Theology Update for the Week of June 10

Dear friends in Christ,

Out of Egypt: Reading Exodus Theologically

On June 10, the Sunday class continues its study of the book of Exodus in the Old Testament, looking at the confrontation with Pharaoh’s magicians as well as the first plagues inflicted on the Egyptians. In addition to being a record of the central event in Jewish history – the exodus from Egypt and journey towards the Promised Land – the book also provides a prime case study of the benefits of a utilization of the traditional “four senses” of scripture: the literal, the typological, the moral, and the mystical. The class meets on the fifth floor at 10 a.m.

Saint Thomas Book Group

The next meeting is on Wednesday, June 20 at 6:30 p.m. in Andrew Hall. They will discuss Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park. The only requirement to attend the discussion is that you have read the book. Other books to be discussed in coming months are listed here.

Fleming Rutledge: Being spiritual is never enough

The magazine Christianity Today recently published a new essay by author and friend of the parish, Fleming Rutledge, titled “Why Being ‘Spiritual’ Is Never Enough” (here). I heartily commend it to you, as I heartily commend, again, her seven sermons given at Saint Thomas on Good Friday, found here.

In the essay, she writes, “To put it in the simplest terms possible, spirituality is all too easily understood as human religious attainment, whereas faith itself is pure gift. … We throw ourselves upon the mercy of God, saying, ‘Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!'” The difference between the two, of course, is the difference that makes all the difference: the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. She continues, “In today’s context, it is more crucial than ever to make a sufficiently sharp distinction between self-justification and self-sanctification on the one hand, and on the other, the utterly gratuitous, prevenient action of God in justifying humanity through his Son.”

And that is the last word.