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Sorin Sabou

Letter to the Romans, Nicomachean Ethics, and more

The Christ event and life as a citizen

Philippians 2.5-11 is not a text about Christ as such, for the sake of Christ, but a text in which the thinking/the mindset of Christ is a model to be implemented among and in the members of the church at Philippi. If this, or a version of this hymn, was part of the early Christian worship it can be easily seen the development of thought and understanding in the first generation of Christians. Between the scenes in the Gospels and the sayings of Jesus, and a text like this about Christ there is a long way in terms of concepts, images, argument and relevance. The particularities of understanding and depiction have to receive full attention for offering a way forward in unpacking a mindset and its relevancy for others. This overall perspective of Christ's mindset/thinking has to be the main point of interpretation throughout the exposition. Read more...

Thine is the Kingdom, the Power, and the Glory

- Thine is the Kingdom, the Power and the Glory
- Augustus had brought peace to the whole wider Roman world; Augustus gave peace, as long as it was consistent with the interests of the Empire and the myth of his own glory
- the ambiguous structure of human empire, a kingdom of absolute power, bringing glory to the man at the top, and peace to those on whom his favor rested
- Augustus and Messiah; it is at his birth that the angels sing of glory and peace; which is the reality, and which the parody?
- Micah 5.2-4; and he shall be the man of peace Read more...

Deliver Us from Evil

- let us not be let into the testing - but deliver us from Evil
- firmly grounded in the life and work of Jesus himself; hopes and fears of first-century Israel, the people of true God
- the night would get darker, when hope had died and fear had conquered, the morning star would dawn at last
- the whole world, with Israel at its heart, would enter a period of tribulation, like that of a woman in labour; from this the new world would be born Read more...

Forgive Us Our Trespasses

- in Jesus’ world, the more senior you were in a community, the less likely you were even to walk fast; it shows a lack of dignity, a gravitas
- a man running to greet someone: someone who has put a curse on him, who has brought disgrace on the whole family; the Parable of the Prodigal Son
- to understand why this man is running
- once you replace morality with the philosophy that says ‘if it feels good, do it’, there isn’t anything to forgive; instead of genuine forgiveness, our generation has been taught the vague notion of ‘tolerance’
- how can we turn that story, and the reality to which it points, into a prayer, as we pray the prayer Jesus taught us? Read more...

John Locke and the Moral Value of Toleration

SABOU, Sorin. ‘John Locke and the Moral Value of Toleration.’ Jurnal teologic Vol. 14, No. 1 (2015): 5-13.

Abstract: The concept of freedom of conscience is in the religious affairs and political affairs at the core of Locke's understanding of tolerance. He redefined the church and the state accordingly. Even the effects of the church's discipline, and the way the state's laws have to be conceived and implemented, are seen from the perspective of tolerance. I argue that tolerance is the main lens through which Locke understands the identity and the relationship of the two. He builds a society with tolerance in view. Tolerance is the attitude that offers the context for freedom and peace.

The Son from Above

SABOU, Sorin. “The Son from Above.” Jurnal teologic Vol 12, Nr 1 (2013): 43-58.

Abstract: This paper is a theological comparative study of the two New Testament texts: Philippians 2 and John 1. These portrayals of the Son of God show the common ground of communion, divinity, and of coming down to us, but also show the particularities of revelation, life, humility, and honor. These glimpses of the Son from above are the starting point for a New Testament understanding of God, history of salvation, and life in the family of God and in the city.

The Law, the Flesh, and the Spirit

SABOU, Sorin. "The Law, the Flesh, and the Spirit - Romans 8:1-13." Jurnal teologic Vol 11, Nr 2 (2012): 33-46.

Abstract: The dominion of the Spirit in the new realm of salvation is a vital element for having part in the eschatological life. The dominion of sin and death with its results in a mindset determined by the flesh is broken by the power of the Spirit of life which gives the covenant blessings to those who have a mindset determined by the Spirit.

The Christian Proclamation as Gospel

SABOU, Sorin. “The Christian Proclamation as Gospel, The Polemics, Politics and Praxis of euangelion in the Graeco-Roman World of the First Century.” Jurnal teologic 11.1 (2012): 72-81.

Abstract: The lexical choice made by the first Christians to present the Christian message as euangelion is a stark one. This is so because euangelion is used in Ancient Greek literature almost always as a technical term for the news of victory, a term used by those in power. This choice made by the first Christians leads to polemics with those in power. The politics and praxis of victory are affected too in this incursion of early Christianity in the area of power language. Thus, euangelion is captured and restructured as being the 'euangelion of the kingdom' and 'of Christ.' This leads to a different understanding of the way a citizen should live in the world.

Jurnal teologic, Vol 14, No 1 (2015)

This is to let you know that Jurnal teologic, Vol 14, No 1 (2015) was published at www.jurnalteologic.ro. This is the bibliographical information.

SABOU, Sorin. ‘John Locke and the Moral Value of Toleration.’ Jurnal teologic Vol. 14, No. 1 (2015): 5-13.

Baptist Theological Institute of Bucharest. Liberty University


The concept of freedom of conscience is in the religious affairs and political affairs at the core of Locke's understanding of tolerance. He redefined the church and the state accordingly. Even the effects of the church's discipline, and the way the state's laws have to be conceived and implemented, are seen from the perspective of tolerance. I argue that tolerance is the main lens through which Locke understands the identity and the relationship of the two. He builds a society with tolerance in view. Tolerance is the attitude that offers the context for freedom and peace.

Keywords: tolerance, religious freedom, Church and State

Our Daily Bread

- it is tempting to race through the Lord’s Prayer; do not let greed get in the face of grace
- spend time adoring our Father in heaven, seeking the honor of his name, and praying for his kingdom
- they said a lot of things about Jesus during his lifetime; ‘a glutton and a winebibber’
- a quote from Deuteronomy 21; what to do with a rebellious son; they will stone him to death
- he is disloyal to our traditions; he deserves to die
- but Jesus was following the agenda he set out in the Lord’s Prayer; he was not a rebellious son, he was loyal to the one he called ‘Father’ Read more...

Thy Kingdom Come

- what are we praying for when we pray for God’s Kingdom to come?
- heaven and earth are the two interlocking arenas of God’s good world: heaven is God’s space, where God’s word rules and his future purposes are waiting in the wings; earth is our world
- at the end the new Jerusalem is coming down from heaven to earth; in the new heaven and earth they will intertwine
- what will it mean, when Israel’s God returns as King?
a new Exodus: the evil empire will be defeated, and God’s people will be free; Isaiah 52:7-10 Read more...

Life, Good and Blessings

The theological horizon for life in the people of God is given at the end of Deuteronomy. The chapters 28-30 are a summary of the first five books in the Bible, focusing on the faithfulness to the covenant. The prophets, Jesus and the apostles understood their ministries in the light of this theological horizon. Read more...

Finding the Way to Go

You cannot go towards something if the mind is not focused on it. Drifting and walking in circles is diminishing, frustrating and leads nowhere. A human being cannot live such a life. Everyone needs to see the path, and then to walk on it. Getting out of the mist is a must. The way to do it is by using the reference points: God, others, and special events. We are relational beings, and we find ourselves being with others. Read more...

Look who we killed (!?)

This slogan is popular this week in Chicagoland. I attended the Good Friday service in one of the mega churches in my area, and I was surprised by the theme of the message: ‘Look who we killed.’ The point was that ‘we killed Jesus.’ Is that accurate? No! We never find in the New Testament apostolic preaching of the cross of Christ such an affirmation. The apostles never say that ‘we killed Jesus.’ Apostle Peter says that ‘you killed him’ (as he address the people of Jerusalem, Acts 2.23, 3.15), but he never says that ‘I killed Jesus,’ even if he betrayed him three times. Read more...

The Ministry in Iconium - Acts 14

The way Paul and Barnabas spoke led many to faith. These were both Jews and Greeks. The Jews who did not believed stirred up the Gentiles and poisoned their minds against the brothers. The narrator point of view is clearly on the side of the oppressed. They are described as brothers. The persecution comes from the unbelieving Jews. We are not told how they poisoned the souls (ἐκάκωσαν τὰς ψυχὰς) but perhaps this should be understood as referring to slander and contradicting the message/teaching of Paul and Barnabas.Read more...

Hume on Objective and Subjective Taste

D. Hume works with the distinction between matters of fact and pronouncements of sentiment. The standards of taste should provide rules for ‘confirming one sentiment, and condemning another.’ Hume envisions the standard of taste as the consensus of true critics.

The Guidance of the Spirit

Everyone need guidance. Nobody knows everything, that is why, help is needed. Christ knows this better than anyone. This is the reason for us not being left alone. We have a Counselor send into the world. His work of guidance is very respectful. He does not speak of himself, but he always takes from what Christ thought and brought into the world, and teaches us. The truth brought by Christ is sometimes incomprehensible and we need somebody to assist us; that is the role of the Spirit. Read more...

Kohlberg an Gilligan on Moral Development

In L. Kohlberg's view the main focus is on the stages of intellectual development. He is indebted to Kant because assumes that our moral development is to be defined by the level of our intellect. If you know what is good you are motivated, by this very knowledge, to do what is good. In our daily life we sometimes use the phrase 'you know better' when we make an observation about someones actions/deeds. The stages of moral development are determined by intellectual development. Read more...

Levels of Moral Development

These observations made by K. Dabrowski are about the development of one's emotional dynamism. They show the improvement of our emotions and feelings. Good moral formation forms a morally good person. The main instrument of moral development is improvement of one's emotions.Read more...

Free Will and Determinism

Most of the time the issues of free will and determinism are seen as opposites. The free will is understood in terms that are incompatible with determinism. If the will is free it can do whatever it wants even against the natural laws of the universe. For example the law of gravitation will make sure that when I jump up, I always come down, or if I travel in a circle I will arrive, after a while, in the same place. Even so, the free will is a valid concept/fact. There are layers of my life in which I can 'freely' move and think and act according to my will. This is not taking place in a perfect way, but still I have the real possibility of choice. The situation of life, the nature of my body and health, the laws of nature are facts that have a saying in the way I exercise my will.Read more...

About Love in New Testament

Love is a fact of life. People are able to love. When people are in love they are captivated and they are totally for something or someone. That attitude is seen by others. Love is something that is recognized as such by other people. The New Testament writings speak about love. The main familes of words for love are phileō and agapaō. They are used almost interchangeably, but there are some differences.Read more...

Lessons From the History of Ideas

The structure of this reflective précis is necessary historical; from the Milesian School to Francis Bacon it is a vast distance and a variety of interests and approaches. In a nutshell these are the main things I move forward with.
Test your hypotheses by observing natural forces and processes. After your research is done engage in an open search for knowledge that is intended to identify any possible confusion and errors. Read more...

Francis Bacon and the Idols of the Mind

This aspect of Bacon’s thinking is about the way we use our minds. According to Bacon there are ‘four classes of idols that beset men’s minds’ (New Organon, 1.39; Russell 2009, 439). Bacon uses the term ‘idol’ not in a religious sense (an image that represents a god), but simply as an ‘image’ (from the Greek eidolon). The way he organizes them helps the reader to understand the way they hinder human’s mind. Bacon sees them in ‘classes’ and in this way points towards their complexity and particularities.

Engaging with Wright, N. T. 2013. Paul and the Faithfulness of God. - Overview

This volume on Paul (Wright, 2013) is an event in the New Testament scholarship. N. T. Wright is a very respected scholar, and his writings were an inspiration to me over the years. I plan to write an analysis of his latest volume. Because of the structure of the volume I will split it accordingly (four posts) plus this introductory one. I will discuss his method and his outlook on the whole project and, from time to time, I will pronounce some evaluations. Read more...

Jurnal teologic Vol 12, Nr 2 (2013)

Jurnal teologic a fost publicat online la adresa www.jurnalteologic.ro. Aveți mai jos informația bibliografică a acestui număr. Jurnalul teologic este publicația academică a Institutului Teologic Baptist din București și a Facultății de Teologie Baptistă din Universitatea București. Soli Deo Gloria!

Jurnal teologic Vol 12, Nr 1 (2013)

The last issue of Jurnal teologic was published online at www.jurnalteologic.ro.
Please see below the bibliographic information and the direct links. Read more...

Membership in Chicago Society for Biblical Research

Yesterday at University of Valparaiso I was voted to become a member of this select group of Biblical scholars from Chicagoland. Many thanks to Prof. Troy Martin (St Xavier University) for nominating me to membership in CSBR.
The intention of CSBR is to provide a platform for presenting current academic research in the field of Biblical Studies. Follow this link for details about the society.

Glory Ascribed - Nathan Negru & Robert Titean


Jurnal teologic Vol 11, Nr 2 (2012)

Jurnal teologic Vol 11, Nr 2 (2012) [ISSN 1 844 7252] este publicat online la adresa www.jurnalteologic.ro.
Informația bibliografică, abstracte (în limba engleză), și termenii cheie pentru fiecare articol le aveți mai jos.

Jurnal teologic 11.1 (2012)

This is to inform you that the current issue of Jurnal teologic is published online at www.jurnalteologic. ro. The Content, Abstract and Keywords are as follows: Read more...

Queen Elizabeth II - The Christmas Broadcast 2011


Being Taught about the Kingdom (2)

The Kingdom starts very small and outgrows everything. The mechanisms of growth are built in it. When the conditions are right, it grows. This our part: to plant, to water, and God makes it to grow; to hid the leaven in the flour and it will fill the whole bowl. These internal mechanisms give us hope and they keep us humble. The Kingdom does not grow because of us, but because of God. It is a privilege to be part of this expansion. Read more...

Being Taught about the Kingdom (1)

The ways of the Kingdom have to be grasped for being able to understand your place in it. The danger is that we think it works in a certain way, when it does not. Jesus taught his disciples to become scribes in knowing all what is necessary about the Kingdom.Read more...

The identity of the Church - Prayer

By prayer, the people of God expresses their communion with God. Jesus' disciples were taught how to pray. Through the prayer taught by Jesus, the Church aligns itself to the will of God. Praising the heavenly Father, asking for the coming of his kingdom, and for the daily bread, offering and receiving forgiveness, releasing from the power of evil are the main elements of Jesus' mission. Read more...

The identity of the Church - Breaking of Bread

Sharing a meal with somebody is a sign of communion and friendship. The Lord's Supper in Early Church was part of a meal. Communion and friendship was the social context for the breaking of bread. This somehow technical way of portraying the Lord Supper underlies the drama of salvation. Read more...

The Identity of the Church - Brotherly Relationships

The members of the Church call themselves brothers and sisters. Why? Because they have the same Father. When somebody believes/accepts the incarnated Word, the Son of God as his/her Savior and Lord, he/she receives the right to call himself/herself a child of God. That person enters into God's family, Jesus Christ being the older brother, the Son by excellence. Read more...

The Identity of the Church - The Apostles' Teaching

The identity of the Church

Acts 2:42 gives us right from the beginning the basic structure of Church's identity. We do not have there an order of worship, but some elements which show the Church as it is seen from the outside. The elements of theaching, relationships, breaking of bread and prayer give the Church the unique nature.

Attitudes and Values

You did good, but you have been misunderstood. You served others, you helped them and those who saw it turned against you. Why is it so? Your actions, your words brought restoration, and people rejected you. This is a common experience. What is the reason for it? Read more...

Your Main Point of Reference

In the Christian worldview the main point of reference for every human being is God. The humankind, being created into the image of God, is a group of beings who live their lives in relationships. We are embodied beings who experience the surrounding world by our bodies and their senses. The human being is a relational being and that is why, it is not able to establish his/her own life in their own resources. We will always long for somebody who is outside of us.


Love, for a strong heart

We all know from our experiences that our relationships have a saying about how we feel. If our relationships are healthy we are feeling well and our health is strong. If our relationships hurt we are not well and our health is in danger.
The more you love others the stronger your heart is. If you follow the example of God, the way he loved us, your growing love for others will lead to the holiness of heart. The human being lives at his/her full potential only when he/she loves others as God loves them. So, make sure that you have solved everything which can hinder you to love others. It is for your own good and your powerful witness.


Signs of wisdom

Every decision somebody made has consequences. It is the same with the decision to follow Christ. The joy of salvation is generated by the radical change brought in by Christ and Holy Spirit. You experience forgiveness, justification, and begin to walk in the newness of life. But soon after that something unexpected happen. Your previous friends turn against you. Read more...

As a Weaned Child

The message of Psalm 131 is part of the Songs of Ascents. These songs were used to prepare the pilgrim for arrival at Jerusalem to worship at the Tabernacle, or Temple. When somebody travels to worship he has to do the right things with his heart, eyes and deeds. For being ready to worship your heart has to be humble, not lifted up. You need to have a right understanding of himself. The heart has to be broken and contrite.Read more...

Justification and Renewal

The ‘justification and renewal’ of the west, therefore, will come only when justice, order and peace are in one way or another restored, when past guilt is thereby ‘forgiven,’ when it is no longer imagined that what has been done can be undone by means of punitive measures and reprisals, and when the Church of Jesus Christ, as the fountain-head of all forgiveness, justification and renewal, is given room to do her work among the nations. The guilt of the apostasy from Christ is a guilt which is shared in common by the entire western world, however greatly degree of the offense may vary. The justification and the renewal must therefore likewise be shared in common by the whole of the west. No attempt can succeed which aims at saving the west while excluding one of the western nations.
(D. Bonhoeffer, Ethics, 119.)

Living a Secure Life

Phil. 3.1-16 - living a secure life from El Roi on Vimeo.