Galatians: The Challenge of Freedom
Galatians is a disruptive, impassioned proclamation that human life should be marked by freedom and love. Yet the temptation towards slaveries of all sorts (slaveries to our own self-imposed expectations, to other’s evaluations and judgments, to addictions or appetites, to moralistic forms of religiosity, etc.) are more subtle than we might expect. Further, the very ‘good news’ of freedom and grace which Paul proclaims, can leave us with more questions than answers. What happens to those who hear and understand this message differently from us? Is there only one way to God? If life is all about grace, does this mean our actions are irrelevant? How do we know if we can trust the authority of this message and messenger? Why do religious people tend to look like anything but an embodiment of ‘freedom’ and ‘love’? Is the moral teaching of Christianity actually freeingor is it backwards and repressive? And how did a message of grace and freedom produce churches with structures, rules, and the forms of accountability or even discipline as we see round us today? As we examine Paul’s volatile, passionate plea for grace, love, and freedom, we hope to find that it speaks into many of our questions regarding the viability of Christian faith today.