Month: March 2019

Paul F. M Zahl’s book, Grace in Practice: A Theology of Everyday Life – Part 3: On Justification and Substitutionary atonement

5 min read …human beings need to be justified, which means that human beings need to live a non-accused life. They need to have the certainty that before God they are innocent.  By raising this perfectly innocent man, whom we understand to be the perfect expression of God, and by putting that man between us and our irrefutable accusation, God “justifies” us. Thus Jesus our Lord … was handed over to death for our trespasses and was raised for our justification” (Romans 4:24-25) What this theology of everyday life seeks to emphasize is the grace of the first Easter, by which our helpless need as pathetic, predatory human beings is given a remedy. Grace justification preaches! It preaches to the abandoned and those who pant for mercy. It preaches to criminals and perpetrators. It preaches to victims and to women. It preaches to children and to the oppressed pressed poor. It preaches to oppressors and abusers. It preaches to people caught in the act. It is thoroughly non-partisan, non-sectarian, and nonethnic. It tears down denial. …

Paul F. M Zahl’s, Grace in Practice: A Theology of Everyday Life – Part 2: On grace and the love of God

3 min 25 sec read What is grace? Grace is love that seeks you out when you have nothing to give in return. Grace is love coming at you that has nothing to do with you. Grace is being loved when you are unlovable. It is being loved when you are the opposite of loveable. The cliche definition of grace is “unconditional love.” Grace is a love that has nothing to do with you, the beloved. It has everything and only to do with the lover. Grace is irrational in the sense that it has nothing to do with weights and measures. It has nothing to do with my intrinsic qualities or so-called “gifts” (whatever they may be). It reflects a decision on the part of the giver, the one who loves, in relation to the receiver, the one who is loved, that negates any qualifications the receiver may personally hold. Grace is one-way love.

Paul F. M Zahl’s, Grace in Practice: A Theology​ of Everyday Life – Part one: On the Law

3 min read In 2018, I stumbled on Paul Zahl’s book, Grace in Practice: A Theology of Everyday Life, and read the book for the whole year. It was the only book I read besides my bible.  Paul’s views on grace and the gospel are weighty. Many times I had to wrestle with his views on grace because they are otherworldly – too good to be true and impractical. The adage “Too heavenly minded, No earthly good” kept on ringing in my head. And yet, I kept on reading.  Paul Zahl gives us a lofty view of what grace is, and yes, he gives you a heavenly view if you will be of any earthly good. Grace is lofty, heavenly and otherworldly. And grace helps you live in this base, restless, and evil world. Grace is in this world but not of this world.  I thought I should share quotes from his book. 

Bring out treasures new and old

5 min read Then He said to them, “Therefore every scribe instructed concerning the kingdom of heaven is like a householder who brings out of his treasure things new and old. Matthew 13:52 (NKJV) Matthew 13 introduces us for the first time to the Greek word parabole. In Matthew 13, Jesus for the first time speaks in parables to his audience. Why not speak in plain language to them? It was an invitation to them to find out more—to go on a journey of discovery—to go deeper in search of meaning. His disciples got the cue card and did exactly that. They pulled him to the side and asked what the parables meant. The parables prompted the enquiry.  The point of this post is not to unearth what the parables mean but rather to point out how teaching in the New Covenant should look like.