Fran and Robyn discuss the scandalous way kingship is radically subverted in both Matthew 21 and Philippians 2:5-11, unpacking both the historical context and the theological presentation of Christ in these texts. Robyn points out the apocalyptic elements in Matthew’s version of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem and his use of Zechariah. Fran wonders what Jesus would not do (WWJND?) in pondering what it means to have the “same mind” as Christ (Phil 2:5-7).
If you are looking for a discussion on the Passion, please see our Good Friday episode with theologian Frank Rees.
Rev Dr Frank Rees joins us this week to talk about preaching on Good Friday. We focus on the Hebrews readings (ch. 4 & 10) and John 18-19, discussing the strange, to modern ears, notion of sacrifice, and how Christ’s death might transform our understanding of it. We talk about the importance of preaching on Good Friday, proclaiming the strange good news of a God who suffers and enters death, and resisting the temptation to explain. Frank’s question, ‘to what prayer would you hope this sermon leads?’ is a wonderful way to direct your preaching. We mention Rowan Williams’ book The Sign and Sacrifice, and Fleming Rutledge’s The Crucifixion: Understanding the death of Jesus Christ.
“Who sinned, this man or his parents?” is a question posed to Jesus in John 9. We deconstruct fixed, individual notions of sin and imagine what a deeper theology of sin might mean. Liam Miller from @loverinserepeat podcast joins us in this episode. If you want to know more, you can read his article on the theology of James Cone and systematic sin or listen to Lisa Sharon Harper talk about it in this episode of his podcast.
Rev Carolyn Francis, co-pastor at Collins Street Baptist Church joins Robyn and Fran to talk about the woman at the well in John 4 – the story which inspired the name of this podcast. We discuss the vulnerability and transformation in the encounter between Jesus and the woman. We touch on the profundity of the metaphor of water, and the way the story asks us to let go of that which we think is important, to find what really is life giving and truthful.
We refer to Rev Dr Craig Thompson’s sermon on John 4 that challenges the moralistic approaches to interpreting the Samaritan woman’s encounter with Jesus.
Abraham’s faith and God’s faithfulness are the focus on this week’s podcast. We discuss how radical the particularity of the covenant with Abraham in its ancient context and the theology it introduces which pervades so much of scripture. We refer to Fleming Rutledge’s And God Spoke to Abraham and Brueggemann’s Genesis commentary.
As Lent begins, we go back to the beginning with a focus on Genesis 2. Fran dispels some mistruths about this mythic tale. We ask what it reveals about human identity, freedom, and our propensity to alienate ourselves from one another and creation. We suggest that Genesis 2 and its reception in Romans 5 is more about human mortality than sin and that Paul presents Jesus’ gift of life is the answer to this problem.
If you want to hear our comments on Matt 4, go to minute 25 and listen to the last few mins.
Fleming Rutledge’s sermon can be found in this book.
Dorothy Lee joins Robyn and Fran to discuss the Transfiguration in Mathew 17:1-9. What’s at stake in this unusual story? We talk about the apocalyptic and aesthetic character of the Transfiguration, and about the way the story depicts the transformation of Jesus but also of us, the church, as we taken up into the beauty and majesty of God.
For further reading see Dorothy Lee’s book on the Transfiguration .
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