So I want to give you all a break from last week’s mammoth post. Here I’ll simply invite discussion: At the end of Galatians 3 comes a passage that reconciliation-minded Christians of all stripes love to quote, especially we progressive Way-farers:
“There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”
Such a beautiful passage! And yet I wonder if we progressive Christians skip too quickly to the ‘paydirt’ here while ignoring the context of the letter and this chapter in particular. Do we have the spiritual-theological stomach to work through a complex religious argument about ‘Law’ and ‘Grace’ that has had quite contentious repercussions through the century, birthing both amazing freedom and devotion on the one hand, as well as division and even anti-Semitism on the other? What do we do with “You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you?” – and other such invective? Does the “you are all one in Christ Jesus” passage lead to interfaith celebration, or does it sharply demarcate Paul’s gospel of freedom against all other comers as ‘toxic religion’?
I have my own opinions (of course!), but what do you think?