After mentioning that Paul’s ethic in Colossians is a resurrection, ascension, liberation, and eschatological ethic, Walsh and Keesmaat, in Colossians Remixed, contend also that the ethic of Paul is “relational” and “narrative” and (tomorrow’s post) an ethic of secession.
“Absolutes, William [imaginary character in this book] insists, are unrelated, timeless truths that come to us as nonnegotiable moral laws. Is this what Paul is up to..?” (157). Yes, but mostly No. Paul offers a relational ethic.
This section then explores, wondrously, all the relational “in Christ” language of Colossians. Here are some: from 2:9-15 we see this 7x — fullness dwells in him, we come to fullness in him, buried with him, raised with him…
The ethic is rooted not in Torah as commandment but in life in Christ … “because of a matrix of relationships that characterize new life in Christ” (157).
It is also a narrative ethic. “Praxis — that is, human culture-forming, ethical behavior in daily life — is narratively grounded because we act out of who we are” (157). And here I think W-K do some very important theologizing in Colossians: character is narrative formed and the narrative Paul forms them in is the narrative story of Jesus — his whole story is their story. He identifies them with every major event in the life of Jesus.
Here are those events:
Death, burial, resurrection, ascension and second coming.
“The story of Jesus is our story.”