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» Metamorphosis of faith from Transforming Sermons
Here's a brief and accessible article on the NT concept of transformation. [Read More]


Mr Mounce: Do you mind giving a clarification?
Regarding Jesus' transfiguration you wrote: "It is to be changed. It is not that Jesus’ true self shined through; that would be docetism".
I agree that it isn't Jesus' self shining through. His "self" includes his humanity.
Then you wrote: "It is that the shades of human sin and frailty were pulled back and the disciples saw who the incarnate Jesus fully was." When you write "The shades of human sin and frailty" I am assuming you mean shades (like sunglasses or drapes) that normally hindered the disciples to see Jesus for who he was. If that is indeed what you meant then Jesus didn't really transfigure but that for a short time the disciples' view was unobstructed.
Can you clarify please?
Bert de Haan.

Dr. Mounce,

Beautiful stuff. I praise God for you and your ministry and pray that more pastor-scholars/scholar-pastors like yourself would rise up to lead His people.

Thanks for this reflection. It encourages me so much as an associate pastor at a small church. I pray also that God would teach us to think similarly.


I totally agree with you, that we have lost our way, having been transformed by being infected with the idea that growth is the best measure of success. To that end, church has become big business. We hire "senior-executive pastors" and "assistant executive..." We love "mission statements" and "program goals." Our "worship centers" look more like giant board rooms or auditoriums rather than places of worship. Our worship itself is driven by entertaining people so as to keep them from going to another McChurch down the road, all the while believing and arguing that entertainment is what the "unchurched" are looking for. Indeed we have turned Paul's admonition in Rom. 12 around by refusing to be transformed and conforming to the world's mentality.
Thank you for reminding us that Christianity is about transformation by God, and that the mark of true success is spiritual growth.

Your first point on Christ's transfiguration is a very important Christological point; one I had not thought of previously. It's us who were changed by Christ's μεταμορφωθη! The glory of the incarnate Christ became transparent for a time that we may see through the thin veil that separates heaven from earth (I hear N. T. Wright coming through here!). Thanks so much for this new angle!

I must say that this is how I have viewed the transfiguration, but I haven't really done much work on the idea. My guess is that yes, the shades over the eyes of the disciples were miraculously pulled back so they could see how Jesus fully was.

I'll just point to Bert de Haan's question above.

Excellent and very helpful article, but I have a question: You mention four uses of μεταμορφοω, but in your essay I find only three discussed. What am I missing here?

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