Archive for May, 2012

Those tracking the intra-mural debate about gospel driven cultural obedience (GDCO) will appreciate this clear assessment of Augustine’s political phenomenology. In “Reforming Public Theology: Two Kingdoms, or Two Cities,” Calvin College philosophy professor James K. A. Smith clarifies the historical portrait of Augustine en route to identifying key conditions for residents of the City of God functioning in the city of man.

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Someone (a fatherly ministerial colleague, in fact) once told me that you really need to hear only one good sermon in your life. We call thatĀ hyperbole, exaggeration to make a point. His point was that a well-constructed and well-delivered textual sermon puts enough fuel in your tank so you can travel a long, long way.

In our age of advertising-by-superlatives and politics-by-overstatement, it is dangerous even to suggest that this sermon on Romans 8.18-25, “A New Creation,” may be that sermon for you. It is very well crafted, largely because its language and metaphors and stories powerfully open the text. The ethical implications are stunning.

Covenant Presbyterian Church of Chicago is not my home church (which isĀ Lincoln Square PCA), but I happen to be teaching a six-week class at Covenant PCA on “How Do Pilgrims Have Fun? Living As God’s Children in God’s World.”

Attending the worship service before that class last Sunday morning afforded me the gift of hearing this sermon, and I share it with you. I wish you could have heard this sermon in the context of the entire liturgy, a liturgy for the 4th Sunday of Eastertide that included an early Latin hymn, a hymn from St. Ambrose (340-397), and a congregational reading from Heidelberg Catechism Q/A 1, 43, and 45.

To suggest that this single sermon “says it all” is hyperbolic. But on the other hand . . . give it a listen, and see if you agree.

Enjoy! And be blessed!

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