Thursday, February 19, 2009

Instead of going to Chevys tonight ... a favorite restaurant ... I went to hear Jim on Philippians and to share some Olivers candies. With all consideration, I chose the better part. I was able to pray as we read portions of the letter aloud and offer to God whatever fit the circumstances.

Chapter 4 is very familiar because it is so quoted.

But 3:10 and 11 are words I feel very able to make my own:
that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that if possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.
So, when asked, I said that I could say those words with Paul, if he is in fact saying them of himself rather than giving those words to the Philippians. Jim thinks Paul is so confident in Christ that those words are for the Philippians and not for Paul, not personal. Well, that's fine but they are for me too.

In discussing the hymn, of course, Jim gave us a low christological interpretation that came across as Pelagian. And I told him as much. But the hymn says nothing of faith ... and Philippians says nothing of the atonement ... so we can't certainly take the hymn as self-contained, as a "gospel in a nut-shell" at all. Philippians is about humility and being like-minded (and having the mind of Christ).

There was a space-heater in the room, for which I was grateful except it made me cough somehow. Choke, even. So, I had to get water which meant by the end of our time I had to go out again. But that turned out well because some people wanted to get into the building. They were banging on the locked exterior doors. I heard the banging as I left the classroom and trotted down the hall to let them in. They hadn't been waiting long but in 30 degree night air, even a short while is too long.

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