2 Thessalonians and Hell: Separation From or Wrath Coming Forth From God?

Is Hell eternal seperation from God or the experience of wrath pouring forth from God for an eternity? Those who argue for the former often appeal to 2 Thessalonians 1:9. In a paper I recently posted on academia.edu, I argue that the best reading of the Greek preposition apo (“away from”) in this verse is “[coming forth] from,” that is, it indicates the point from which something moves away from.  Having argued this, I then expound briefly why the doctrine of Hell as the Thessalonians and the rest of the Bible expounds it matters.

You can download or read it here.

A Creamy Garlic White Wine Sauce and 1 Tim. 5:23

Sometimes, as I read the Scriptures, I get inspired in various ways. This post is for those of you like me: one of the ways I get inspired is to cook, I think of food. So here is a meditation on Scripture with a recipe that it may inspire you to create. In 1 Timothy 5 Paul writes this to Timothy,

23 (No longer drink only water, but use a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments.)

Reading through this chapter, you may be caught off guard by Paul’s seemingly disconnected instruction to young Timothy. Though I am inspired to drink or cook with wine, I suspect that this may not be what Paul intended this verse to accomplish. This verse at first seems completely out of place, yet a closer look at the context sheds some light on why Paul says this.
 

Paul is in the midst of exhorting Timothy on how to conduct himself as a leader in the church and how to lead his flock. In verse 22, Paul turns to personal instruction: Timothy, be pure, keep yourself from sin. Making this practical, Paul inserts some personal health instruction. He is saying something like this, “Focus on pursuing godly conduct and leadership—and take care of yourself in the process!” Ethically, that Paul instructs a Church leader to drink wine suggests that there is no absolute Scriptural prohibition against drinking alcohol—though there are relevant prohibitions governing particular circumstances (e.g., Romans 14) and drunkenness (e.g. 1 Tim. 3:8, Gal. 5:19-21). Furthermore, though he makes it clear elsewhere that godliness is the priority (1 Tim. 4:8), Paul makes the point here that one can only lead others and serve Jesus when he or she is alive to do so—so health has some measure of importance. The fact that Paul sandwiches this instruction between the greater contrast between good works and sin suggests, probably, that Timothy was only drinking water (abstaining from wine) to avoid connection with the sinful practices of others. Paul is, then, reinforcing Timothy’s purpose but encouraging a different practice.

What can we take from this, other than a recipe? Paul cared about practical issues, he cared about people, their health, and though we should focus on godliness—dying to self and following Jesus—we need to be alive to do so, so we shouldn’t neglect those means of healing made available to us as we seek first Christ’s kingdom.

 

With that in mind, here is a great (at least my wife thought so) wine inspired recipe, a sauce for any pasta—ideally paired with seafood but great with any herby Chicken or pork.

 
  Creamy Garlic White Wine Sauce  (serves two people)

1/4 a cup white wine (I used a Chardonnay)

1/2 chicken broth

1/4 tsp salt (I added a bit more at the end, depending on the salt content of the chicken broth)

1/3 – 1/2 cup diced onion

5 or 6 cloves of garlic (depending on how garlicy you like it)

Fennel seed (I used about half a tsp)

Diced Mushroom

1/2 cup Almond milk

2 Tbsp. butter

Ground pepper to taste

(For thickening, I used about two tbslp brown rice flour)

 

Heat up ½ tbsp. olive oil in a 7-9inch (medium sized) pan. Add 1 tbsp of butter to the hot oil, sauté onions for 1 minute with fennel seed. Add garlic and mushroom, sauté for another minute with 1/4 tsp of salt. Add tbsp. of butter, then chicken broth and wine. Bring to a boil at medium heat, boil for 5 minutes. Add almond milk and pepper and bring to a boil at medium, boil for 1 minute. Thicken by boiling and adding flour to liking, add more salt as necessary. Serve hot.

CHRIST IS PREEMINENT OVER FALSE RELGION: AN INVESTIGATION OF THE COLOSSIAN FALSE TEACHING (academia.edu)

I recently posted another one of my papers on Academia.edu.

In this paper, the author surveys the major positions concerning the heresy against which Paul wrote his letter to the Colossians. It is concluded that the data is best explained by the existence of a general syncretistic belief that mixes Judaism, Christianity, and Hellenism. The paper concludes with a brief reflection on mirror reading and how the conclusions reached in this paper should lead to a reconsideration of the the role of mirror-reading over against historical reconstruction.

https://www.academia.edu/29216349/CHRIST_IS_PREEMINENT_OVER_FALSE_RELGION_AN_INVESTIGATION_OF_THE_COLOSSIAN_FALSE_TEACHING

Do Not Say in Your Heart: An Exposition of Romans 10:1-8 (academia.edu)

I recently posted another one of my papers on Academia.edu.

Paul’s use of Deuteronomy 30:11-14 in Romans 10:1-8 has puzzled many an interpreter. This paper builds on previous work on Deuteronomy 30 to explain the text of Romans 10:1-8 and particularly Paul’s use of Deuteronomy 30.

https://www.academia.edu/27958961/Do_Not_Say_in_Your_Heart_An_Exposition_of_Romans_10_1-8

Towards a Biblical Theology of Imputation: a Consideration of an Old Testament Root for Christ’s Imputed Righteousness in Romans

In this paper, it is argued that Paul teaches imputed righteousness in Romans and that this doctrine has its roots in the Biblical storyline invoked by Paul in the introduction of the letter. Genesis 15:6 is discussed as the primary Old Testament text that anticipates imputation, but Habakkuk 2:4 is referenced as an essential step in the progressive revelation of the doctrine.

It can be read at Academia.edu

Δικαιοσυνη θεου: a Consideration of the Meaning of the Righteousness of God in Romans 1:17

In this paper, it is argued that in Romans 1:17 Paul uses “the righteousness of God” to refer to God’s righteous character displayed in salvation accomplished by the provision of righteousness through Christ’s life, death, and resurrection for those who believe. Each of these three aspects is considered and argued for, the most space being spent defending the righteousness of God as the provision of imputed righteousness.

It can be read at academia.edu