January 31, 2005

On Samson, Jacob, and other "ambiguous" biblical heroes:

It strikes me that as we look at stories of the biblical characters that seem to be doing things that cause us to call into question the morality of the action involved we will be hermeneutically successful only if we evaluate their morality in a way which is credible when considered from the perspective of the original audience.

We might read of Samson marrying a Philistine, and assume that that's clearly wrong. Or that his contact with a dead lion carcass is "de jure" a violation of a clear nazirite code.

Or we read of Jacob coming up with a clever plan to get huge numbers of sheep from his uncle and claim he is clearly engaged in cheating.

But what if David read the story of Samson? Can we expect him to have anxiety while reading the text about the Spirit's empowering of a mass murderer and compromiser with canaanites? Do Israelites under years of Philistine domination have any qualms about Samson inflicting 30 deaths on philistines to get back at them for cheating to answer a riddle?

I also wonder about the sensitive moral qualms of people that God commanded to kill the infants of their enemies.

January 25, 2005

Last night my father was hospitalized with pancreitis, likely brought on by gallstones. He's on antibiotics and I haven't heard more about how serious a condition this might be.

Pretty scary from my mom's perspective, since the pain made my dad loopy and non-responsive. He's also not taking well to being in a hospital because its confusing and he can be combative if he doesn't want to do what the nurses say.

Please pray for him and my mom.

January 12, 2005

John Robbins has gone from attacking published credentialled theologians to attacking lay bloggers, and accusing them of drunkeness

A contentious man, to be avoided. A wolf and a schimatic I'd say, if there was ever any doubt.

January 11, 2005

When God takes you God takes you

January 06, 2005

We need to get some furniture at Ikea soon. More bookshelves primarily, and a new bed for at least one kid. But what about a workbench?

January 04, 2005

N. T. Wright on the Tsunami. I really appreciate his ability to put together a sequence of biblical themes that help us approach the significance of the tsunami. I certainly can feel the force of the argument that events like these point us towards living in a hostile and uncaring godless universe. Wright turns that on its head a bit
Saying this precisely does not give Christian theology an easy explanation ("Oh, that's all right then") for the continuing presence of evil in the world. On the contrary, it tells a story about Jesus's own sense of abandonment, and thereby encourages us to embrace the same sense of helpless involvement in the sorrow of the world, as the means by which the world is to be healed.
Wright's reflections on the biblical picture of the sea as enemy still leaves theodicy grasping for more. What of Proverbs picture of a well-ordered creation
I was there when he set the heavens in place,
when he marked out the horizon on the face of the deep,
when he established the clouds above
and fixed securely the fountains of the deep,
when he gave the sea its boundary
so the waters would not overstep his command,
and when he marked out the foundations of the earth.
and what to do with accounts like this
And then when we got into the boat, it was just a few -- I would say about 15 feet away, and we were eyeball to eyeball with the wave. And immediately, a scripture popped into my mind. It said, "When the enemy comes in like a flood, the spirit of the Lord shall raise up a standard against it."

And I know from there, I got the courage. I just stood up in the small boat, and I lifted both my hands and I said, I command you in the name of Jesus Christ, on the strength of the scriptures, that when the enemy comes in like a flood, the spirit of the Lord shall raise up a standard against him. I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to stand still. And I thought I was imagining at the time that the massive wall of water, it stood. It -- I'm not one given to exaggeration. I saw, as if something holding back, some invisible force or hand. It just stood.

And -- this was confirmed, because later on, when I met some of the villagers who had climbed on top of palmara (ph) trees and coconut trees and had survived this onslaught. They told me -- they called me father. They said, Father, we didn't stand a chance because the sea, when it got down to the beach and it crushed into the village, it came with the same speed and the same furry, and it just wiped us all out.

But when -- ours is a four-acre complex. We have a boys section, the girls' home, the staff section and everything. But when it got on your land, at one point, it stood still. It just slowed down. And that gave you the chance. What made it? Was it the density of the trees or the buildings? I said, there was no power on Earth that could have held it back but the power of God. I said, I called upon God, and I commanded it in the name of Jesus, who 2,000 years ago he commanded the waves, and they obeyed. He commanded the sea, and they obeyed. And this is the very same God did the same to us and gave us those precious few seconds that we needed to stop at the first yank, at the start, the engine just sputtered into life.

Here are some anagrams for "New perspective on Paul". No warranty is made as to their relevance
Wove Repentance slipup
Covenanter pupil weeps
Covenanter spew pileup
Speculative Penn Power

January 01, 2005

Happy New Year!

I had very nice week the past week, as I took vacation and stayed around the house. We took the kids to see A Year With Frog and Toad a live musical play based on the Frog and Toad series of children's books.

I played two games of War of the Ring winning both for the evil forces of Sauron.

We rented two movies over New Year's and stayed home to watch them. One was Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, the other Mean Girls. Mean Girls was pretty funny. The premise is Cady, a homeschooled teen girl, is thrown into a high school and interacts with the clique of "cool girls" who run the social show at the school. While exaggerated, I thought is provided a pretty accurate picture. The homeschooling angle wasn't the main point, more of a reason why Cady would have to be taught explicitly about some of the dimensions of the pecking order in the school.

Cady explains the kind of homeschooling she had was merely the result of her parents raising her in Africa while they were zoologists, and not the crazy fundamentalist kind. The line they put in a inbred looking kids mouth to illustrate that type of homeschooling was kinda funny though: "And on the third day, God created the Remington bolt-action rifle, so that Man could fight the dinosaurs."

I thought the lack of involvement of Cady's parents at crucial junctures (here first 2 days at school) was unbelievable. If they were involved enough to homeschool her, they wouldn't accept two word answers on how her first day of school went.

I lost 60 pounds on the Atkins diet last year. I've gained about 10 back during the holidays (since thanksgiving) so I'll be going back on it, to maybe loose about 30 more.

De script shun




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