In this week’s featured conversation about John’s Gospel, Dr. Mark Powell helps us to read John theologically. What does this Gospel teach us about God? Mark shares a lot of significant insights into the nature of God and its implications for the Christian community.
- The human tendency to create God in our own images, resulting in a human-centered faith
- The importance of a Trinitarian faith in developing a dynamic vision of God
- The “I am” statements of Jesus
- Selected sections from the “farewell discourse” about the importance of the Spirit
The Trinity by Andrei Rublev
In our conversation, Mark reflects on this Russian icon, and how Rublev used the image of Abraham’s three visitors at the table to represent the Trinity. Notice also the communion cup that their bodies form, representing unity among the divine community.
About Dr. Mark Powell
Mark Powell is a professor of theology at the Harding School of Theology in Memphis, Tennessee. He also serves as a shepherd at the Sycamore View Church of Christ. Mark has authored several books including Centered in God: The Trinity and Christian Spirituality (2014), Papal Infallibility: A Protestant Evaluation of an Ecumenical Issue (2009), and a forthcoming volume with Dr. John Mark Hicks and Greg McKinzie (Spring 2020) that will put forth a theological vision for Churches of Christ.
Mark has suggested several works for those who want to go deeper into the subjects we discuss in his podcast episodes.
- Mark E. Powell, Centered in God: The Trinity and Christian Spirituality (ACU Press, 2014).
- Leonard Allen, Poured Out: The Spirit of God Empowering the Mission of God (ACU Press, 2018).
- Wesley Hill, Paul and the Trinity: Persons, Relations, and the Pauline Letters (Eerdmans, 2015).
- Donald Fairbairn, Life in the Trinity: An Introduction to Theology with the Help of the Church Fathers (IVP Academic, 2009)
- Kelly D. Carter, The Trinity and the Stone-Campbell Movement: Restoring the Heart of the Christian Faith (ACU Press, 2015).
love the description of the icon…. so in 1400s they understood ….
Absolutely! The first major split in the church was in the early 4th century over Trinitarianism, and specifically the nature of Jesus. Was he truly divine, or just a good dude (created being) on whom divinity descended at some point? John’s Gospel has been key in refuting the idea that Jesus’ divinity was a late idea, because it happens to be the Gospel of which we have the earliest manuscript fragments. Some from within 50 years of when John would have written it.