Friday, April 20, 2018
Thursday, April 19, 2018
PrefaceGet 30% off with coupon code TLF18
IntroductionThe Psalms as LiturgyChapter 1 Faunal Imagery in Psalmodic Refrains
Imagery, Metaphor, and Simile
Synopsis of Research on Metaphors in the Psalms
The Focus of Investigation and MethodologyPsalm 49:13, 21: A wisdom motif of human ignorance and the futility of wealth—בהמות ‘beasts’Chapter 2 Faunal Imagery as Secondary Interpolation
Psalms 59:7, 15; 22:13–14, 17, 21–22; and 118:10–12: Animal imagery as representing the psalmist’s adversary
Psalm 59:7, 15: Wild-dog imagery to denote the psalmist’s enemy—כלב ‘dog’
Psalm 22:13–14, 17: Bulls, mighty ones of Bashan, lions, dogs, and wild oxen as metonyms for the psalmist’s adversaries—כלב ‘dog,’ פר ‘bull,’ אריה ‘lion’
Psalm 118:10–12: Bee imagery as denoting the psalmist’s enemies—דבורה ‘bee’Proverbs 1:10–19Conclusion
Psalm 84:4: Intimacy with God—צפור ‘bird’ and 'sparrow' דרור
Psalm 102:7–8: Desolation and isolation—קאת ‘great owl,’ כוס ‘owl,’ and צפור ‘bird’
Psalms 33:16–17 and 32:8–9: Wisdom motifs within theological contemplation—סוס ‘horse’ and פרד ‘mule’
Psalm 32:8–9 83Faunal Imagery in Psalmodic RefrainsBibliography
Faunal Imagery as Secondary Interpolation
IndexesIndex of Authors
Index of Scripture
Part 1: Setting the StageUse coupone code CAR18 to get 30% off!
Defining the State (pp. 3-23). Alexander H. Joffe.
The Politics of Voice: Reflections on Prophetic Speech as Voices from the Margins (pp. 25-56). Miriam Y. Perkins
Part 2: The Ancient Near East
A Land without Prophets? Examining the Presumed Lack of Prophecy in Ancient Egypt (pp. 59-86). Thomas Schneider.
A Royal Advisory Service: Prophecy and the State in Mesopotamia (pp. 87-114). Jonathan Stökl.
Prophecy in Syria: Zakkur of Hamath and Luʿash (pp. 115-134). Hélène Sader.
Prophecy in Transjordan: Balaam Son of Beor (pp. 135-196). Joel S. Burnett.
Part 3: Prophets in the Deuteronomistic History and the Chronicler
Prophets in the Early Monarchy (pp. 207-217). William M. Schniedewind.
Friends or Foes? Elijah and Other Prophets in the Deuteronomistic History (pp. 219-256). Gary N. Knoppers and Eric L. Welch
Unnamed Prophets in the Deuteronomistic History (pp. 257-275). Jason Bembry.
The Prophet Huldah and the Stuff of State (pp. 277-296). Francesca Stavrakopoulou.
Prophets in the Chronicler: The Books of 1 and 2 Chronicles and Ezra–Nehemiah (pp. 297-310). Lester L. Grabbe.
Part 4: Prophets in the Prophetic Books of the First Temple and Exilic Periods
Prophecy and the State in 8th-Century Israel: Amos and Hosea (pp. 313-328). Robert R. Wilson.
Enemies and Friends of the State: First Isaiah and Micah (pp. 329-338). J. J. M. Roberts.
Jeremiah as State-Enemy of Judah: Critical Moments in the Biblical Narratives about the “Weeping Prophet” (pp. 339-358). Christopher A. Rollston.
Nahum, Habakkuk, and Zephaniah (pp. 359-383). C. L. Crouch.
Obadiah: Judah and Its Frenemy (pp. 385-394). Alejandro F. Botta and Mónica I. Rey.
The Prophet Ezekiel: State Priest, State Enemy (pp. 395-410). Stephen L. Cook.
Yhwh’s Cosmic Estate: Politics in Second Isaiah (411-430). Mark W. Hamilton.
Part 5: Prophets and Patriots of the Second Temple Period and Early Postbiblical Period
Haggai and Zechariah: A Maximalist View of the Return in a Minimalist Social Context (pp. 433-448). Eric M. Meyers.
Apocalyptic Resistance in the Visions of Daniel (pp. 449-462). John J. Collins.
References to the Prophets in the Old Testament Apocrypha (pp. 463-485). Robert J. Owens.
Prophets, Kittim, and Divine Communication in the Dead Sea Scrolls: Condemning the Enemy Without, Fighting the Enemy Within (pp. 487-512). James E. Bowley.
John the Baptizer: More Than a Prophet (pp. 513-523). James D. Tabor.
Jesus of Nazareth: Prophet of Renewal and Resistance (pp. 525-544). Richard A. Horsley.
Late First-Century Christian Apocalyptic: Revelation (pp. 545-564). Jennifer Knust.
Oracles on Accommodation versus Confrontation: The View from Josephus and the Rabbis (pp. 565-581). Andrew D. Gross.
Index of Authors (pp. 583-591).
Index of Scripture (pp. 592-613).
Here, ironically, the attempt by some evangelicals to sanctify Donald Trump might work well if given a quarter turn: he is no Cyrus, a pagan ordained of God to restore Jews to Israel, but Nebuchadnezzar, the pagan invader of Israel ordained of God to punish them for their unfaithfulness, and banishing the best of them from the promised land in the bargain. As intriguing might be the possibility of seeing that pagan’s later fate play out again—that is, to see the proud trumpet of egotistical greatness reduced to crawling around like a beast in the field, eating grass and growing literal instead of just figurative claws (Daniel 4)—one’s relish at the prospect bespeaks an unsanctified longing of its own.<idle musing>
Nothing quite like turning the mirror back on oneself, is there? Before congratulating ourselves that we haven't fallen prey to nationalism, perhaps we should find the log (whatever it might be) in our own eye.
Wednesday, April 18, 2018
Tuesday, April 17, 2018
Friday, April 13, 2018
As I understand them, Irenaeus’s vision and those like it will typically be appealing to Pentecostals. This vision calls for the systematic theologian and his or her writing, speaking, and conceptualizing (i.e., systematizing) to be located within the economy of God's activity and purposes. On this score, sanctification is a more fundamental category than scholarly completeness—conviction and passion are more determinative here than coherence and rationality. What sets the tone for Pentecostal theologizing is the reality and confession that God is at work in the world, including the academic realm. With such a baseline and orienting claim, Pentecostals cannot help but think that falling prostrate on one’s knees in prayer is more basic to a faithful form of engagement than typing one's thoughts on a keyboard. The prayer-logic, however, can be sustained to a deeper level still: typing on a keyboard can in some sense—when it is construed as an activity within the framework of God’s self presentation and work—be a prayerful act of faithfulness.—Pentecostalism as a Christian Mystical Tradition, pages 35–36
I like that: "typing on a keyboard can in some sense—when it is construed as an activity within the framework of God’s self presentation and work—be a prayerful act of faithfulness." I'd like to think that's what I do when I'm editing and marketing books.
Thursday, April 12, 2018
How is the current threat of digital distraction any greater when reading an e-book versus a print codex? Isn’t it just as easy to put down a print book and pick up a tablet or smartphone as it is to close out your e-reading app and start browsing Facebook? The answer, in my view, is no, and again I return to neuroplasticity. The digital environment is literally rewiring our brains to seek stimulative, short-term gratification at the expense of our ability to think and read in depth. In this situation, how much more challenging is it to read at length on the very same screen from which your brain expects quick scanning, 140-character tweets, and amusing cat videos than it is to read from a printed page or on a dedicated e-reader that does not offer such opportunities for distraction?<idle musing>
Thus the digital reading environment offers not a difference in degree but a difference in kind, one that is transformational in nature rather than evolutionary. As the digital age unfolds, it is likely to substantially alter both the nature of reading and the nature of the book itself as deep linear reading fades in importance and functional tabular reading becomes more widespread than ever. This will in turn alter the way people write and even the ways they think, leading to a likely decline of deep analytical thought for the purpose of forming broad conceptual frameworks in favor of a more immediate, purely functional form of decision-oriented thinking based on rapidly acquired snippets of information.—Reading in a Digital Age doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.3998/mpub.9944117 (emphasis original)
I agree. I read voluminously—both digitally and in print—and I know it is much easier to get distracted when I'm reading on a screen. Take this study as an example. I keep getting distracted by incoming email. I get tempted to check this or that. Not so when I grab a book. Consequently, I remember better what I read in print than what I read digitally.
“by the time we get students at college,” said the Indiana University professor Polly Husmann, “they’ve already been told ‘You’re a visual learner.’” Or aural, or what have you.<idle musing>
The thing is, they’re not. Or at least, a lot of evidence suggests that people aren’t really one certain kind of learner or another. In a study published last month in the journal Anatomical Sciences Education, Husmann and her colleagues had hundreds of students take the vark questionnaire to determine what kind of learner they supposedly were. The survey then gave them some study strategies that seem like they would correlate with that learning style. Husmann found that not only did students not study in ways that seemed to reflect their learning style, those who did tailor their studying to suit their style didn’t do any better on their tests.—The Atlantic, April 11, 2018
Wednesday, April 11, 2018
Amen and amen! That's why Barth's theology, as interesting and provocative as it is, doesn't pass the scratch and sniff test. Anyone who can justify having their mistress move into the family dwelling and live with them has a serious issue. It will affect their theology in ways that aren't immediately obvious, but are foundational.
Tuesday, April 10, 2018
Monday, April 09, 2018
I guess you could call me naive! I firmly believe in the active presence of the Holy Spirit in the individual and the world. Anyone who has followed this blog very long should be aware that I frequently bemoan the "practical atheism" of most christians in the Western world in general and the US specifically. If we don't believe God is active in our lives on a daily basis, talking to us, prompting, empowering us, then what is our claim to historic Christianity?
Friday, April 06, 2018
Pentecostalism is best understood as a mystical tradition of the church catholic. The claim may not be self-evident to readers because of the number of reservations and objections on a host of matters, but I would say that this way of casting Pentecostalism is the most faithful way to preserve its traditional impulses, concerns, priorities, and overall ethos—features that continue to be present in its most vital contemporary forms. These mystical features have been prominent at different stages of the church's history, but sadly, Protestantism generally and evangelicalism particularly have often avoided or dismissed these as part of the gospel witness.—Pentecostalism as a Christian Mystical Tradition, page xvi (emphasis original)<idle musing>
I would qualify that statement a bit and say that the Reformed wing of Protestantism and evangelicalism has avoided it. The Wesleyan-Arminian wing, and to a lesser extent the Lutheran-German wing have embraced it. One only needs to consult Wesley's writings to see the embrace of the best of the mystical tradition, and it continued through out the nineteenth century as well. In the Lutheran-Germanic wing you have the pietistic impulse, which emphasized the mystical.
Because the Reformed are the ones who tend to write the history books and control the narrative, the assumption is made that they speak for all. Not much different than now, is it, with the Gospel Coalition claiming to speak for evangelicalism. But, that small caveat aside he is correct and this book looks to be a marvelous read. Come along for the ride!
Thursday, April 05, 2018
That's the final extract from this book. Quite short compared to the last one, isn't it? It's really a nice read at only 150 or so pages. Next up is a book that I received from Eerdmans about a year or so ago:
Wednesday, April 04, 2018
Monday, April 02, 2018
She laughed when she saw it, because it describes me when I get involved in reading a fiction book. Can you relate?
Friday, March 30, 2018
Thursday, March 29, 2018
The reference to Yahweh as the father of the individual believer is not attested in the Hebrew texts of the Old Testament but is found in the Greek version of Ben Sira from the second century BCE and in a Hebrew text from Qumran. In light of personal names that contain the element -ʾāb-, however, it is clear that Yahweh was also venerated in ancient Israel as “father,” that is, as the personal protector of an individual. [fn. Cf. Joab “Yahweh is [my] father” (1 Sam 26:6); Abijah “My father is Yahweh” (2 Chr 13:20–21).]
According to the Old Testament, the father-son relationship between Yahweh and the Judahite king is based in a historically conditioned choice or adoption, not in a mythical ancestry. Functionally, it characterizes the temporal designation of the king as the representative of God as well as the earthly guarantor of divine order and justice (Ps 2:7, 89:27). The functionality of the father-son metaphor is also reflected in its sapiential use with reference to a wise person who, by showing mercy to the poor, receives the title “son of God/son of the Most High” (Sir 4:10). The earliest profession that Jesus is the Son of God is in line with such a functional understanding (Mark 1:9–11). As a son, Jesus represents divine justice, the kingdom of heaven, and divine Wisdom.—The Development of God in the Old Testament, page 69
Wednesday, March 28, 2018
Thursday, March 22, 2018
Tuesday, March 20, 2018
Monday, March 19, 2018
Friday, March 16, 2018
Think Augustine, who knew no Hebrew and a smattering of Greek. He was dependent on the Old Latin translations—which frequently were less accurate than Jerome's Vulgate, which was in the process of being completed while Augustine was alive. Jerome knew Hebrew well and not infrequently chided Augustine about his lack of knowledge of Greek and Hebrew (Jerome could be nasty…).
Thursday, March 15, 2018
[T]hree characteristic elements of the biblical conception of divine and human justice can be identified. (1) Divine justice as communion between God and humanity is unpredictable and elusive but can nevertheless be experienced. (2) The human experience of injustice does not preclude communion with God and does not absolve one of the social responsibility to act justly toward others. This focus by Gen 4 on the explicit question of justice is also reflected in the earliest Jewish and Christian reception of the narrative: the Wisdom of Solomon characterizes Cain as the archetype of the unjust person (ἄδικος, Wis 10:3), and in the New Testament Abel serves as the archetype of the just person (δίκαιος, Matt 23:35 par. Luke 11:51, Heb 11:4). At the same time, the story of Cain and Abel points to the destructive potential of unequal economic relations, which within the Old Testament is further criticized in the prophetic books (cf. Isa 5:8–24, Mic 2:1–3), yet without legitimizing violence on the part of the disadvantaged. (3) As the figure of Noah demonstrates, actions and behaviors befitting communion with God and with fellow humans are not impossible but are the exception.—The Development of God in the Old Testament, page 33<idle musing>
Two things jump out: (1) the destructive potential of economic relations, but without legitimizing violence on the part of the disadvantaged. As I told my kids when they were growing up, "Violence is never an option." It just isn't the Christian way—but neither is complacency. (2) "actions and behaviors befitting communion with God and with fellow humans are not impossible but are the exception." Unfortunately, that's been my experience, too. Including my own actions over the years : (
Let's see what else this little book can tell us…
Wednesday, March 14, 2018
That's the final excerpt from this (long, but good) book. And an appropriate ending, to my way of thinking. Next up: The Development of God in the Old Testament. Stay tuned!
Tuesday, March 13, 2018
Thursday, March 08, 2018
If there is one thing people take away from these excerpts, this is it. I find myself repeating this over and over again to people, "God's wrath is not a divine attribute, but an aspect of God's love." It can't be said enough. If you make divine wrath an attribute, as some theologies do, you end up with a distant and untrustworthy god, not the God of the Bible; not the God revealed in Jesus Christ. But, if you remove wrath from an aspect of God's love, you end up with a vending machine god; the god of far too many prosperity preachers.
You can't pick and choose. God is a God of love, but divine jealousy is real and there are repercussions to straying. But, his love continually is drawing us back to him. And he is patient—extremely patient. And he listens to intercession.
Tuesday, March 06, 2018
Thursday, March 01, 2018
Tuesday, February 27, 2018
Monday, February 26, 2018
Friday, February 23, 2018
Monday, February 19, 2018
Friday, February 16, 2018
Thursday, February 15, 2018
Indeed, intrinsically connected to revealing the divine will is the two-fold prophetic role of being the mouth of God to the people and an advocate of the sinful party before God (cf. Ezek 13:5–7, Amos 3:7).—Standing in the Breach, page 511
Saturday, February 10, 2018
I believe that the church is worthy of the best hymn texts and the best hymn tunes, and if we don’t treasure them, we become impoverished. I have attended a great many churches over forty years that feature praise bands and praise music, and I have reluctantly come to the conclusion that we are robbing the next generations of the deep memory of texts that are not only doctrinally and biblically rich, but also emotionally stirring and communally enriching. My observation is that—generally speaking—praise music trades on repetition, individualism, and theatrical emoting by solo singers. I don’t mean to sound overly critical, but I don’t think there is anything quite like the voices of choir and congregation joined together in the words of a hymn with a text that has a plot—praise and proclamation followed by destabilization and then a powerful, upbuilding resolution with a sense of struggle overcome in the triumph of God—all of it rich in biblical imagery.<idle musing>
Amen and amen! Don't get me wrong, I like the choruses and sing along with them, but we need to keep the hymns of the church alive; they contain the real core of Christianity. We should supplement them with the choruses, not vice versa. Or, as happens far too often, substitute the choruses for the hymns.
Friday, February 09, 2018
I just read a book review of “Thus Speaks Ishtar of Arbela” yesterday in Svensk Exegetisk Årsbok. One of the points made is that the Neo-Assyrian and Mari prophets don't have the same access to the divine council that the Old Testament prophets do. A fascinating observation and a rare privilege that intercessors are given. This idea is developed further in the New Testament. . .
Tuesday, February 06, 2018
Wow! Did you catch that? Because of their stiffnecks, not despite their stiffnecks! That is ḥesed at its finest! Prevenient grace, the grace that goes before and awakens the sinner.
Monday, February 05, 2018
Saturday, February 03, 2018
Here's the first one, but the other ones are well-worth the reading, as well.
What is the meaning of weakness in this world? We all know that Christianity has been blamed ever since its early days for its message to the weak. Christianity is a religion of slaves, of people with inferiority complexes; it owes its success only to the masses of miserable people whose weakness and misery Christianity has glorified. It was the attitude towards the problem of weakness in the world, which made everybody to followers or enemies of Christianity. Against the new meaning which Christianity gave to the weak, against this glorification of weakness, there has always been the strong and indignant protest of an aristocratic philosophy of life which glorified strength and power and violence as the ultimate ideals of humanity. We have observed this very fight going on up to our present days. Christianity stands or falls with its revolutionary protest against violence, arbitrariness and pride of power and with its apologia for the weak. – I feel that Christianity is rather doing too little in showing these points than doing too much. Christianity has adjusted itself much too easily to the worship of power. It should give much more offence, more shock to the world, than it is doing. Christianity should take a much more definite stand for the weak than to consider the potential moral right of the strong.—Sermon on 2 Corinthians 12:9, London, 1934 in Works, Vol 13, 402-3 (emphasis added by Englewood)
Thursday, February 01, 2018
Not sure how much I agree with the first part, although 1 John does seem to imply what he's saying. But, I can definitely get behind the second half: prayer should always be our first response, although I sadly confess it isn't always. When we hear of, see, or experience firsthand a person sinning, or first response should be an involuntary one similar to Amos's: "Lord, forbear, Israel is so small!"
Wednesday, January 31, 2018
he Church has often been accused of holding a sexual ethic that ultimately represses or diminishes our sexuality. The truth is that our ethic is the only ethic capable of saving our sexuality from certain self-destruction. It’s high time that we remember that, and do all we can to hold before the world the hope given to us in the Incarnation—the very redemption of our bodies.<idle musing>
Amen and amen!
Friday, January 26, 2018
Now more than ever, as the "Court Evangelicals" drag the name of Christ into the mud : (
Thursday, January 25, 2018
Wednesday, January 24, 2018
Monday, January 15, 2018
Given all that, there isn't a lot of time for reading and writing! Please bear with me for a bit. Things should calm down after January (famous last words!).
Friday, January 05, 2018
Wednesday, January 03, 2018
Let me start by drawing attention to the conflict between Amos and Amaziah. In this confrontation one can discern an ongoing biblical tension between the prophet and the institutionalized cult, a tension that is already foreshadowed in Moses and Aaron and their handling of the golden calf incident. Aaron, Barth observes, is not a charismatic figure like Moses, but the archetype of the institutionalized priesthood. Although Aaron is, as the “administrator” of the tent of meeting indispensable, he seems not to have an independent relationship to God, as do Moses and Amos (Exod 7:1–2, Amos 7:15). Aaron and Amaziah are men of the “established church.” They listen to the people’s voice. Moses and Amos, in contrast, are prophets. It is to them that God speaks directly, and thus they can intercede authoritatively with God on behalf of the sinful people and pass on the Lord’s word to Israel (Num 12:6–8, Amos 3:7). This contrast and tension comes also to expression in Jeremiah’s temple sermon ( Jeremiah 7) and reaches a dramatic climax in Jesus’ conflict with the temple establishment (cf. Matt 26:57–68).—Standing in the Breach, page 483
Tuesday, January 02, 2018
Sound familiar? What would Amos think of our culture? I suspect what he said to Israel would sound tame in comparison...