Friday, September 28, 2012
"As diverse as the various local or regional settings of ritual killing might have been, the intricate relationship between killing and order is a particular feature of the world view in ancient Near Eastern communities. Killing, rather than being considered a complete annihilation, served either transformative, reordering, or reintegrative purposes when occurring in a ritually controlled environment, a concept alien to Western thought."—Beate Pongratz-Leisten in Sacred Killing , page 292
It is hard for us in the Western world to get our minds around ritualized killing. We can handle it in the name of science, though...
Thursday, September 27, 2012
They also act as if self were of supreme importance, and everything else of relatively no importance. Suppose you were to see a man acting this out in common life. He goes round, day after day, assuming that he is the Supreme God, and practically insisting that everybody ought to have a supreme regard to his rights, and comparatively little or no regard for other people's rights. Now, if you were to see a man saying this and acting it out, would you not account him either a blasphemer or insane?—Charles Finney
Wednesday, September 26, 2012
So, she makes a distinction between "sacrifice" and scapegoat or appeasement offerings. How valid is that distinction, I wonder...
in spite of his wonders, they did not believe.
So he ended their days in futility
and their years in terror.
Whenever God slew them, they would seek him;
they eagerly turned to him again.
They remembered that God was their Rock,
that God Most High was their Redeemer.
But then they would flatter him with their mouths,
lying to him with their tongues;
their hearts were not loyal to him,
they were not faithful to his covenant.
Yet he was merciful;
he forgave their iniquities
and did not destroy them.
Time after time he restrained his anger
and did not stir up his full wrath.
He remembered that they were but flesh,
a passing breeze that does not return. (Psalm 78:32-39 TNIV)
Tuesday, September 25, 2012
A very good distinction. Not every ritual act is necessarily a "religious" act...
Monday, September 24, 2012
Our life is full of rituals—big ones, small ones, important ones, trivial ones. They are what give our lives order. As a Christian, our goal should be to live out our lives as a sacrifice—and, as they say here, that isn't necessarily the same thing!
Friday, September 21, 2012
I'm still trying to wrap my head around what she is saying here—but it seems pretty profound.
Thursday, September 20, 2012
Interesting thought. I have always thought of the moment of killing as being the most important moment in sacrificial systems—and in many it is—but here (Ur) is a case where the way the bodies are handled after death is more important...food for thought. Now I'll have to look at the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament with different eyes and see if it is true there as well at times. I suspect it might be...
Wednesday, September 19, 2012
and wait patiently for him;
do not fret when people succeed in their ways,
when they carry out their wicked schemes.
Refrain from anger and turn from wrath;
do not fret—it leads only to evil.
For those who are evil will be destroyed,
but those who hope in the LORD will inherit the land.—Psalm 37:7-9 TNIV
This set of verses jumped out at me this morning. The whole Psalm is great, but these verses were for me today.
Tuesday, September 18, 2012
And we don't really know why, do we? "It just works" seems to be the default answer. Is there something inherent in humanity that thinks we need to offer something up? The Christian would answer yes and point to the cross.
Monday, September 17, 2012
How does your religion stack up on that basis? Is your salvation a deliverance from sin? Or is it "bed frame" salvation—great at the beginning as forgiveness (headboard) and a great at the end with the promise of heaven (footboard), but it sags in the middle?
Renee had the kids pull the peas that were done. Then I planted spinach, chard, kale, and beets on Tuesday in a cold frame, and a salad mix on Thursday inside a hoop house. Because the nights are getting colder, Joel and I put the tops on the two hoop houses on Friday night. They are predicting 33 degrees on Monday and Tuesday, so the ends will have to go on soon, too. I guess that means we will have to build doors, doesn't it? It doesn't do much good to have a hoop house if you can't access the produce...
On a related note, I picked a patty pan squash last Monday. I planted them on July first and wasn't sure if we would get any. It was a bit small, but too cute not to pick. Debbie said we should just let it sit on the table as decor :) I ate it the next day; it was sweet and tender. I hope we get more before they give up for the year.
Thursday, September 13, 2012
She is talking about the sacrificial killings at the Royal Cemetery of Ur. The king was buried with a lot of his retainers in a complex layout that imitated his everyday floor plan—guards and all.
Not a whole lot has changed in the last 4,000 years, has it? We still try to get to the divine by sacrifice—we call it something else, like self-denial, or the like. But, the bottom line is we are still trying to earn salvation! It won't happen. Now how, no way. We can never earn it. It is a free gift. Accept it, live in it, and rejoice in it.
Wednesday, September 12, 2012
He's got humanity pegged, doesn't he? Take the short-term view and ignore the long-term cost. We aren't good at looking at the consequences of our actions and decisions; we need the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit!
Tuesday, September 11, 2012
There is a sermon in there somewhwere...
This book is fascinating. If you are interested in the latest theories about sacrifice, this is "must-have" book.