Time, Space, and Jokes

February 21, 2016 — 1 Comment


I have an article that Desiring God published on Paul’s “philosophy” in Ephesians. The article started with the realization that Paul argues that Jesus sums up the twin towers of basic ontology (time and space). Then it occurred to me that the imperatives in the second half must be linked to what came before.

Here is a sample.

On a casual reading of Paul’s letters, some might assume that Paul ignores philosophical questions. Yet Paul did not shy away from the deepest, most complicated questions at all. In fact, he tackled them with the strength and confidence of a bull in a rodeo. But unlike many philosophers, Paul’s philosophy was wrapped in pastoral garments. He thought that our understanding of time and space should determine the types of jokes we tell and what sort of husbands and wives we should be.

Philosophers for centuries have debated the twin towers of time and space. What is their nature? How do we describe them? What is their relationship to God? Augustine in his Confessions says, “What then is time? If no one asks me, I know: if I wish to explain it to one that asks, I know not.”

In Paul’s least occasional letter, Ephesians, he writes to Christians about God’s cosmic plan, summed up in the body of Jesus Christ.


Patrick Schreiner

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I teach New Testament at Western Seminary in Portland, Oregon. I am married with three children. This blog, against all wisdom, includes anything I am interested in. That includes movies, music, theology, culture, hermeneutics, the Gospels, and politics. Feel free to comment and let me know you are reading or that you have found something helpful. I reserve the right to delete unhelpful or rude comments. Many of these posts are simply things I find interesting and therefore I am not asserting I agree with everything I link to.

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