A sense of estrangement permeates the book of 1 Peter. It addresses its readers as exiles and aliens, people who don’t fully belong in the place where they live. Ethnicity and geography were factors, no doubt. Even more significant is how communities centred on gospel grace are at odds with the culture in which they live.Read More
“Be beautiful in your heart by being gentle and quiet” (3:4).
This passage is troubling in these egalitarian times, for it appears to give biblical sanction to a patriarchal view of women. Indeed, complementarian Christians often cite it as a mandate to keep women in their place.Read More beauty, weakness, gentleness, women, honour
A Christian view of the world encourages high standards of conduct. It demands a refined conscience and a keen sense of appropriate behaviour. The lists of do’s and don’ts do not spring from rigid rule-making, but, rather, from a desire for relational harmony. “All of you should agree and have concern and love for each other. You should also be kind and humble” (v 8).Read More forgiveness, rules, behaviour, righteousness, harmony
Things change when people choose to orient their lives around Christian beliefs. Their interests and activities take a different course. Certain behaviours and previously pleasurable pastimes no longer seem to satisfy. Former associates may be confused by what they see; others will be angry.
Letting go of “worldly” activities and hanging out with different friends may well open one to ridicule and abuse.Read More love, community, Christian living, true strength
“Let those suffering in accordance with God’s will entrust themselves to a faithful creator, while continuing to do good” (4:19 NRSV). This is a good summary of 1 Peter’s theology of suffering. It does more than acknowledge the reality of persecution and suffering; it expects it and accepts it as an element of God’s will.
But not just any suffering qualifies. Suffering caused by unethical and criminal behaviour is not within God’s will.Read More suffering, love, faithfulness, conflict, standing out
In Psalm 51, we see the response of David to what is likely the most notorious sin he ever committed. Not only did he commit adultery with Bathsheba, but he also ensured the death of her husband in war. It’s hard to believe that these are the actions of someone who is described as “a man after God’s own heart.”
Verse 4 gives us a fascinating glimpse into the heart of David.Read More sin, forgiveness, humility, relationship with God, brokenness