Friday, April 29, 2022
YHWH or Elohim? Why the switch?
Thursday, April 28, 2022
The book of Job thus suggests that between the extremes of blessing God explicitly (which is, of course, appropriate speech and which Job does at the outset) and cursing God (which is clearly folly, and which Job therefore avoids), there is the viable option of honest, forthright challenge to God in prayer, which God (as Creator) both wants and expects of those made in the divine image—and this is right speech too.—Abraham's Silence, 128
Wednesday, April 27, 2022
Expanding the inheritance
This goes beyond the case of the daughters of Zelophehad in Numbers 27:1-11. That text records an incident in which Zelophehad’s ﬁve daughters (who are named [27:2], like Job’s daughters) come to Moses after their father dies, requesting that his inheritance come to them, since there are no sons to carry on his name (27:1—4). Moses takes their request to YHWH, who not only agrees (27:5—7; also 36:2) but makes it a standing ordinance in Israel that the inheritance should go to daughters if there are no sons (27:8). But Job goes well beyond this, since he had sons, yet he gave his daughters an inheritance equal to theirs. Why might this be important? Has Job’s experience of being ostracized (at the bottom of the social ladder), along with his protest about the injustice he felt was being done to him and his recognition of YHWH’s concern for him even in his suffering, profoundly impacted his ethical sensibilities and spilled over into advocacy on behalf of those suffering the injustice of patriarchy?—Abraham's Silence, 127–28
Tuesday, April 26, 2022
Job yells at God and…
And YHWH accepted Job’s prayer on behalf of his friends (42:9) and “restored the fortunes of Job,” giving him twice as much as he previously had (42:10), speciﬁed in the numbers of his livestock (42:12). When it comes to interpersonal relationships, Job both receives and gives. He receives comfort (and gifts) from his brothers and sisters, and from others who knew him (42:11), and he also receives new children—seven sons and three daughters were born to him (42:13).—Abraham's Silence, 126–27
Monday, April 25, 2022
Like a beast
The core of the comparison is found in the description of the powerful mouth of each beast. Whereas [Job] 40:23 pictures Behemoth standing fearlessly facing the turbulent Jordan, as its waters rush against its open mouth, Job had previously (in 6:15-21) compared his friends’ attempts at consolation to a treacherous Wadi or torrent bed that at first seemed full of rushing water but that quickly dried up and disappeared in the face of Job’s sufferings and complaint. That Job was able to verbally stand against and outlast his companions (much as Behemoth is able to stand against the raging Jordan) belies his own sense of impotence just a few verses before (6:12—13). Indeed, Job’s own self—description in 6:12 (“ls my strength the strength of stones?/ or is my ﬂesh bronze?”) is echoed in God’s description of Behemoth in 40:18 (“Its bones are tubes of bronze, / its limbs like bars of iron”). The implication is that Job, in standing up to his friends, is more powerful than he thinks.—Abraham's Silence, 112
Friday, April 22, 2022
The power of prayer
Thursday, April 21, 2022
Speak it out!
Wednesday, April 20, 2022
Don't be afraid to yell!
And, contrary to appearances, that desperate, honest voicing of pain to God is not blasphemous, but is a holy, redemptive act. Prayers of lament are radical acts of faith and hope because they refuse, even in the midst of suffering, to give up on God.—Abraham's Silence, 35 (emphasis original)
Tuesday, April 19, 2022
the importance of being honest—especially with God!
One of my favorite books in the Old Testament/Hebrew Bible is Habakkuk. He's so honest. He sees injustice and complains to God about it. God answers, and he complains again, and again. In the end, he praises God because he believes, but along the way—well, it's honest, rugged, and raw.
I like to tell people not to be afraid to yell at God. He's big enough to take it. And it's not like he doesn't already know what you are thinking! Be honest. You might find your faith strengthened instead of weakened.
Monday, April 18, 2022
Knowing just enough Greek to get into trouble
Again, it emphasizes the necessity of proof reading front matter! Check your work!
Advance the fight (nonviolently!)
That's the final snippet from the book. I hope you've enjoyed the journey and learned a thing or two. I know it helped me put together pieces of stuff I had been noticing for a long time. To see in "named" was extremely helpful, just as Clapp said it would. Once something is named, it is harder for it to stay hidden.
I may post an excursus on one point in the book; we'll see. Meanwhile, the next book is J. Richard Middleton, Abraham's Silence. I'm not sure how much I'll post from it, as it seems to be one of those books where excerpting it destroys the argument because of how it is built up. But, we'll get at least a week or three out of it.
Friday, April 15, 2022
Compelling, but not coercive
Wednesday, April 13, 2022
The importance of proofreading front matter
Moral of the story: Check the front matter—twice!
Table of Contents for copyediting stuff.
Tuesday, April 12, 2022
Seen in my wanderings
Word for the century
Let those who have ears to hear, hear!
Monday, April 11, 2022
Going back to go forward
Friday, April 08, 2022
And that's why I find it so troubling that so many "Christians" live in such fear. If you really believe that God in Christ has conquered, not just death, but everything (see Rom 8), then how can you live in fear? How can you embrace a strongman to protect you when you are already "hidden with Christ in God" (Col 3)?
Thursday, April 07, 2022
Wednesday, April 06, 2022
Tuesday, April 05, 2022
In cooperation with, not in competition with
All told, though we need not deny the place of the market, we must recognize that it does have a place—not as the all-encompassing and all-defining framework of being but as within, limited, and constrained by a surrounding and suffusing social and ecological matrix. Within that matrix, it should serve the rightful and prospering ends of society and all of creation. Its own survival depends on this.— Naming Neoliberalism: Exposing the Spirit of Our Age, 168-69 (embedded quotation from Stone, Evangelism after Christendom, 220)
I would add, our survival depends on it as well! Relatedly, see this video of Sandra Richter on what the Old Testament says about creation care (compliments of Jim Eisenbraun).
Monday, April 04, 2022
Exploitation vs. worship
An apocalyptic frame disallows seeing the earth as a wreck from which some human individuals are rescued. Instead, Christ’s apocalyptic work is about the re-creation of the cosmos, human and nonhuman, toward the end that it be in proper relationship with God and its myriad cocreatures and coworshippers. Nor do we correctly understand apocalypse if we imagine creation—except for some lucky humans—being destroyed, consumed in ﬁre. The apocalyptic ﬁre is a purifying and transforming ﬁre, not one of simple destruction. As J. Christiaan Beker puts it, “The apostle [Paul] is not charged with simply pronouncing the end of the world to the world. Rather that charge must be executed in the context of enlarging in this world the domain of God’s coming world because God’s coming world envisages the transformation of the world’s present structures and not simply their dissolution.”— Naming Neoliberalism: Exposing the Spirit of Our Age, 167–68 (embedded quotation is from Long, Augustinian and Ecclesial, 155, 249–50, emphasis original)