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Advocacy in the New Testament
William Stringfellow

"A clue, to me most edifying, is the advocacy characteristic of the New Testament. This clue is evident in every episode in the Gospels in which Jesus ministers to the despised, the diseased, the dispossessed or in which he confronts the rich, the powerful, the mighty. (e.g. Matt 8:5-10 and 9:10-13; Mark 5:35043; Luke 16:19-31; John 4:46-54.)

"It is verified in the comparable Acts of the Apostles (Acts 3:1-4:31)

"It is redundant in the exhortations of Paul's epistles. (Notably in the Corinthian Correspondence.)

"It is confirmed in the letters of other authors. (As in the Letter of James or the First Letter of John.)

"It is a strenuous emphasis in the book of Revelation (Rev. 21 and 22).

"In the resurrection, this is epitomized wherein Christ serves as advocate of all humanity throughout time (cf. Acts 17:29-31; Rom. 8:31-39).

"So in this age the church of Christ is called as the advocate of every victim of the rulers of the age, and that, not because the victim is right, for the church does not know how any are judged in the Word of God, but because the victim is a victim.

"Advocacy is how the church puts into practice its own experience of the victory of the Word of God over the power of death, how the church lives in the efficacy of the resurrection amidst the reign of death in this world, how the church expends it slife in freedom, from both intimidation and enthrallment of death or of any agencies of death, how the church honors the sovereignty of the Word of God in history against the counterclaims of the ruling principalities."

from Conscience and Obedience by William Stringfellow, Word Books, 1977, p. 94-95

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