Thursday, April 30, 2015
Who's on first?
This is in contrast to Koiné Greek, where in a long phrase only one-two elements are preposed
Let go of the pride
Wednesday, April 29, 2015
Grace is the answer
Amen! This seems to answer some of my concerns yesterday...
Metaphors really do matter—a lot
I'm noticing this in most of the linguistics books I've been reading lately. They all treat the brain—and by extension, the person—as a machine, a large and very complicated computer. If we can just figure out the correct program, everything will make sense. Except that people aren't logical and rational...so, metaphors do matter.
What to do with that pesky Hebrew vav
Could it be?
Interesting proposition, isn't it? I ran into the same idea while reading David Clark's dissertation. At the time, I was skeptical—as I was when I started reading this book. But, I think Gibson makes a good argument. In fact, I've come to believe he's correct.
Tuesday, April 28, 2015
The extent of grace
Some Christians think grace means God paid your entry fees and put you on the race course, but now it’s up to you to run the race. Other Christians think grace means that if you try really, really hard but complete only the 5k race, God will give you a marathoner’s medal anyway because he’s nice that way. Neither of those goes nearly far enough.
To run with the racing analogy, grace means you’re a quadriplegic who can’t afford a wheelchair, let alone the entry fee. Grace means that the only way you’ll get on the racetrack is if Jesus pays your fee and carries you onto the course. Grace means that the only way you’ll run the race is if Jesus carries you every step of the way. And grace means you’ll cross the finish line and receive the finisher’s crown solely because Jesus carried you across.
What’s your role in all this? Your biggest job is letting Jesus carry you through the race. Invariably, this proves too much for you and me, and we end up head butting Jesus until he lets us wallow in the mud of our sin.—Radically Normal, electronic edition
That's a great analogy, but it sounds a bit too monergistic (God does everything, we are just passive). Mind you, it is all Christ empowering us and enabling us. But, we have to get out of the boat, to change the metaphor to when Peter walked on water. It was faith in Christ that allowed Peter to do it, but he had to take the step. Mind you, it was all Christ, all the time—or I should say faith in Christ—but Peter's legs didn't just move monergistically! He had to move them. And that is where it is soooo easy to have it morph into works. And that is what he's really trying to prevent here. But, we need to remember that our response is real and it counts. It is in a very real way synergistic (working together), but the initiative is always (and I can't emphasize that enough!) God, and the power to even respond is from God.
Has that just muddied the waters? I hope not.
We love to categorize
The human race is always prone to give names to aspects of experience, and then to take for granted that whatever corresponds to those names exists. Give something a name (like intelligence, or perseverance, or wickedness), and many people will think that it exists, not as a kind of behavior that fits a certain description, but as the cause or underpinning of the behavior. Thus for example reading, which in general is easily identifiable behavior, has become transmuted into the reading process, which is assumed (by many) to actually exist within the human brain (which is also supposed to contain a writing process, a grammatical process, and a phonemic awareness process) .—Understanding Reading, pages 7–8
Sentence? What sentence?
Come? Or "draw us near"?
Monday, April 27, 2015
The weight of obligation
Right on! Do you think God would be more pleased with you if you read another couple of chapters in the Bible? Or if you spent more time in prayer? Or if you went to a soup kitchen? Or helped the homeless?
While none of those are bad in and of themselves—actually they are commendable acts—but if you are doing them to "please God more" then they are dead works. Trash! Garbage! Worthless! You are trying to earn what you already have—the love of God. Stop it! Change your heart and mind (i.e., repent) and accept the love of God in Christ.
He might still lead you to do those things—in fact, he probably will!—but now they will be out of a different motivation. And that is what counts.
Consistency? Not so much...
And should we expect consistency? Look at your own life and theology. I'll bet there isn't a whole lot of consistency there! I know that I catch myself in inconsistencies all the time. Humanity is not a rational being, despite what we would like to think. My goal is to prayerfully eliminate the inconsistencies, though; I want my life to be consistently Christian, with Jesus shining through in thoughts, words, and deeds.
What about you? Is that your goal too?
If only it were easy
As I told someone the other day, "If it were easy, we wouldn't still be arguing about it!" But that's the fun of it, right? Right? Oh, come on—it's fun, right? : )
Sunday, April 26, 2015
I don't like this
Neonicotinoid apologists reject these studies, in part because the researchers force-feed neonic-laced food to the bees. The critics say that the most important thing for bees is freedom of choice. Give bees the right to pick their own nectar in the wild, they say, and they will eat a wide variety of foods that best suits their individual needs, mostly avoiding the poisonous plants. It sounds oddly like the talking points of soda manufacturers in soda ban debates: Let consumers “make the choice that’s right for them.”
The journal Nature published two studies today that disprove the “freedom of bee choice” theory. In the first, researchers offered bees two food sources: a pure sugar solution and a sugar solution laced with neonicotinoids. The bees did not avoid the contaminated food—they actually preferred it! The researchers then went a step further, testing the bees’ neural response to the insecticide. (Isn’t science amazing?) Although bee brains have bitter-sensing neurons that help detect poison (humans have them, too), this defense mechanism didn’t respond to neonicotinoids. In the end, the neonic-fed bees died earlier than their health food-eating peers, essentially poisoning themselves with junk.
Saturday, April 25, 2015
I've posted the outline that I created, along with a supporting file of graphics, on Academia.edu. I hope at least a few of you might find it helpful.
Disclaimer: This is not intended to be an academic/scholarly outline. It is intended to give a good overview of the ANE backgrounds to a group of Christians who want to better understand the Old Testament/Hebrew Bible. The presentation takes about 4.5 hours, allowing for three breaks and questions; in this case the questions took between 30–45 minutes. Of course, depending on the group, the question session may be shorter or longer.
I had a blast doing it. I hope I get the privilege of doing it again sometime soon. I'm sure I'll continue to modify the outline, so if you have suggestions, please leave a comment. Again, bear in mind that this is designed as an overview for the advanced lay person with a basic knowledge of the Bible, so suggestion should be appropriate for that audience.
As an aside, they posted an interview with one of the students (Marie) on their Facebook page. Although I have to say, I am not a professor!, but thanks for the compliment : )
Update: I found out that you need to log in to academia.edu in order to download the files. Sorry about that. Try this link for the outline:
and this link for the graphics: https://www.dropbox.com/s/7suqksjcj2qt4wk/Images_for_ANE_Backgrounds.pdf?dl=0
Let me know if the links don't work!
Friday, April 24, 2015
What exactly is "radically normal" anyway?
Isn't that a refreshing viewpoint? I think I'm going to like this book...
It's all about context
OK. That one brought a smile to my face : )
Context really is everything. And sometimes I wonder how correctly we get the context in the ancient world...and how can we know if we get it right? But that's the challenge that keeps me digging deeper all the time!
Now we're getting somewhere
The present study explores the significance of information-structure functions for preposing in BH. The concepts of focusing and topicalization are clarified and redefined so that they provide insights into when and why preposing occurs. A sample of preposed clauses is examined to determine whether information-structure functions are statistically dominant or whether functions that relate to the clause as a whole, such as simultaneity and anteriority, are the dominant kind. In addition, differences between preposing in narrative and direct speech are explored. In subsequent chapters, focused and topicalized clauses are analyzed in detail from the syntactic and the pragmatic perspectives.— Word Order in the Biblical Hebrew Finite Clause, pages 46, 47
Not of "this generation"
Why would Jesus make reference to all of this, and why would he frame the petitions of the prayer he gave his disciples in terms of not doing what the biblical prototype of “this generation” does, unless he was trying to give to his disciples something that would help them avoid becoming like them?—The Disciples’ Prayer, page 98
Thursday, April 23, 2015
Another new book—well, new to me anyway
It's got to fit!
Uncomfortable facts which refuse to be fitted in, we find ourselves ignoring or distorting so that they do not disturb these established assumptions.—Purity and Danger, pages 45, 46
Topic? Who knows!
Ain't that the truth! I'm wading through Lambrecht's Information Structure and Sentence Form: Topic, Focus, and the Mental Representations of Discourse Referents right now. Talk about dense! And confusing doesn't begin to describe it...I've heard people say it is one the hardest books they ever read. I agree. I'm not sure if it is the subject or the writing—or both!
So, for someone to say that the whole idea of topic is "problematic" is refreshing. At least I'm not the only one confused...
Wednesday, April 22, 2015
Huh? Say that in English please
Love that dirt
It ain't easy
At the same time, what we have discovered is fundamentally at odds with certain key tenets of postmodernist thought, especially those that claim that meaning is un-grounded and simply an arbitrary cultural construction.
What has been discovered about primary metaphor, for example, simply does not bear this out. There appear to be both universal metaphors and cultural variation.—Metaphors We Live By, pages 274–75
Loving means not willing the destruction of enemies
And the standard hasn't changed in 2000 years...mercy and forgiveness, loving. And the last time I checked, those three words don't have a meaning of "hate" or "bomb them to death" in their definition. No, not even for "American interests" that "need to be defended."
Tuesday, April 21, 2015
Too vague to be useful
In other words, we need a good linguistic reason for the preposing of subjects and/or objects. "Emphasis" is just a catchall term to say "We're not sure, but this seems to make sense." Not terribly convincing, is it?
A scary alternative
It's all around me!
* Conceptual metaphors are grounded in everyday experience.
* Abstract thought is largely, though not entirely, metaphorical.
* Metaphorical thought is unavoidable, ubiquitous, and mostly unconscious.
* Abstract concepts have a literal core but are extended by metaphors, often by many mutually inconsistent metaphors.
* Abstract concepts are not complete without metaphors. For example, love is not love without metaphors of magic, attraction, madness, union, nurturance, and so on.
* Our conceptual systems are not consistent overall, since the metaphors used to reason about concepts may be inconsistent.
* We live our lives on the basis of inferences we derive via metaphor.—Metaphors We Live By, pages 273–74
The path of the "true child of God"
Monday, April 20, 2015
Yes, verb first
So much for the myth of the self-made person! Or the wishful thinking that we can control our own destiny. And this has ramifications for the arguments about abortion...as he will make clear (eventually!).
And what has changed? What do "peace-keeping missions" do today but enforce our view? Why is it that the politicians are always "defending American interests" if not because they believe this? The pax americana is the same as the pax romana; if you don't support the regime, it isn't very peaceful. The more things change, the more they remain the same...<sigh>
Friday, April 17, 2015
We are communal beings
But is it really a resource?
Forgiveness is first
Thursday, April 16, 2015
If it were simple, we wouldn't be arguing about it...
Basic word order is sometimes used to mean the statistically dominant order, the one that is most frequent in spoken or written texts. There is a widespread assumption that the pragmatically neutral word order is also the most frequent. According to Greenberg (1966b: 67), textual frequency is the only criterion by which basic word order can be established. “Statistically dominant” is clearly a less meaningful definition of basic word order than “pragmatically neutral,” because frequency is a feature of language use rather than language structure. In practice, however, researchers usually rely on textual frequency in establishing basic word order, because proving that a particular order is pragmatically neutral is an extremely involved procedure, requiring the identification and classification of all discourse contexts in which each word order occurs.— Word Order in the Biblical Hebrew Finite Clause, pages 7–8
It is true
And that is just as true today as it was then...we see a lot of public servants serving themselves and exploiting the public for their own enrichment. The more things change, the more they stay the same...
Wednesday, April 15, 2015
No ethics? Meta-ethics might be a better term
Concealing or revealing the truth?
Take up the cross
Self-Denial:Despite what many of us who were brought up in penitential atmospheres have been taught, in the teaching of Jesus to “deny oneself” (ἀπαρνησάσθω ἑαυτῷ [aparnēsasthō heautō]), especially when it is linked, as it is here, with a command to “take up one’s cross,” has little to do with the practice of asceticism (i.e., to deny something, especially pleasures, to oneself). Rather, it involves the rejection of a presumed prerogative, in this case the right to defend one’s life (ψυχὴν αὐτοῦ σῶσαι [psychēn autou sōsai]) at all costs when faced with danger or death. More particularly, when we take into account how Jesus links “saving” one’s life with seeking “to gain the whole world” (κερδῆσαι τὸν κόσμον ὅλον [kerdēsai ton kosmon holon]) and what seeking “to gain the whole world” signifies, to “deny oneself” means to give up as valid any idea that one has the right to preserve self or life from danger or death through the exercise of self-aggrandizing power. So, “to deny oneself” entails not only accepting a posture of defenselessness in the face of danger and death but also rejecting seeking worldly power and dominion through worldly means.—The Disciples’ Prayer, pages 71–72
Tuesday, April 14, 2015
Of course, that gives me the gardening itch : ) I was tempted to plant in the cold frames at the beginning of March, but knew better than that. But, this weekend I couldn't resist (and it's about time anyway). I planted peas, radishes, and spinach seeds in the cold frames. And I transplanted 36 small heads of Romaine lettuce from the basement into two frames.
I had planted them back in February in a 4 foot section of rain gutter filled with potting soil. I also planted radishes and spinach about the same time. The spinach get real leggy and tough—it just won't grow well for me under lights. That's my second year attempting it and I'm giving up. But the radishes and lettuce did OK. We've been eating fresh radishes from the basement for about 2–3 weeks now. They aren't as bit as from outside, but at least they exist : )
Anyway, back to the lettuce...I tried it last year with poor success. It didn't germinate well and got too leggy. This year, I had newer seed and I made sure to keep the lights very close. The results were much better. The heads are shorter and tighter. And now that they are outside, they should do well. In a few weeks we'll be eating fresh Romaine from the garden. Even if it gets cold and snows, it should do OK; I always use a Winter Density version to resist the cold. In Indiana, I had it growing most all winter in the hoop house, so a few cold blasts won't harm it.
We had a few Romaine plants left after transplanting, so we ate them. Not much of a meal, but were they ever tender—and tasty! So much better than the store-bought stuff, even the organic, locally-raised stuff...
In other gardening news, I've got pepper, tomato, broccoli, cabbage, leek, and onion seedlings growing under lights in the basement. They are doing well and should be ready to go out under row cover by the middle of May.
I'm also experimenting with a few broccoli plants in self-watering containers down there. I was hoping to get fresh broccoli over the winter, but I delayed in planting them too long. But they do appear to be doing ok. We'll see what they produce...
We also started cleaning up the cabins, getting ready for the new season. We don't open until May 8, but it doesn't hurt to be ready early. I'm starting to replace the bathroom floor in Birch. I'm hoping it isn't too bad, but I won't know until I get the tile up. Last year, what we thought would be an easy repair ended up being a large section of rotted subfloor once we got the tile up...at least this year it's above freezing : )
It, too, is lacking
All grace, all the time
Through narrow glasses
Becoming a "son" of God
Monday, April 13, 2015
I-it or I-thou? It matters
But it contradicts my favorite presuppositions
Indeed! As usual, presuppositions block the ability to see the forest...
A bit of action
Friday, April 10, 2015
The goal is God
Phenomenology and ethics
This dovetails nicely with the last post, doesn't it? How we picture things affects what we see. Metaphors matter. The stories we tell ourselves, the way we picture ourselves, all influence who we are and how we act.
The hound of heaven
Another reason that the Italian phrase "traduttore, traditore" (the translator is a traitor) is so accurate. Every change affects meaning, however subtly.
And that's also why the copyeditor's job is tough at times. You want to make sure the author's argument comes through the most effectively—but you have to make sure that in doing so you aren't changing it. Sometimes that's easier than other times.
What it is
A simple task
Thursday, April 09, 2015
Michael V. Fox
Hardcover $69.95 ISBN 9781628370201
500 pages The Hebrew Bible: A Critical Edition 1
It's nice to see it in print after spending so many hours poring over it in PDF and print outs. I just hope nobody finds any especially egregious errors!
It hides as much as it reveals
Indeed. A metaphor is a powerful thing. It hides just as much, if not more, than it reveals. By comparing X with Y, you are excluding all other options. You are directing people's thoughts to the particular aspect of X that you want people to notice.
Usually this is a subconscious thing, but not always. You want your version of the truth to be the strongest, so you naturally will choose the metaphor that presents the strongest case.
First Century Synagogues
That possessive apostrophe
I.e., John’s car versus the car of John. Got it?
Wednesday, April 08, 2015
Metaphor versus metonymy
It's not a derivative
"The" or "a"—and why
The indwelling Christ
Tuesday, April 07, 2015
That assumes, of course, that both sides really want to listen to each other. I suspect what we are seeing in society of late is a breakdown of this model...
As I was saying...
Indeed, just as I was saying in the last post. How we choose to present something, or think about something, has huge ramifications for the answers we get. If we think LIFE IS A BATTLE, then we look at things in a totally different way than if we think LIFE IS A JOURNEY.
If we think life is a battle, then we will have more of a defiant, defensive attitude. We need to hold the fort, defeat those enemies standing in our path. No retreat! No compromise!
If, however, we think life is a journey, we will tend to see things less as a confrontation and more as an opportunity to learn. We will tend to be more open to new experiences, less defensive.
Me? I'm playing the tourist! What about you?
It's all grace
I wish some Calvinists would understand that for Arminians, it is all grace, all the way. The difference is apportioned grace versus free grace. Arminians believe in Free Grace—free for all, unmeasurable, overflowing, supernatural grace.
Theology of the Lord's Prayer
Get that? Reality is a step or two (or three or more) removed from what you are trying to say. Now, throw in a bit of Cognitive Linguistics, and what isn't said is just as important as what is said. By saying things in one way, we are excluding all the other possible ways of presenting it.
Witness the "debates" that are happening in the political realm in our country lately. By presenting the arguments in a certain way, both parties are seeking to control the conversation. What they don't say, and how they don't choose to present their arguments tells you far more than what they do say.
It's a miracle we communicate at all...
That dichotomy again
Monday, April 06, 2015
Stephanus did us a disfavor
13 Jesus went up on a mountain and called those he wanted, and they came to him. 14 He appointed twelve and called them apostles. He appointed them to be with him, to be sent out to preach, 15 and to have authority to throw out demons. (CEB)
Seems that he has three purposes in mind: (1) to be with him, (2) to be sent out to preach, and (3) to have authority over demons.
13 He went up the mountain and called to him those whom he wanted, and they came to him. 14 And he appointed twelve, whom he also named apostles, to be with him, and to be sent out to proclaim the message, 15 and to have authority to cast out demons. (NRSV)
Again, the same three purposes.
13 And He went up on the mountain and summoned those whom He Himself wanted, and they came to Him. 14 And He appointed twelve, so that they would be with Him and that He could send them out to preach, 15 and to have authority to cast out the demons. (NASB)
Not as clear here. Is it three purposes, or only two? (1) to be with him, (2) to be sent out, and maybe (3) to cast out demons. The first two are introduced by "that" or "so that," while the last one is just an infinitive—but the verse number makes me subconsciously want to make it an independent point. So, we'll say three purposes.
13 And he went up on the mountain and called to him those whom he desired, and they came to him. 14 And he appointed twelve (whom he also named apostles) so that they might be with him and he might send them out to preach 15 and have authority to cast out demons. (ESV)
Also not as clear. But it does seem that there are two purposes, with verse 15 being a subset of "send them out." But, again, the verse number makes me want to posit three purposes.
13 Jesus went up on a mountainside and called to him those he wanted, and they came to him. 14 He appointed twelve[—designating them apostles—]that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach 15 and to have authority to drive out demons. (NIV)
Again, not as clear, but it might be two or three purposes. Because of the verse numbering, I would again say three purposes.
OK, now we're ready to look at the Greek
13 Καὶ ἀναβαίνει εἰς τὸ ὄρος καὶ προσκαλεῖται οὓς ἤθελεν αὐτός, καὶ ἀπῆλθον πρὸς αὐτόν. 14 καὶ ἐποίησεν δώδεκα [οὓς καὶ ἀποστόλους ὠνόμασεν] ἵνα ὦσιν μετ᾿ αὐτοῦ καὶ ἵνα ἀποστέλλῃ αὐτοὺς κηρύσσειν 15 καὶ ἔχειν ἐξουσίαν ἐκβάλλειν τὰ δαιμόνια· (Mark 3:13–15)
OK, what do we have? In verse 14, he appoints the 12 "in order that (1) they might be with him, in order that (2) he might send them out for the purpose of (2.1) announcing (the gospel) and for the purpose of (2.2) having authority to cast out demons."
So, what were the primary purposes for calling the twelve, according to the Greek? Two: (1) to be with him and (2) to be sent out. The secondary purposes are (2.1) to announce the gospel and (2.2) to have authority to cast out demons, both or which are dependent on being sent out.
So, the CEB and the NRSV don't convey the Greek well, and the other ones try to, but the verse break gets in the way of our seeing what the Greek says. Stephanus did us a disfavor!
How deep does metaphor go?
In other words, pretty deep. Extremely deep. (And even that wording of "deep" is a metaphor...)
Another reason word-for-word translation doesn't work
Keep this in mind as you think about starting an association. Such a group could be a small opening for God to work in the hearts of the Chinese people, but only if it is closely knit and affords you the opportunity to witness to God’s reign. Your utmost desire must be that hope for God’s kingdom awakens in many hearts. An association such as this, in which the characteristics of Christ are alive, would in fact be a church. It would be God’s house. Yet meetings and gatherings would arise spontaneously and would lay a foundation on which the Spirit of God could continue building. May God grant you such an abundance of his Spirit that those around you are gripped by Christ and his true nature.—Christoph Blumhardt in The Hidden Christ, page 37
Sunday, April 05, 2015
Would you just get with the program!
He is risen
Check out this One Time Blind skit that (unfortunately) too often sums up Easter for us
He is risen! So?
The long passage of time has brought with it a temptation to keep on speaking about the death of Christ and his resurrection without being moved by it. We hear about Christ’s death on the cross, and we sit there just as bored as if we were reading a newspaper – in fact we would find a newspaper a good deal more interesting. Here the enemy has made a gain, and if we wish to shift him at all, then we must stand before God and fight and pray to find the meaning of Christ’s death and resurrection.—Christoph Blumhardt
Saturday, April 04, 2015
Not very effective
All it does is start an arms race between Leah and Rachel. Both servants bear kids. But Rachel is still barren.
A bit later, Reuben comes in from the fields with mandrakes, which were believed to be an aphrodisiac, which would assist in getting pregnant. Rachel, desperately wanting children, sees them; she wants them. So, she gives away a night with Jacob to Leah in hopes of a long-term gain: pregnancy.
What happens next is interesting. Leah, who gave away the mandrakes, get pregnant. Not once, but three times! So much for the effectiveness of the aphrodisiac!
I think there's something theological going on here, don't you? God's trying to teach Rachel that you can't manipulate him. (Of course, if we learn the lesson, so much the better!) Aphrodisiacs don't work. Prayer does. Not that Rachel really learns; later she steals Laban's idols in another vain attempt to control the future...but that's another story for another day : )
Here's the text in the CEB (chosen because it translates mandrakes as "erotic herbs")
14 During the wheat harvest, Reuben found some erotic herbs in the field and brought them to his mother Leah. Rachel said to Leah, “Give me your son’s erotic herbs.”
15 Leah replied, “Isn’t it enough that you’ve taken my husband? Now you want to take my son’s erotic herbs too?”
Rachel said, “For your son’s erotic herbs, Jacob may sleep with you tonight.”
16 When Jacob came back from the field in the evening, Leah went out to meet him and said, “You must sleep with me because I’ve paid for you with my son’s erotic herbs.” So he slept with her that night.
17 God responded to Leah. She became pregnant and gave birth to a fifth son for Jacob. 18 Leah said, “God gave me what I paid for, what I deserved for giving my servant to my husband.” So she named him Issachar. 19 Leah became pregnant again and gave birth to a sixth son for Jacob, 20 and she said, “God has given me a wonderful gift. Now my husband will honor me since I’ve borne him six sons.” So she named him Zebulun. 21 After this, she gave birth to a daughter and named her Dinah.
22 Then God remembered Rachel, responded to her...
Friday, April 03, 2015
Take that, you Augustinians!
It really is a prayer
How it is said matters
Seems obvious, doesn't it? But we don't do that. We say, "What he or she really mean is..." I'm in the midst of Lakoff and Johnson's marvelous little book, Metaphors We Live By, and one of the things they stress is that the way we say things matters. A lot. A whole lot. Grab the book and read it, especially pages 136–37.
Thought for a Good Friday
Thursday, April 02, 2015
What about Phoebe?
Given the role of letters carriers as apostolic envoys who communicated the παρουσία [(virtual) presence] of the sender/author, it is reasonable to conclude that the carrier was expected to be an extension of Paul’s own ministry in that location, of which teaching was a central component. The glimpses of the responsibilities that Tychicus, Timothy, Titus, and perhaps even Phoebe had as letter carriers correspond with the kind of ministry Paul instructed his envoys Timothy and Titus to carry out in the letters he wrote to them. p. 147(emphasis original)which has interesting ramifications for those who don't believe women should teach...
With thanks to Matt for sending me a copy!
Prevenient grace endorsed
Truth be known, strict Augustinianism was actually named anathema at one of these synods—Take that Synod of Dort!
Unconscious transformation (grammar?)
But my theory has to be correct!
Indeed! Would that more "theories" of all sort were that willing to change. Usually what happens is that we create "exceptions" to justify our preconceived ideas.
And not just in linguistic theories, either. How many times have you heard or thought, "Jesus didn't really mean that!"? Ouch! Maybe, just maybe, our theories or theology might be wrong. Radical thought, but probably true.
I hope that isn't true! But, sadly, church history bears it out. As one church history book puts it, "and in the finest tradition, they killed them" in talking about renewal movements. Even Andrew Murray was freaked out when revival came to his church. Why? Because it began amongst the children! It didn't come from the pulpit and he wanted to shut it down because of that!
Old habits die hard, don't they? We're still judging by the world's standards: power, status, hierarchy, prestige!
Lord, forgive us! May we adopt the way of the cross.
About that atonement thing
What the cross is not is a quid pro quo where God agrees to forgive upon receipt of his Son’s murder. What the cross is not is an economic transaction whereby God gains the capital to forgive. These legal and fiscal models for understanding the cross simply will not do.And a bit further
Jesus does not save us from God, Jesus reveals God as savior. What is revealed on Good Friday is not a monstrous deity requiring a virgin to be thrown into a volcano or a firstborn son to be nailed to a tree. What is revealed on Good Friday is the depths of human depravity and the greater depths of God’s love.
The death of Jesus was a sacrifice. But it was a sacrifice to end sacrificing, not a sacrifice to appease an angry god. It was not God who required the sacrifice of Jesus, it was human civilization. A system built upon violent power cannot tolerate the presence of one who owes it nothing. The sacrifice of Jesus was necessary to convince us to quit producing sacrificial victims; it was not necessary to convince God to forgive. When Jesus prays for forgiveness on the cross he was not acting contrary to the nature of God, he was revealing the nature of God as forgiving love.And yet further
The crucifixion is not what God inflicts upon Jesus in order to forgive, the crucifixion is what God in Christ endures as he forgives. The cross is where God absorbs sin and recycles it into forgiveness.<idle musing>
The crucifixion is not the ultimate attempt to change God’s mind about us — the cross is the ultimate attempt to change our mind about God. God is not like Caiaphas seeking a sacrifice. God is not like Pilate requiring an execution. God is like Jesus, absorbing sin and forgiving sinners.
Yep. And while we're thinking about atonement, you might want to check out Michael Bird's post from the other day. Here's the conclusion, but read the whole thing.
However, if we were to pick one ring to rule them all, one model which is perhaps capable of linking together the others without relativizing them, then I’d probably say Christus Victor. I say that because the CV is the model which best unites Christology, kingdom, and soteriology together.I couldn't put it better myself.
In want of a summarizing statement about what the cross achieved, we could say that the atonement is the climax of God’s project to put the world to right through the cross of Jesus. The cross brings God’s people into God’s place under God’s reign to share in God’s holy-loving-glory on account of the love that is demonstrated in the cross and the justice that is satisfied on the cross.
Wednesday, April 01, 2015
New book from Carta
In the Master's Steps: The Gospels in the Land
R. Steven Notley
Carta, Jerusalem, 2015
88 pages, English
Description: This volume, the first of four in The Carta New Testament Atlas, is about recent advances in history, geography, toponomy, and archaeology, the tools necessary to shed fresh light on the Gospels.
According to the forward, parts of it are extracted from The Carta Bible Atlas, but I haven't had a chance to see which ones.
I have looked it over, and as usual, it is up to the high standards that Carta has for its products. The maps are clear and crisp, the choice of photos is excellent. And the parts of Steven's commentary that I have read are good. I specifically looked over Chapter 7: Jesus and the Myth of an Essene Quarter in Jerusalem, which appears in The Sacred Bridge as Excursus 22.1. I haven't, however, compared them, so I don't know to what degree they overlap. Further, I have the original 2006 edition, not the updated 2014 one, so even if I did compare them, it wouldn't say much.
Here's the Table of Contents:
Chapter 1: The Birth of Jesus and the Flight into Egypt
Chapter 2: The Ministry of John and the Baptism of Jesus
Chapter 3: The Travels of Jesus
Chapter 4: The Sea of Galilee: Development of an Early Christian Toponym
Chapter 5: The First Century Environs of the Sea of Galilee
Chapter 6: The Last Days of Jesus
Chapter 7: Jesus and the Myth of an Essene Quarter in Jerusalem
Chapter 8: The Arrest and Death of Jesus
Chapter 9: From the Empty Tomb to the Road to Emmaus
As you can see, it covers the whole of the Gospels. According to the back of the book, the second volume will be Jerusalem City of the Great King, volume three will be From Jerusalem to the Ends of the Earth: The Spread of the Early Church, and volume four will be Armageddon & The Apocalypse: Mapping the End of Days.
If you are looking for an atlas that covers just the Gospels, then this would be it. Even if you owned the shorter abridgment of The Sacred Bridge, Carta's New Century Handbook and Atlas of the Bible, you would benefit, as it doesn't include the excursus (what's the plural of excursus? Isn't it fourth declension? If so, it would simply be excursūs...).