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Not just for Philadelphia

The Philadelphians is a vlog about citizens of the City of God, interacting with the City of Man. We seek an answer to the question, “What does it mean to be Christian in public?” In giving that answer with gentleness and respect, we hope to be about the business of the defense of the faith (also called “apologetics”), and the interactions that effect people’s common life that we call “political theology,” (theology of the “polis” or “city”) also called “public theology.” 

 

Jesus said to the Angel of the Church at Philadelphia, “I know that you have but little power, and yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name.” It is the good use of the little that we have, whether power, or any of its related ideas like wealth or privilege, for the faithful witness of Christ that Jesus values and rewards. Even with very little power we strive to 1) keep God’s word, and 2) not deny the Name of Jesus Christ, especially in the face of overwhelming world power hostile to the small. It won’t be because we were great in the things the world respects that the City of God grows. It will be because God can do much with little. 

 

Join us each week for commentary, interviews, discussions, and all manner of good mischief.

Read on to nerd out with us about the meaning of our name:

 

Here’s how “Philadelphia” looks in the original Greek:

 

Φιλαδέλφεια

 

It’s actually a compound of two other Greek words that we spell “philos” and “adelphos.”

 

φίλος + ἀδελφός

 

φίλος “conveys experiential, personal affection.”*

 

“In the sayings of Christ, ἀδελφός is used…to denote…any fellow-human — as having one and the same father with others: God.”*

 

So we get “brotherly love” from this, and it points us to the Second Great Commandment, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

 

Another aspect of this city is brought out by thinking about the Turkish name for Φιλαδέλφεια, Alaşehir, or Allah-shehr, meaning City of God. In Augustine’s City of God, we find it is a perspective on the same city, a way of seeing and being that is among, and interacting with, the City of Man. What, then, is the distinction that makes a person belong to the City of Man or the City of God? If you love your self, and seek your own good, you are a citizen of the City of Man. But if you love God, and consequently His Image here on earth, sacrificially? Then you are a citizen of the City of God. 

 

*Thayer’s Greek Lexicon