Posted by Mark Beckwith on December 15, 2010
One of St. Paul's intentions is to take on the "principalities and powers" (Ephesians 1:20 ff) They are the entities and institutions whose primary interest is preservation. Preservation of place, authority and identity. Paul takes on the principalities and powers because he is primarily interested in transformation. The soul's transformation. It comes through peace -- which, for Paul, is not the absence of conflict but is the presence of justice. And so Paul seeks to deconstruct the divided house between Jew and Greek, slave and free -- and reconstruct it on the foundation of race, class and gender equality. He is interested in the reunification of all things. Paul sees a battle -- between Christ's desire for the inauguration of peace and the Principalities and Powers' perpetuation of conflict, which is their misguided recipe for preservation. We are preserved -- and transformed, by Christ's peace.