The Second Letter of Peter and the Letter of Jude both address false teaching—teaching that affects behaviour. The recipients had within their midst people whose lives contradicted the gospel that was preached. They defiled the love-feasts; they were themselves immoral and minimized the importance of law in the Christian life. They scoffed at the parousia and were fond of their own rhetoric. Michael Green offers a penetrating analysis that sets both letters in their historical context and shows their relevance to life today.
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“It meant controlling the passions instead of being controlled by them.” (Page 88)
“Peter begins with the theological indicative. They are in God’s family; they have left the world; they possess precious promises; they know Christ. That is the basis for his ethical imperative, which comes so strongly in the succeeding verses. They must become in practice what they already are in God’s sight.” (Page 83)
“The Christian must work out the salvation which God works in him.11 In a word, his life must reflect something of the attractive character of Christ. For he was the man par excellence, the proper man. True human excellence, then, is the manliness which is Christlikeness. That likeness cannot be acquired except through personal and continuous encounter with him by faith.” (Page 87)
“The great difference between Stoic and Christian ethics is that the latter are not the unaided product of human effort, but the fruit of our being partakers of the divine nature. Nevertheless, human effort is indispensable, even though it is inadequate.” (Page 86)
“It means ‘excellence’, and was used to denote the proper fulfilment of anything. The excellence of a knife is to cut, of a horse to run. But what is the excellence of a man?” (Page 87)
Michael Green (1930–2019) was one of the best-known British evangelical theologians and preachers of his generation. A scholar with degrees from the universities of Oxford, Cambridge, and Toronto, Green had a passion for evangelism and a rare talent for communicating complex ideas in easy-to-understand language. In 1996, Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey granted Green a Lambeth degree of Doctor of Divinity. He led university missions on six continents, pastored St. Aldate's Church Oxford, and introduced innovative approaches in seminary education. He authored more than seventy books across a range of fields, including evangelism, apologetics, biblical commentary, and academic theology.