation of speaking in tongues: intelligible glossolalia versus the tongues-speaking referred to elsewhere and that required interpretation to be understood.

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