Re: The Climax of DOXA

From: Edgar Foster (
Date: Sun Mar 29 1998 - 23:11:11 EST

Ben Crick wrote:

Questioning1 wrote>>The one aspect of the account thats giving me
trouble, however, is John 21:15ff. There Peter is told to
follow Jesus and is further informed that he will die a death which
results in the GLORIFICATION of God. How are we to view this
part of John's Gospel vis-a'-vis the thematic strand of DOXA?<<

>>Dear Edgar,

>>It's wonderful that anyone can glorify God in their lives; but that
is understandable. What is harder to appreciate is that
someone can
 God in their death [gulp!]. Jesus' death glorified God (13:31-32); ere
 Peter's death (by crucifixion) will glorify God too. "Precious in the
sight of the LORD is the death of his saints" (Psalm 116:15).<<

We're on the same page here.

>>Is it to be taken as avolitional imperative? Or, is this an example
of John moving fromparticularity to generality?<<

>>From Jesus (particular) to the disciples (general)? I'm not sure I
 the question here.<<

Maybe I can clear the question up some. As discussed hitherto, John
repeatedly emphasizes the concept of DOXA. From the
Johannine Prologue to the Gospel's conclusio, DOXA is a prominent
subtheme. Why? Why does John weave this important
concept throughout his entire work? My answer: it seems to me that
John moves from particulars (examples of DOXA as it
relates to the Son of God), to generalties (Peter serves as an object
lesson for Christians--John 21:18, 19). This literary
process is the opposite of particularization and is called
generalization. Philosophically (logically), it is called inductive
reasoning. I observe twenty swans that are white; therefore, I
conclude that ALL swans are white. This is not to say that my
inference is correct, but making such inferences is called induction
(reasoning from particulars to universals). Did John
practice this methodology in his Gospel?

>>Jesus' prophecy about Peter's death is a future,
not an imperative; although if Christ prophesies something, we know it
will happen!<<

While Jesus' words are clearly prophetic and will unfailingly come
true, I still think they could also be read (lingustically) as
imperatival. I draw this conclusion from Jesus' words: "follow me."
Follow in this context seems to be used in a specific
manner, not in an abstract sense. Thus, Peter will follow Jesus by
dying a death akin to Christ's. While Jesus is therefore
predicting a martyr's death for Peter, he is also presenting a
propositio to Peter which requires a decision. By extension, this
propositio of willingness to suffer and die for Christ are set before
every genuine Christian as well (1 Pet. 4:14-16).

>>But say if I misunderstood your question.

 In Christ,

Hope I cleared things up,

E. Foster

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