[Common Places] Engaging with Kate Sonderegger: Interview (Part 1)

Michael Allen and Scott Swain, editors of Common Places on 3 years ago. Tagged under ,,,,.

Sonderegger_Katherine_photo2014The release of a book within a multi-volume systematic theology project makes for a momentous occasion in the world of systematic theology. Over the last few years a number of such projects have launched, none to greater acclaim or worthy of more significant attention than Katherine Sonderegger’s Systematic Theology. In a previous post we introduced and began to explore critically the volume on the Doctrine of God. In this and another post we will make available an interview that Scott Swain and Michael Allen had with Kate Sonderegger. In this post we inquire about her book’s organization, her theological influences, her commitment to monotheism (in light of charges that such a belief leads to hegemony and violence), and how this inaugural volume will relate to her upcoming volumes in…

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God SUSTAINS Faith [Awakening Faith]

ZA Blog on 3 years ago. Tagged under ,,,.

“Where did this man get these things?” they asked. “What’s this wisdom that has been given him? What are these remarkable miracles he is performing?” (Mark 6:2)

I give unceasing thanks to my God, who kept me faithful in the day of my testing. Today I can offer him sacrifice with confidence, giving myself as a living victim to Christ, my Lord, who kept me safe through all my trials. I can say now, “Who am I, Lord, and what is my calling, that you worked through me with such divine power? You did all this so that today among the Gentiles I might constantly rejoice and glorify your name wherever I may be, both in prosperity and in adversity. You did it so that, whatever happened to me, I might accept good and evil equally, always giving thanks to…

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Prayer Is Powerful [Awakening Faith]

ZA Blog on 3 years ago. Tagged under ,,,.

True worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. (John 4:23)

Prayer is the spiritual offering that has done away with the sacrifices of old. We are true worshipers and true priests. We pray in spirit, and so offer in spirit the sacrifice of prayer. Prayer is an offering that belongs to God and is acceptable to him: it is the offering he has asked for, the offering he planned as his own.

We must dedicate this offering with our whole heart, we must fatten it on faith, tend it by truth, keep it unblemished through innocence and clean through chastity, and crown it with love. We must escort it to the altar of God in a procession of good works to the sound of psalms and…

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The Benefits of Reading Scripture [Awakening Faith]

ZA Blog on 3 years ago. Tagged under ,,,.

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16 – 17)

Prayer purifies us, reading instructs us. Both are good when both are possible. Otherwise, prayer is better than reading. If a man wants to be always in God’s company, he must pray regularly and read regularly. When we pray, we talk to God; when we read, God talks to us.

All spiritual growth comes from reading and reflection. By reading we learn what we did not know; by reflection we retain what we have learned. Reading the Holy Scriptures confers two benefits. It trains the mind to understand them; it turns people’s attention from the follies of the world and leads them to the love of…

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God SUSTAINS Faith [Awakening Faith]

ZA Blog on 3 years ago. Tagged under ,,,.

“Where did this man get these things?” they asked. “What’s this wisdom that has been given him? What are these remarkable miracles he is performing?” (Mark 6:2)

I give unceasing thanks to my God, who kept me faithful in the day of my testing. Today I can offer him sacrifice with confidence, giving myself as a living victim to Christ, my Lord, who kept me safe through all my trials. I can say now, “Who am I, Lord, and what is my calling, that you worked through me with such divine power? You did all this so that today among the Gentiles I might constantly rejoice and glorify your name wherever I may be, both in prosperity and in adversity. You did it so that, whatever happened to me, I might accept good and evil equally, always giving thanks to…

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Be Subject to a Mentor [Awakening Faith]

ZA Blog on 3 years ago. Tagged under ,,,.

Timothy, my son, I am giving you this command in keeping with the prophecies once made about you, so that by recalling them you may fight the battle well, holding on to faith and a good conscience. (1 Timothy 1:18 – 19)

If you are pompous and powerful and rich, it is necessary for you to have a godly mentor and teacher. Learn reverence, even if it starts with one person, and learn fear, even if it starts with the same person. Learn how to listen to at least one individual at first, who speaks harshly but with healing words. It is good for your eyes to not always seek pleasure, but to sometimes weep and feel pain for the sake of spiritual health.

There is nothing more harmful to the soul than uninterrupted pleasure, and your tears will wash…

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Augustine’s Moment of Conversion (III) [Awakening Faith]

ZA Blog on 3 years ago. Tagged under ,,,.

Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To their own master, servants stand or fall. And they will stand, for the Lord is able to make them stand. (Romans 14:4)

So I closed the book and held the page with my finger, and with a peaceful face told Alypius of my experience. He asked to look at what I had read. I showed him, and he read even further in the book, where the Apostle writes, “He that is weak in the faith, receive” (Rom. 14:1).

He applied this to himself and told me as much. He was strengthened by this admonition, and with resolve and purpose, and without delay, he joined me in faith, which very much reflects his character (which is much different than mine, but for the better).

Then we went in to see my mother.…

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Augustine’s Moment of Conversion (II) [Awakening Faith]

ZA Blog on 3 years ago. Tagged under ,,,.

From infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. (2 Timothy 3:15)

As I was saying these things and weeping with the most bitter remorse in my heart, I suddenly heard the voice of a child coming from a neighboring house, chanting and repeating the words, “Take up and read; take up and read.” Immediately my face changed, and I asked myself if the words were part of a song or child’s game, since I could not recall ever having heard them.

So, restraining my tears, I rose up, believing it to be a command to me from heaven to open the book and read the first chapter to which I turned. For I had heard the story of Antony [a prominent monk who helped spread monasticism,…

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Augustine’s Moment of Conversion (I) [Awakening Faith]

ZA Blog on 3 years ago. Tagged under ,,,,.

How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and day after day have sorrow in my heart?  (Psalm 13:1-2)

A profound reflection formed in the secret depths of my soul, bringing all my misery before the sight of my heart, and a storm arose in my mind, accompanied by a mighty shower of tears. To let my tears fall as they wanted I ran away from Alypius [friend of Augustine], because it seemed more appropriate to weep in solitude. So I went far enough away that I could not even sense his presence.

That is how it happened, and he knew something was wrong, because I must have choked on my tears when I spoke to him, just before I ran off. He…

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God’s Grace Sets Us Free [Awakening Faith]

ZA Blog on 3 years ago. Tagged under ,,,.

Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul. (1 Peter 2:11)

We see that death is gain, life is loss. Paul says, “For me life is Christ, and death is gain” (Phil. 1:21). What does “Christ” mean here except to put the flesh to death and receive the breath of life? Let us then die with Christ, to live with Christ. We should have a familiarity with death, a daily desire for it. By this kind of detachment our soul will learn to free itself from the desires of the flesh. Our soul must soar above earthly lusts to a heavenly place and hold fast to the place they cannot come near.

It must take on the likeness of death to avoid the punishment of death. Our fallen…

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The New and Glorious Day (II) [Awakening Faith]

ZA Blog on 3 years ago. Tagged under ,,,.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! (2 Corinthians 5:17)

What is this new heaven? It is the cosmos of our faith in Christ. What is the new earth? A good heart, a heart like the earth, which drinks up the rain that falls on it and yields a rich harvest. In

this new creation, the sun is a pure life, the stars are the virtues, the air is pervasive goodness, and the sea is “the depths of the riches of wisdom and knowledge” (Rom. 11:33). The sound doctrine of divine teaching is the grass and plants that feed God’s flock, the people whom he shepherds; the keeping of the commandments is the fruit borne by the trees.

On this day the true man is created, the man…

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The New and Glorious Day (I) [Awakening Faith]

ZA Blog on 3 years ago. Tagged under ,,,.

Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. (Matthew 28:9)

The reign of life has begun, the tyranny of death is ended. A new birth has taken place, a new life has come, a new order of existence has appeared, and our very nature has been transformed! This birth is not brought about “by human generation, by the will of man, or by the desire of the flesh, but by God” (John 1:13).

If you wonder how, I will explain in clear language. Faith is the womb that conceives this new life, and baptism the rebirth by which brings it into the light of day. The church is its nurse, her teachings are its milk, and the bread from heaven is its food. It is brought to maturity by the practice…

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