LectioCastEric Barreto is back to help us round off our Christmas episodes. We catch a vision of God creating a unified people in Christ, and Eric calls us to more faithfully interweave our understandings of heaven and earth.

Jeremiah 31:7-14 In a diffuse world of turmoil, Jeremiah promises unity as God gathers people together. The least likely travelers are the heart of what God is about.

Psalm 147:12-20 Nature is a way in which God executes God’s will and judgment: both for blessing of God’s people and for those who stand over against God. And we explore the “word of God” as something broader than Christ.

John 1:(1-9), 10-18  Eric gets us out of English to think about the word being active and powerful. So we start talking about what God is like, and Daniel spouts one of his favorite heresies. And we see again that what Jesus does impacts all creation.

Ephesians 1:3-14 Daniel keeps pointing out the Calvinist passages this week. It’s a good week to be a Calvinist. Then there’s that other thing: being united to Christ by the Spirit. Then there’s this bit about heaven and earth not being mere contrasts. Eric calls us to interweave the two.

Eric’s Book: Reading Theologically

Eric Barreto CCEric Barreto is Associate Professor of New Testament at Luther Seminary in St. Paul, MN, and will soon be heading to take a New Testament post at Princeton Seminary. He is an ordained Baptist minister and devotes a fair bit of his writing to helping the church grapple better with scripture.

He writes regularly for WorkingPreacher.org, a lectionary commentary website. He also writes for OnScripture.org and Huffington Post. Eric’s most recent work is an edited volume, Reading Theologically, a guide to biblical interpretation for seminary students.

Daniel Kirk is a writer, speaker, blogger, and New Testament professor who lives in San Francisco, CA. Daniel Kirk-202
He holds a Ph.D. in New Testament from Duke University and is the author of a pair of books, Unlocking Romans: Resurrection and the Justification of God and Jesus Have I Loved, but Paul? His third book A Man Attested by God: the Human Jesus of the Synoptic Gospels, is off to the printers. He blogs regularly at StoriedTheology.com  (jrdkirk.com). You can follow him on Twitter @jrdkirk and on Facebook at Facebook.com/jrdkirk.