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Date: Wednesday, 27 Aug 2014 19:11
Yes, even though I protested (see 327 reasons NOT to do it)

 ..I took up the Ice Bucket Challenge..


but I did it my way.


It's here.



Watch at own risk.  Your mileage may vary.


P.S. I take off my shirt., and Noah makes a brilliant cameo.
Author: "dave (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "self-disclosure, U2"
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Date: Wednesday, 27 Aug 2014 13:20
hotel in Israel
Austin Farrrer , though apparently "one of the most profound and prophetic theologians of the twentieth century"  (so back cover says!) was new to me....but the price was right on one of his books (1.50):  "The Triple Victory: Christ's Temptation According to St. Matthew."

As one with a special interest in the temptations of Jesus, literary structure of Matthew, I wouldn't have resisted the testation to buy it at double the price (:

Come on..NO reviews on Amazon US or Amazon UK (He was British)?!...

"His activity in philosophy, theology, and spirituality led many to consider him the outstanding figure of 20th century Anglicanism. -Wikipedia

Turns out he was  well-respected by C.S. Lewis,and had an intriguing solution for the synoptic problem.  Wiki calls him a "maverick."

 I like him already...even if/especially if he is sometimes wrong (:

Even in the preface,  Frederick Borsh partly agrees with accusations  of  Farrer's sometimes fanciful flights into literary structural analysis, midrash and typology.  But he defends him as being  very thoughtful, creative..and ahead of his time as far as redaction/compositional criticism etc.  "He may have seen too many typologies, but he was not wrong in understanding that biblical writers often thought in typological categories.  This keen awareness pays particularly rich dividends in his study of Christ's temptations." (p. 2)

He does well, as does Donald Kraybill, in seeing many links from the temptations  to the rest of Matthew's gospel.

I haven't read enough for a review yet, so I'll  just

1)ask if any are familiar with this work

2)quote this:

Satan's insinuation...contains a hidden poison: "If you are the Son of God..If you cannot or dare not, what sort of divine Son are you?"...

Jesus declines..not because it is wicked..but because it is wicked to make a willful use of spiritual power...

"throw yourself down"...The suggested action is so utterly useless in itself, it can have one purpose only:.."Jump and find out; if you won't jump you can't really believe it."

...Christ refused to do what Phaethon did [doubt his paternity].  But could he have even thought in those terms? We may give a double reply.  First, though Christ did not think that God was an inhabitant of Jerusalem, he took the sanctity of the holy place with complete seriousness  He can, indeed, be  said to have pulled his own death on his head, by taking the law into his own hands and cleansing the temple from trade.  Second, we must say that in dreams or visions symbols become realities...

..It would be absurd to claim any sort of certainty for the suggestions we have advanced.  We cannot be sure what paths of association Christ's visionary thoughts, as St Matthew represents them, follow out.  Yet our guesses are not valueless.  They were the sort of lines along which a devout Jewish imagination ran; and the exercise of working out probable tracks and junctions in the movement of such a mind puts us in sympathy with the author we are trying to understand.Chapter IV
Author: "dave (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "C.S. Lewis, certainty, christian booksto..."
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Date: Tuesday, 26 Aug 2014 14:40
Full article





















Argggg.. don't get me started on this magazine, or the translation wars (see TNIV posts below, if interested..
Author: "dave (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "culture wars, reading the Bible, TNIV, t..."
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Date: Tuesday, 26 Aug 2014 13:40
Fascinating article, complete at link:

The Strange & Curious Tale of the Last True Hermit

For nearly thirty years, a phantom haunted the woods of Central Maine. Unseen and unknown, he lived in secret, creeping into homes in the dead of night and surviving on what he could steal. To the spooked locals, he became a legend—or maybe a myth. They wondered how he could possibly be real. Until one day last year, the hermit came out of the forest  link

 --------------

 Excerpt:
"But you must have thought about things," I said. "About your life, about the human condition."


Chris became surprisingly introspective. "I did examine myself," he said. "Solitude did increase my perception. But here's the tricky thing—when I applied my increased perception to myself, I lost my identity. With no audience, no one to perform for, I was just there. There was no need to define myself; I became irrelevant. The moon was the minute hand, the seasons the hour hand. I didn't even have a name. I never felt lonely. To put it romantically: I was completely free."

That was nice. But still, I pressed on, there must have been some grand insight revealed to him in the wild.

He returned to silence. Whether he was thinking or fuming or both, I couldn't tell. Though he did arrive at an answer. I felt like some great mystic was about to reveal the Meaning of Life.

"Get enough sleep."

He set his jaw in a way that conveyed he wouldn't be saying more. This is what he'd learned. I accepted it as truth.

"What I miss most," he eventually continued, "is somewhere between quiet and solitude. What I miss most is stillness.
Author: "dave (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "myers briggs, role of the pastor, self-d..."
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Date: Tuesday, 26 Aug 2014 13:08
At first glance, the whole swath of Jewish teaching on sexuality/spirituality seems  like a muddled mash-up (midrash-up).  It may depend on which stream/rabbi/Judaism one attaches to..

But an underemphasized component (core?) would be "elevation":


...For the chasid, prayer is not something one recites, it is rather an exercise that one performs, or an
experience that one enters into.... There is no room for inhibition...singing and dancing are essential means by which ...he expresses his emotional cleaving to God….but
that desire for God has to be so overwhelming that any extraneous thoughts are excluded…If distractions are erotic in nature…and (one) faces up to the predominance of the sexual urge at both conscious and subconscious levels, and
its capacity to intrude even during prayer...then he has learned to take measures…Chasidism dealt with this by introducing the doctrine of the "elevation of strange
thoughts." This...technique not of sublimation, but of thought conversion, whereby the beauty or desirability of the woman is latched upon and used not as a sexual but rather as a mental and spiritual stimulus.... taught to "elevate" these thoughts by substituting the beauty of God for the
physical beauty that is currently bewitching us. (The pray-er) has learned to immediately contrast the pale reflection of beauty that humans are endowed with, on the one hand, and the supreme Divine source of authentic and enduring beauty,
on the other…
link

 Of course, U2 picks up the elevation theme with their song of that
 same name.  (See "Elevation leads to Vertigo 2.0":):
  "[Elevation] is fun and frolics but the goal is soul.  It is about sexuality and transcendence, a playful piece about wanting to get off, or in this case, to literally get off the ground.  I can't actually remember writing it, it was all over in minutes, which is probably not the greatest admission to make in a song about sex." (  Bono, in U2 by U2, p. 296)




Some funny and fascinating dilemmas (and trilemmas) arise in the debate and literature.


Is sex inherently sinful outside of the need to procreate?
Is sex the very starting place of spirituality?
What happens at the point of lust?

What to do/how to pray... if Rob Bell even partly right:

"For many, sexuality is simply what happens between two people involving physical pleasure. But that's only a small percentage of what sexuality is. Our sexuality is all the ways we strive to reconnect with our world, with each other, and with God." (Rob Bell, "Sex God," p. 42).

Maybe that word "reconnect" is crucial..maybe it even completes/transcends/ends elevation.  Isn't the Kingdom message about restoring Imago Dei, the "reconciliation of all things," and redemption of all creation..
Creation, in Romans 8,  "groans in longing"  Is that a "sexual" groaning/longing?   Have you noticed we often use "consummation" language about Kingdom come?

We are gnot gnostic.
 We duel dualism.

Bell has well made the point that "everything is spiritual."
 What if everything were also sexual?

Russell Willingham, my favorite  biblical sexpert, sometimes opens talks with this silencing salvo:

"Jesus had erections."

Can Jesus teach us how to deal with them?



"Eros and the Jews" may be TMI for some readers...and ironically too sexy...but it collects, like no others source, some of the rabbinic remedies:

  • Torah has been called an anaphrodisiac.
  • Cirumcision  has been seen as peeling back/cutting off  desire

  • Rabbi Mendel of Kotz offered appointments with young men with issues of lust, promising he could "crush it one for all"  I'm not sure I want to know what that "crushing" involved....(But we all know "some were made eunuchs for the Kingdom.")
  • "instead of imagining a woman during prayer, one must strive for the opposite" (that line caught me.  What is the opposite of a woman?  If you're thinking "man," you'll laugh, as that doesn't solve the dilemma.   He meant God; imagine God before you.

    Baruch of Kosov  even suggested that "sexual pleasure is the source of sanctification"
     


Crush your family jewels?
    But what if the jewels aren't the issue?
                     Circumcision of the heart, anybody?
                                       Remember a stunning sermon on a mount which dealt with sexuality?

I sometimes fantasize about speaking at a men's conference and saying,
"I'm now going to point to my primary sex organ.."

Then I point to my brain.

(:

Whether it's a mind or heart issue..or both/and..

Maybe for many  the test is the "ten second rule," how long, or how to, linger/focus on the temptation/image...

You won't be surprised that some rabbis suggested actively seeking out temptation,even sexual sin, as the only way to learn.  (Shades of  a Maria McKee song)

Not recommended.. in fact such a strategy St. Paul explicity called B.S.

And if everyone is at heart ( and heart-level) either exhibitionist or voyeur,
acknowledging that may be the key.

I do recommend about Russell Willingham's section in "Breaking Free"  about why certain body parts/fetishes are attractive to us, and praying (explicity!) about what that indeed means..

Every sexual addict has a recurring fantasy (the internal ritual).  However, if he is constantly acting out, he doesn't have time to look behind the obvious scenes of nude bodies and sexual acts.  It is the longing behind the erotic symbols he is trying to satisfy.....

"Well, I guess you could say I'm a 'breast man''...
....How does this knowledge of the female body and its symbolizing of deeper issues  help us?  It helps us by showing us exactly where Jesus Christ needs to make his entrance.  The information I'm about to give you is the practical conclusion of everything this book has been moving toward: an intimacy with God that I believe the recovering sex addict is uniquely positioned to experience.  I call it the great transference.    "Breaking Free," pp. 169, 171, Read all of chapter 13


Once a group of pastors were praying for each other.  One confessed a struggle with lust.
I prayed(with words of compassion and encouragement)for the brother; then another pastor prayed
(a bit more prophetically, apparently).  At the close, the pastor who had confessed said something like:  "When Dave prayed for me, I felt like he was calling me Jesus.  When Bob prayed for me, I felt like he was calling me a rapist."

Aren't we all both?
If we get that, maybe we can start getting spiritually formed, reading the Book that is (among other things) a sex manual (see Willingham on Song of Solomon here)...........and the great Transference can be activated.
Author: "dave (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "book reviews, death of Jesus, elevation,..."
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Date: Tuesday, 26 Aug 2014 10:21
 Two heartbreaking songs about attending church..too bad they can't be played/sung/prayed in church..(along with this classic happy-clappy hymn)













"They Eye of the Needle" by The Divine Comedy

They say that you'll hear him 
if you're really listening 
And pray for that feeling of grace 
But that's what I'm doing, why doesn't he answer? 
I've prayed 'til I'm blue in the face 

The cars in the churchyard are shiny and German 
Distinctly at odds with the theme of the sermon 
And during communion I study the people 
Threading themselves through the eye of the needle
I know that it's wrong for the faithful to seek it 
But sometimes I long for a sign, anything 
Something to wake up the whole congregation 
And finally make up my mind 

The cars in the churchyard are shiny and German 
Completely at odds with the theme of the sermon 
And all through communion I stare at the people 
Squeezing themselves through the eye of the needle --
--------------
"Secret of the Easy Yoke" by Pedro the Lion

i could hear the church bells ringing 
they pealed aloud your praise 
the member's faces were smiling 
with their hands outstretched to shake 
it's true they did not move me 
my heart was hard and tired 
their perfect fire annoyed me 
i could not find you anywhere 
could someone please tell me the story 
of sinners ransomed from the fall 
i still have never seen you, and somedays 
i don't love you at all 

the devoted were wearing bracelets 
to remind them why they came 
some concrete motivation 
when the abstract could not do the same 

but if all that's left is duty, i'm falling on my sword 
at least then, i would not serve an unseen distant lord 

could someone please tell me the story 
of sinners ransomed from the fall 
i still have never seen you,
 and some days i don't love you at all 
if this only a test 
i hope that i'm passing, because i'm losing steam
but i still want to trust you 

peace be still 
peace be still 
peace be still 
Author: "dave (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "ecclesiology, lament, spirituality of mu..."
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Date: Monday, 25 Aug 2014 19:26
photo
The whole video here by NT Wright is worth watching.

He so reminds me of C.S. Lewis with his series of apt metaphors.  Here are three


  • Think if I offered you a drivers license, claiming  i had authority to issue it
  • -Think if someone destroyed all bank records and evidence of any debt you owe? 
  • Think what would happen if you pointed at something, hoping for your dog to look at it?
  But let's focus on  the third (4:13ff) here:



 The telling and true-to-life illustration of pointing your dog towards something;
and the temple being a signpost pointing to something (Someone) else is so good.

Try it on your dog, I double dog dare you(:

He may have clarified this in the longer video of which this is an excerpt, but it's likely Wright is  actually drawing (as he often acknowledges) on C.S. Lewis:

The sunlight in a picture is therefore not related to real sunlight simply as written words are to spoken.  It is a sign but something more than a sign, because in it the thing signified is  really in a certain mode present. If I had to name the relation I should call it not symbolical but sacramental..
..I have tried to stress throughout the inevitableness of the error made about every transposition by one who approaches it from the lower medium only..You will have noticed that most dogs cannot understand pointing. You point to a bit of food on the floor; the dog, instead of looking at the floor, sniffs at your finger. A finger is a finger to him, and that is all. 
-"Transposition," from The Weight of Glory...someone has uploaded the whole essay here)

--
Related:

When did dogs figure out pointing?

Dog Breeds: pointing




-"
Author: "dave (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "C.S. Lewis, metaphor, missional sacramen..."
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Date: Monday, 25 Aug 2014 18:53
The  multiplex literary canvas of Isaiah 5 includes the well-known  verse 7 phenomenon of...well, a very little-known literary term,  paranomoasia (Paronomasia - Merriam-Webster Online).
 You might call it a pun or a play on words; but hey, impress your friends by calling it a proleptic and prophetic  paranomoasia.  Or   "paranomoasia plus"  (:





I looked for justice,  but I saw oppression.
I looked for  righteousness, but I heard an outcry (of pain).

justice   (A)                           oppression  (B)
righteousness  (A)                 outcry   (B)

--

Jim posts:

Since I’m presently working on Isaiah for the series it’s only natural that I’d wind up in Chapter 5 with it’s stunningly beautiful pun

לְמִשְׁפָּט֙ וְהִנֵּ֣ה מִשְׂפָּ֔ח לִצְדָקָ֖ה וְהִנֵּ֥ה צְעָקָֽה׃

God looked for justice (mishpat) but only saw oppression (mispach). God looked for righteousness (tzedakah) and instead he heard an outcry of pain (tz’acha).
This pun is virtually impossible to render in English. The Common English Bible tries, but meets the same resistance as every other rendition has-
God expected justice, but there was bloodshed; righteousness, but there was a cry of distress!
The REB is essentially the same. What this shows, it seems to me, is that the rendition of puns from one language to another is excessively difficult. Perhaps translators, and especially commentators, should indicate the pun in transliteration in a footnote or in their comments so that readers of English can at least have some sense of the beauty and brilliance of the underlying original. link



Or try this on:

and he looked for justice — Both the administration of justice by magistrates, and justice in the dealings of the people with one another: but behold oppression — From the powerful upon their inferiors; and for righteousness — For equity, mercy, and benevolence; but behold a cry — From the oppressed, crying to men for help, and to God for vengeance. “The paronomasia, or play on the words, in the Hebrew, in this place, is very remarkable;mispat, mispach; zedakah, zeakah. There are many examples of it in the other prophets; but Isaiah seems peculiarly fond of it. The rabbis esteem it a great beauty: their term for it is, elegance of language.” Bishop Lowth, in Benson Commmentary

I have color coded the words above to highlight the obvious contrasts between what God was looking for, and what he found.  This the vertical connections:

Justice                                           oppression
righteousness                                  ":cry 

But  once one reads the above in the original Hebrew, it;s clear the color-coding should (also) work horizontally:

mispat                                            mispach

zedakah                                         ze'akah

AA
BB



I keep expecting this to create a chiasm; but it's   a powerful punch of a  paranomoasia  kind of parallelism.

And to reinforce the contrast, another striking feature: a kind of structural synesthesia in the league of Revelations 1:8's  "I turned to see the voice."
Did you notice the (literally) non-sensical:


I looked for justice,  but I saw oppression.
I looked for  righteousness, but I heard an outcry (of pain).

How do you hear something you're looking for??
(See Webb's "The Divine Voice" and Cytowic's "The Man Who Tasted Shapes")

Brueggemann quips about this exact literary/thematic connection and it's practical application:,"This comes as close to a  synergism as a Calvinist could want" (Using God's Resources Widely," p. 49; he also spins this out in another article.
The prophetic pronouncement is devastating. And it took a lovely literary "elegance of language" to provide the ugly practical app.  The words must have landed like...well, in Eugene Peterson's classic line about  yet another poetic device, metaphor... " a loud fart in the salon of spirituality."



Being quite steeped in Scripture (and known to love Isaiah), I think Bono nodded to Isaiah's pun (and maybe a line from a Jackie Pullinger book)  in his live introduction to "Last Night on Earth"  (See  "I wanted to know Jesus, but you gave me a library").

Author: "dave (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "Brueggemann, chiasm/inclusio, city, empi..."
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Date: Monday, 25 Aug 2014 16:19
Aulen:
Luther's teaching on the atonement [the "classical' or Christus Victor idea/motif] was not followed either by his contemporaries or by his successors...Without hesitation or delay they reverted to the Latin  [legal,  traditional, Latin model; penal substitution] doctrine....his idea of the atonement formed one organic whole with the central proclamation of the Reformation..
Obviously, Luther's contemporaries failed to understand his teaching on the subject, and they never grasped his deeper thoughts.  They interpreted him from the first in light of the traditional belief, inherited from the Middle Ages.  Either they failed to see the gulf...or in so far as they had some inkling of it, they did their best to cover it up..
 ..The inner tensions within Luther's theology, the vigour and force of his thoughts, and his sharply paradoxical language, Melancthon wholly lacked the power to understand."  -Gustaf Aulen, Christus Victor, p. 124
Author: "dave (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "book reviews, christus victor, death of ..."
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Date: Friday, 22 Aug 2014 15:58

Author: "dave (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "movies, role of the pastor"
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Date: Friday, 22 Aug 2014 15:30

"What the Bleep Does the Bible Say About Profanity?

Political correctness, vulgarity and the scandalous nature of God's Word"

    One of my favorite and most uncomfortable memories as a Bible professor was when I had Old Testament scholar, Tremper Longman, give a guest lecture on the Song of Songs. Tremper specializes in ancient near Eastern love poetry. No, he’s not some creepy old guy who gets off on ancient erotic 
...  CONTINUED HERE
Author: "dave (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "language, reading the Bible, role of the..."
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Date: Friday, 22 Aug 2014 11:31
Interview w/Michael Stipe of REM:
NSKEEP: I wanted to get to that line, "all you sad and lost apostles hum my name and flare their nostrils. That could be wicked. It could be playful. It is fun. It could be biblical. It could be profound. It could be meaningless."


Mr. STIPE: I'd like to think it's all of the above.
(Soundbite of laughter)
Speaking as the man who wrote the line. You know, there's a lot of fun in rhyming apostle and nostril. I don't know that it's been done before. 

R. E.M. Tackles Songs of Faith and Revenge : NPR

=

 

Author: "dave (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "spirituality of music"
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Date: Thursday, 21 Aug 2014 15:08
John J. Thompson, one of the best music critics ever, on the new  Sinead O' Connor album..excerpts:

Singer, priest, boss: the latest from Sinead O’Connor by John J. Thompson

Is it a coincidence that Irish alt-rock pioneer Sinead O’Connor has released a song called 
 “Take Me To Church” just as fellow Irish singer-songwriter Hozier is making waves with 
 a song of the same name?

....When she belts out “Oh, take me to church / I’ve done so many bad things it hurts. / Take me to church, but not the ones that hurt / ’cuz that ain’t the truth / and that’s not what it’s for,” it feels much more like a prayer than an accusation.

On her new album, I’m Not Bossy, I’m The Boss, O’Connor continues the comeback she began with 2012’s confessional, guttural and blatantly Christ-haunted How About I Be Me (And You Be You?)...

..the songs that follow underscore the truth that there is a lot more to womanhood than being with a man. The album’s journey unfolds through several musical iterations that include snarling rock, sensitive pop and even African rhythm and blues until taking a left turn in the song “The Voice of My Doctor,” which begins a set of edgier, darker tunes exploring the true underpinnings of desire. That act climaxes with the fantastic shuffle “8 Good Reasons,” in which her character defies suicidal thoughts and turns yet another corner. It is at that point that she begs, “Take me to church!”...


...As many contemporary artists reject their connection to a community of faith when its leaders make bad choices or its message becomes unpalatable to the rest of the world, O’Connor continues to call herself a Catholic despite her deep disagreements she has with many in that community. When she speaks about the “smoke screen” role religion often plays in keeping people apart from God, her words come across with the authority of a boss and the compassion of a big sister.

I’m Not Bossy is a fascinating set of tunes from one of the most consistently creative artists of the last 25 years. The fact that so many of its songs fade out before really feeling finished reinforces the idea that this discussion is far from over.
Author: "dave (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "ecclesiology, sexuality, sinead o'connor..."
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Date: Tuesday, 19 Aug 2014 19:15
This first video
makes me wonder if U2 ever had any Spinal Tap moments ..i mean  other than the  well-known"stuck in a lemon you can't get out of"  (see "U2 trapped like lemon")
episode..



as in this second video. "Hello Cleveland".
Spinal Tap - Rock'n'Roll - Cleveland !! from Paul Gruber on Vimeo.
Author: "dave (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "U2 2010s"
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Date: Tuesday, 19 Aug 2014 17:49
In two places, Shane Claiborne suggests  Paul asks Philemon to engage in civil disobedience by "illegally" welcoming Onesimus:

 "...we find that Paul offered a biting critique of power and a creative path of revolutionary love. We might remember Paul urging his friend Philemon to illegally welcome back home a fugitive slave, Onesimus, as a brother, instead of killing him for running away. This is a scandalous subversion of Roman hierarchy. Paul was just as radical as Jesus. Remember that the Paul who "be subject to the authorities" is the same Paul who was stoned, exiled, jailed, and beaten for subverting the authorities... Is it possible to submit and to subvert? Paul's life gives a clear yes, as does Jesus' crucifixion" (Jesus For President, 161).


Paul's letter to Philemon was written to urge a former slave owner to illegally welcome back a fugitive slave (Onesimus)—a crime punishable by death—not as a slave but as a brother-Follow Me to Freedom, p. 134 (hear Ken and I interview Shane about this book here)
Author: "dave (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "book reviews, empire, Philemon"
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Date: Tuesday, 19 Aug 2014 17:38
Sometimes Scot McKnight's image of "atonement theories"  as golf clubs belonging to a golf bag, from which we choose the proper club for the shot has seemed a bit cheesy/down home/utilitarian.  (Also, Tad DeLay makes the case that the analogy breaks down, see this). I was delighted to find he also offered another image: violin strings.  Also, his  suggestion of "identification for incorporation" as end to theory wars, and his  work on making atonement practical are wonderful:

"What we are most in need of today is not a continuance of the atonement wars for a privileged metaphor, but a vigorous discussion of the value of each of the metaphors so that each image is invited to the table. And I contend that identification for incorporation is such an invitation and.. ... Lest it be charged that I am simply turning the tide back a notch in arguing for one . . . I'm arguing instead for an embrasive category, one that includes each metaphor in a larger, rounded whole. We need to use all the clubs in our bag and we need a bag that can hold them all.

Let me try another image. The magic of a violin is the capacity for the violinist to make each string work in harmony with the others to create the appropriate sound. If a violinist somehow managed to play only one string on the violin, the sound could never be complete. Some theories of atonement ask violinists either to pluck all but one string or to play gospel music as though only one string really mattered. I want to contend that we need each of the strings, and that we need to seek for a violinist with a bow that can stroke the strings so well that the potency of each string creates a harmonious composition that puts our hearts at rest." (p. 114)

At this point many discussions of atonement end. But there is more ground to cover. We are now ready to explore atonement not only as the act of God but,as is the case with all emerging theology, as something we are invited to perform  perform with God in this world. Atonement is praxis..


I stand here on the threshold of a doorway that few enter: atonement is something done not only by God for us, but also something we do with God for others. This door opens to those who are learning that atonement is also praxis. That we suggest that atonement is also praxis is not an attack on the view that atonement is something God does for us. Instead, it is the conviction that atonement is embodied in what  God does for us in such a way that we are summoned to participate with God in his redemptive work.."But lest I be accused of something worse than heresy, let me make it clear up front: I do not believe humans atone for others and I do not believe humans can atone for themselves. Atonement is the work of God---in Christ, through the Spirit---but God has chosen to summon us to participate in God's work, even though we are cracked Eikons or, to use Paul's words, 'clay jars,' (2 Cor. 4:7)...We are a community called atonement"  A Community Called Atonement
pp  114,  117-188, 156
Author: "dave (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "christus victor, death of Jesus"
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Date: Tuesday, 19 Aug 2014 16:27
Not a political comment ; just a reminder of what I always talk about in my classes re: reading/interpreting a text carefully.

 Obama, on congratulating reporter Ann Compton on retiring after forty one years: "she has decided to retire...I was proud to be able to hug her grandbaby recently, and I suspect that may have something to do with her decision."

 Read that again carefully..Grammatically, there's only one way to read it..
and it's surely not what he meant  

Why did no one laugh? Why did no one in the news reports/comedian responses catch this? Watch it 17:07ff below!
Author: "dave (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "reading the Bible, words about words"
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Date: Tuesday, 19 Aug 2014 16:19
"I Grieve":

it was only one hour ago 
it was all so different then 
there's nothing yet has really sunk in 
looks like it always did 
this flesh and bone 
it's just the way that you would tied in 
now there's no-one home 

i grieve for you 
you leave me 
'so hard to move on 
still loving what's gone 
they say life carries on 
carries on and on and on and on 

the news that truly shocks is the empty empty page 
while the final rattle rocks its empty empty cage 
and i can't handle this 

i grieve for you 
you leave me 
let it out and move on 
missing what's gone 
they say life carries on 
they say life carries on and on and on 

life carries on 
in the people i meet 
in everyone that's out on the street 
in all the dogs and cats 
in the flies and rats 
in the rot and the rust 
in the ashes and the dust 
life carries on and on and on and on 
life carries on and on and on 

it's just the car that we ride in 
a home we reside in 
the face that we hide in 
the way we are tied in 
and life carries on and on and on and on 
life carries on and on and on 

did I dream this belief? 
or did i believe this dream? 
now i can find relief 
i grieve
I hate to disagree with
 
Peter Gabriel:

"I Grieve" was conceived after Gabriel looked over his catalogue of music as if it were a catalogue of emotional tools. He found one major missing tool to be one to cope with death and therefore "I Grieve" was born.  
"I Grieve" wiki (hear him say this on the 9/11 video below)
I think Gabriel's canon/cannon  (including his songs with Genesis ) is full of tools to help him/us grieve/lament/deal with death.. ("With only one colour, dead"  etc etc)


One of my favorites (though not officially about death, but death of a relationship):

This old familiar craving/I've been here before/ this way of behaving/Don't know who the hell I'm saving anymore/Let it pass let it go let it leave/From the deepest place I grieve/This time I believe....
Peter Gabriel - Love to be loved from Al Ex on Vimeo.







Also, note..he quoted himself (from the song above) to the song at hand ("I Grieve").

"I grieve"
Two  naked words we don't say enough in/as church.
I grieve not grieving.

Of course, any song dealing with grief/death is transferrable to new contexts,concerts, and Sitz Im Leben situations  ("U2's "Sunday Bloody Sunday is a classic example; see this):

Gabriel performed the song live on the television show "Larry King Weekend" on the one-year anniversary of 9/11, during which Gabriel said that his two daughters were living in New York City on 9/11 and he could not contact them for a while, and that this song was for people who didn't hear anything from their

relatives then.[8] It was not, however, written specifically for 9/11, having appeared on the City of Angels soundtrack in 1998 (in an earlier version) and

performed live


prior to 9/11.  "I Grieve" wiki
Author: "dave (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "chiasm/inclusio, death, death of Jesus, ..."
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Date: Tuesday, 19 Aug 2014 14:55
Author: "dave (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "reading the Bible, role of the pastor"
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