Thursday, December 03, 2009

Grace as Event

Today I gave my final lecture at HTC. It was on 1 Corinthians 15. I've read over this passage many times, but in my preparation I was struck by Paul's usage of "grace" in 15.10, "But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me has not been in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them-- though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me" (1 Co 15:10 NRSV). Paul says that because he was so unworthy and so unexpected a candidate to become an apostle, he responded to "grace" with a more concerted ministerial effort than his contemporaries. And yet that response Paul again attributes to God's grace. In effect, Paul says that he encountered God's grace, a grace that demanded his response, and now he attributes that very response to God's grace working through him as well! Thus, God's grace works in an initial call and produces the neccesary effects in its subject. This signifies that Bultmann was right when had a section in his NT Theology entitled: "Grace as Event".


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DAE WOO SEO said...

Dear Dr Bird, I am so happey that you will return Queensland, Australia, because I will be BCQ in the next semester for doing MTH (NT)with ACT. I am so exiciting to meet you there.

Preston Sprinkle said...

John Barclay has some seasoned thoughts on this very issue in his essay in, Barclay and Gathercole (eds.), Divine and Human Agency in Paul (T&T Clark, 2006). He teases out the richness of this interplay--much better than Bultmann!