Thursday, December 20, 2007
This should lead us to an application today of perhaps the need to "reshape", "rethink" and/or even "re-theologize" our understanding of some of the key components of "the faith". I would suggest two aspects immediately taken from Paul's shift. One is the understanding of the Kingdom of God. Without being able to go into greater detail here, there needs to be a realization that its not off in some distant future, but has already intervened in time and history and began its rule & reign in the first coming of Jesus. Although, not fully culminated into what it will be, there needs to be a vital change in that we see it as already here. Think for a moment of the Gospels... How often did the phrase "kingdom of God/Heaven is at hand" occur. Also, remember the parables; specifically the one of Jesus speaking of the kingdom like a mustard seed, how it was the smallest of all their known seeds yet it grew to be one of biggest plants etc. The same needs to be thought of in terms of the kingdom, much wasn't expected in Jesus of Nazareth's life, death, etc. but look what grew out of it.
Secondly, i believe another major shift in todays theology should be our notion of inclusion vs. exclusion. Again, for Paul, he saw this effected in his gospel. An ecumenical shift needed to take place. This polarization of "Jews/non-Jews had to be reconciled if Abraham's seed was to bless all the nations, etc. His understanding of the gentile inclusion was vital in his thinking. So too, we would do well to reshape our understanding of ecumenism. For Paul (as should with us) there was a great amount of allowance for diversity in the church. No matter what your background: cultural, ethnical or religous, all were unified in Jesus the Christ. An amazing thought, that religous Jews could now participate at the table with pagan Gentiles. Today, there needs to be an "ecumenical reform" within the church, according to Paul's gospel...
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
- Galatians is "a singularly impassioned attempt, to get some early gentile believers to stay true to his gospel as they have first received it, when he was among them" ~Gordon Fee
- "Galatians is the most pungent and forthright of Paul's expositions of his own understanding of the Christian gospel" ~James Dunn
- "That the epistle breathes an indignant spirit is obvious to everyone even on the first perusal... since Paul then saw the whole Galatian people in a state of excitement, a flame kindled against their church, and the edifices shakened and tottering to its fall, filled with the mixed feelings of just anger and despondence... he writes the epistle" ~John Chrysostom
- "The epistle to the Galatians is my epistle; I have betrothed myself to it; it is my Katie (my wife)" ~Martin Luther
- "Paul's letter to the Galatians is one of the most fiercest and polemical writings in the Bible. It begins with a denunciation of those to whom it was written and of unnamed trouble makers (1:6-9), it dismisses another group of Christians as "false brothers", makes snide remarks about the leaders of the Jerusalem Church, (2:6) and accuses Peter of hypocrisy adn deceit (2:13-14). After two somewhat more restrained chapters, the tone of urgent pleading and denunciation is resumed (5:2-4, 7-10), including a rather crude and blackly humorous aside (5:12). And the final paragraph cannot resist a parting swipe at those behind the problems and challenges which the letter seeks to address (6:12-13)." ~James Dunn
Sunday, December 09, 2007
Friday, December 07, 2007
In his book entitled "Christ and Time" Oscar Cullman uses the analogy of World War II to help understand the events of the Eschaton. With D-day being the decisive day/battle of the war and V-day simply the culmination of what has already been done at Normandy. He writes:
"The hope of the final victory is so much more vivid because of the unshakeably firm conviction that the battle that decides the victory has already taken place."
Another quote by William Manson also helps our understanding:
"When we turn to the New Testament, we pass from the climate of prediction to that of fulfillment. The things which God had foreshadowed by the lips of His holy prophets He has now, in part at least, brought to accomplishment...The supreme sign of the Eschaton is the Resurrection of Jesus and the descent of the Holy Spirit on the Church. The Resurrection of Jesus is not simply a sign which God has granted in favour of His son, but is the inauguration, the entrance into history, of the times of the End."
Also, he writes "Christians, therefore have entered through the Christ into the new age...What had been predicted in Holy Scripture as to happen to Israel or to man in the Eschaton has happened to and in Jesus. The foundation-stone of the New Creation has come into position."
Saturday, December 01, 2007
This series (New Testament Theology, NTT published by Cambridge, Series Editor James D.G. Dunn) has been a successful endeavor of bringing out the various aspects of the theological threads that are found in the particular writings of the New Testament. It has (by its own admission) sought & remedied the gap that is often found in conventional or traditional style commentaries i.e. to bring to light, the author’s (often too marginalized) dense theological inferences that seem more often than not, to get brushed over or even in some cases sad to say, not even mentioned. Theology should always complete the circle in “biblical exegesis”. Whether throughout the interpretive task highlighting the overtones, or adding as a synthesis the correlative understanding. Either way, the importance cannot be overstated living in an age of post enlightened criticisms.
Bauckham, in this book demonstrates the art of handling the apocalypse as a mass treatise of theological density. He weaves together rather masterfully the distinguished nuances of the book, to name a few:
The structure and composition
The emphasis of a theocentric perception
A high view of christology
A pneumatic prophecy
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Friday, October 26, 2007
If your into textual criticism, or if you like Gordon Fee (or both) then this book is for you! The price can't be beat, its a 482 page, hard back edition that normally lists for around $60.00 and $36.00 at amazon, it is on sale for $9.33 plus around $6.00 for shipping. below is the description from their site:
The seventeen studies in this volume provide a comprehensive presentation and assessment of past and current methods applied to the New Testament text. Both acknowledged specialists in historical and methodological studies of textual criticism, coauthors Epp and Fee offer an introductory survey of the whole field of New Testament textual criticism, followed by sections of essays on these topics: definitions of key terms; critiques of current theory and method; methods of establishing textual relationships; studies of the papyri with respect to text-critical method; and guidelines for the use of patristic evidence. Volume 45 of the Studies and Documents series, founded by Kirsopp and Silva Lake and edited by Irving Alan Sparks, Studies in the Theory and Method of New Testament Textual Criticism represents a coherent and complementary collection of essays - most but not all of them previously published - whose abiding worth and considerable influence have been demonstrated through extensive citation by textual critics and exegetes.
This compilation of studies will serve as a welcome resource for biblical scholars and students taking seminary or graduate courses in New Testament. From the more introductory studies to the constructive critiques of current theory to the more specialized analyses concerning New Testament textual criticism, this volume will provide information and challenge to beginners and experts alike.
Thursday, October 25, 2007
These three different forms of writing styles/genres blend together into a cohesive unity thus forming a relatively distinct and multi nuanced literary composition.
John is not drafting this as he is seeing it. He shows reflection and intentionality with how he weaves the message of the Revelation. Again, John is writing into a contemporaneous Sitz im Leben i.e. a historical setting which involve local communities in Asia Minor that are going through or about to go through severe testing, trial and (from John's perspective) a testimony unto death! John wants to encourage them to be overcomers and utilizes the rich tapestry of this book to do so.
Monday, October 08, 2007
Sunday, October 07, 2007
Exegesis to me then, is both a passion of pleasure (much like a hobby), and a reverential undertaking that demands toil and sweat. I tread on its ground with both fear & trembling, and blissful enjoyment. Without belaboring here all the different points of what exegesis is, I will propose two dimensions that I discern as invaluable to its task, which are science and art. Simply stated, the goal of exegesis is: a re-creation of a historical setting, so to arrive at a meaningful understanding of a portion of text, between an original author and that author’s intended audience. It is both an art and science. By stressing science, I mean a knowledge that comes through a rigorous research of data, from diverse fields of discipline. Whether those disciplines are social, geographical, political, grammatical fields, etc., one must commit to the pain of informing himself/herself at all costs to gain a proper familiarity of a foreign world, i.e. a culture and period of time long ago. Without this, there is no ground for assessing any material accurately for a fundamental theology or philosophical particulars. As well as a science, exegesis is also an art. By art I propose simply the ability or skill to apply and analyze that data one retrieves from the prowess of study/research. It is science, which gains facts; it is art, which creates life, and adds nuance and sentiment to scripture. It is art, which utilizes the information gained and allows you to visit the world of the past. It is something like a screenplay or movie, exegesis seeks to put into motion the story of scripture and accurately display a narrative. Whether that is the drama of the exodus, or Paul the Apostle, shut up in dungeon, seeking to encourage the churches he planted. In conclusion, exegesis should bring near the distant world of the O.T. and N.T. to help us realize their significance in forming and shaping what I called above: theological fundamentals, and philosophical particulars.
Saturday, October 06, 2007
I can't believe my blog has never been removed though never used!
What nice people (or negligent) they are at blogger...
At the complete and polar opposite end of these views or groups (liberals), there arose a rebuttal; a voice or group that has come to be known as "the fundamentalists". This group or school of thought, in a polemic against the liberals stated and maintained "the fundamentals" with so much rigor and staunch, that anyone not upholding their "articles of faith", were deemed unregenerate. And hereto comes our dillema... In a sincere desire to contend earnestly for "the faith", somewhere we lost the content of these articles of "the faith" and magnified and shall I dare to say deified a creed, (statement of faith) and minimized the very creedal meanings. This I believe, is what has played a primary part in shaping and defining our mega-church American/Western age. To identify oneself to christendom today, one simply has to intellectually/mentally ascent and adhere to the back of a bulletin received from church. It says something like:
I believe in ...
I believe in ...
I believe in ...
If I hold to "the faith" all is well and I can sing some songs, sit and enjoy the message, and be on my merry way. Never really embracing or "trusting" Christ and His Risen Reality. Being a christian means: making sure my i's are dotted, and t's crossed theologically, but not necessarily experiencing the power of the gospel!