Forging Ploughshares

Cultivating the Peaceable Kingdom

In this opening series on the Gospel of John Jim, Janice, Brian, Tim, Matt, Dan, and Paul, discuss the prologue of John and the meaning of the Logos, not as the pre-incarnate Christ but as the historical Jesus, and the difference this makes to conceptions of God, salvation, and the meaning of creation.

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Paul Axton preaches - God's Word is world constituting, self-authenticating, and a repetition of God while the human word may attempt to constitute a world in its own self-authenticating repetition - inducing human failure. God's Word is the cure for this failure.

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Jim, Janice, Matt, David, Brian and Paul discuss how gender, race, ethnicity, or simply language can become an oppressive tool of the culture or of the symbolic order and how the Christian community is defined by its suspension of this cultural oppression.

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Paul Axton preaches - Donald Trump has promoted the big lie that he did not lose the election, but this lie is a type of the big lie challenged and exposed by Christ which pictures the human, the political, this world as God's truth. Christ as truth exposes the big lie. 

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Janice, Jim, Brian, David, and Paul discuss how the theory of Rene Girard fits with the Bible, but how it points to the benefits of sacrificial religion over uncontrolled violence, and how the end of scapegoating leaves open the possibility of total violence.

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Paul Axton Preaches - The truth of the Trinity, or Truth, unfolds historically with the realization of God as Father, the incarnation and recognition of the Son, and with the giving of the Holy Spirit and full human participation in God. This marks three possible errors: God as Father apart from the Son and Spirit can be confused with law or power, God as Son, apart from the Spirit and Father can be equated with the historical, and God as Spirit, apart from the Son and Father can be equated with the individual interiority and experience. 

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Jim, Janice, David, Brian, Matt, Dan and Paul discuss the various ways that the matrix of bondage grips us (e.g., through capitalism, sexism, religion, ontotheology, dualism, psychology, and time) and how Christ, specifically in the resurrection breaks open this matrix and frees us.

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Paul Axton preaches - The now and not yet of the process of salvation can be split and made static and exclusive, missing the unfolding of entering this rest on a daily basis. This failure gives rise to all "not yet" (on the right, Christian fascism) or all "now" (on the left, Christian Marxism and liberalism), two forms of nihilism which can only be remedied by maintaining the tension of Christian hope. 

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Paul Axton preaches - In this second sermon developing an allegorical reading, the specific displacement of a violent God through the God of peace revealed in Christ, including freedom from the law of sin and death or emancipation from the reign of violence is developed in conjunction with a spiritual hermeneutic.

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Paul Axton preaches - There is a spiritual or allegorical reading of Scripture which interprets through Christ and there is the fleshly reading concentrating on the letter or on history, which according to Paul, misses Christ and leaves one enslaved.

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