Speaking to Rome from the Margins


We read most of the rest of the book of Romans, verses 8-14, covering God’s sovereignty, wrath, and grace (amongst other things). Achtemeier reminds us of the broad point of Paul’s letter to the Romans: “The goal, in the end, is to understand what the Apostle to the Gentiles wanted to say to his readers in Rome…” (p. xlii) Paul was very much a contextual theologian, one who spoke particularly to specific circumstances he encountered in early Christianity. As with any other literature, universalizing what he said is a bad idea. Also, “It is helpful to remember in this discussion that Paul uses the words ‘flesh’ and ‘spirit’ not to designate two parts of human nature but rather to represent two ways of living. Life pursued according to flesh is the life influenced by rebellion and idolatry, in which the entire perspective of the human being is turned in on himself or herself and the person becomes the center of all values. … Life in the Spirit, on the other hand, is life set free from bondage to self and sin, and therefore also law.” (p. 105)

This week we read Part 3,  “Managing Your Fears,” Chapter 13, “Fear Creates Obstacles to Success” of the T+P+A Big Read 2019, The Lifelong Activist. Rettig names a variety of fear-based behaviors / obstacles and encourages us, when we procrastinate, to figure out which of those are our obstacles.

What are the obstacles that currently prevent or hinder you from working on your life mission?


For June and July, in honor of Pride Month (and beyond) we are reading and praying over Our Lives Matter: A Womanist Queer Theology by Pamela R. Lightsey. This week we read Chapter 5, “Co-Caretakers of a Bountiful Blessing.” She considers womanist queer theology in light of what she experienced in the Ferguson, MO protests. “In any movement for social justice we must take care that we do not quiet the voices of the oppressed within our community for the sake of lifting up the oppressed de jure. … Anyone who adds the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter to their Twitter or Facebook post is reminded that Black lives that matter include Black LGBTQ lives.” (p. 66)

C’mon over to People of the Books, our online book club in which we discuss this book and whatever else is on your mind or heart!


Check out the Find Your FBCO Map to find your local faith-based community organizing affiliate and connect with the people who are working together to live out their dreams of a more just world! What’s going on in your living of the Gospel? Let us know in the comments, in our e-mail discussion group, or on social media.


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  • Guest, Deryn. The Queer Bible Commentary. Edited by Robert E. Goss, Mona West, and Thomas Bohache. London: SCM Press, 2011.
  • Guest, Deryn. “The Conversion of Lydia.” The Queer Bible Commentary. Edited by Robert E. Goss, Mona West, and Thomas Bohache. London: SCM Press, 2011.
  • Hall, Suzanne DeWitt. Transfigured: A 40-Day Journey through Scripture for Gender-Queer and Transgender People. D.H. Strategies, 2018.
  • Hall, Suzanne DeWitt. Where True Love Is: An Affirming Devotional for LGBTQI+ Individuals and Their Allies. D.H. Strategies, n.d.
  • Isherwood, Lisa. “Queer Theology.” Cambridge Dictionary of Christian Theology. Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press, 2011.
  • Lightsey, Pamela R. Our Lives Matter: A Womanist Queer Theology. Eugene: Pickwick Publications, 2015.
  • Loughlin, G. Queer Theology: Rethinking the Western Body, 2007.
  • Luther Seminary. “Enter the Bible,” n.d. http://www.enterthebible.org/.
  • Rettig, Hillary. “Solving v. Dithering” in The Lifelong Activist: How to Change the World Without Losing Your Way. New York, NY: Lantern Books, 2006. http://lifelongactivist.com/part-iii-managing-your-fears/8-adopting-the-three-productivity-behaviors-a-process-for-creating-behavioral-change/
  • Skinner, Matthew. “Acts” in Theological Bible Commentary. Edited by Gail R. O’Day and David L. Petersen. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2009.
  • “Stonewall Uprising.” PBS: American Experience, 11 June 2019. https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/films/stonewall/.
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