Preface to a theological turn

With the blog little over 60 days old I am pleased to have two good pans in the fire, with the series on the Priority of Mark and on John’s historical value for the trials of Jesus .  Meanwhile my earlier topics – the pre-Calvary Gospel, Das Messiasgeheimnis, the indwelling Kingdom, and Jesus’ refusal to be a Text – are simmering on the back burners, and will get more bandwidth soon.

However, I haven’t featured any Peter or Paul, or any Old Testament, and virtually no theology.  So I want to inaugurate my ‘theology’ category, and I believe I have a topic that will lead to a sustained series of posts, both from personal interest and because it is related to so many points of Christian reflection and doctrine in its own right.

So when I can get my ducks in a nice row, I will be looking at the whole NT tradition of Jesus’ prevalent and varied table ministry.  My aim is to unite the theological content inherent in ‘the Lord’s Supper’ with all those many examples of  Jesus’ table fellowship we find before (and after) the Passion meal.  I want to see how far a single theme – God’s unabashed presence and free communion with sinners at table  – may be understood to unify such diverse theological concepts as atonement, forgiveness, reconciliation, grace, Eucharist, communion, Christian love, inclusion, prayer, approach to God, and fellowship with God.

In honor of this theological turn, I have established a new banner atop the blog, from Paolo Veronese’s celebrated “Feast at the House of Levi” (Lk 5:27-32/Mk2:14-17).  I look for this really remarkable painting to set a tone that is at once both in this world and not of this world.

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3 thoughts on “Preface to a theological turn

  1. I really, really like the idea of this series. In particular, I look forward to seeing how you’ll relate Jesus’ table ministry to the last three subjects you mention. Do you think you might also relate it to Christ’s trinitarian life? Anyway, looking forward to what you do with the subject.

    • Thanks, Robert, and I can say that Approach to God, and fellowship with God (in respect to prayer), seem the most pregnant to me also in this table-scenario. I really must get up an initial post on prayer first to set the stage I think. But I also like the way Jesus by his association with sinners kind of ‘became sin’ in the eyes of the self-righteous – a kind of atonement dynamic there I think.

      Not sure what you mean by a ‘trinitarian life’ in this context – except I mean for the Son by his joyful presence at table with sinners to be offering a very self-conscious ‘sign’ of possibilities for each sinner’s similar attainment with the Father, whom he reveals.

  2. Pingback: Fear of dining alone – proof we are made for the Gospel? « next theology

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