January 2011

And God did What?

by Dave on January 31, 2011

in Humor

I have a new favorite misinterpretation of the Bible.  First, the New King James

NKJV – The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.

That’s good.  And the 2010 NIV:

NIV(2010) – Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

OK, those are quite beautiful.  Now, the New Revised Standard Version:

NSRV – the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters.

What?  No Spirit, no breath, but a wind came from God!?! I don’t know about you, but someone having a wind coming from them does not come from their mouth.  It’s embarrassing just to think about it, and God did what?

Dave

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I am sorry that I will not have the opportunity to work with you in fulfilling the vision we set out to achieve.  I was looking forward to it.

Good luck and God Bless You!

Dave

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I must say that I enjoyed Scot McKnight’s book, The Blue Parakeet tremendously.  Scot is an incredibly thoughtful and down to earth scholar and author.  It is rare to find someone with whom you agree as much as I agree with Scot.

Scot begins by demonstrating his concept that the Bible is Story and there are different ways that we all have been taught to read the bible.  They are 1) reading to retrieve (like an owner’s manual I suppose), 2) Reading through Tradition (I read John Piper’s book at the same time as this and it strikes me that this is how Piper reads the bible, and 3) Reading with Tradition (where we take the Story of the bible and put it in our times and understand the Story).

The next couple chapters expand on these concepts so that you can have a solid understanding of what the bible is saying.  I don’t believe that I have ever met anyone in the flesh who reads the bible this way.  I have been an active participant in various internet communities and I have studied various scholars works that do it like this, but not someone in the flesh.  I am, however, going to actively promote this type of reading in my community.

Scot further proposes how we can adapt the word to today.  I got quite a kick out of Scot initially saying that we pick and chose what we want to listen to in the bible and he is right, that is exactly what we do.  The reason I get such a kick out of it is because the people who are the most adamant about their belief that they don’t pick and chose are generally the ones who do it the most.  The people tend to say that “the bible says it so I believe it” but they don’t realize that it is just their interpretation they believe, not the bible.

The point of this being that Scot is saying to us that the Blue Parakeets are those passages that seem to be out of place and cause problems with the theology and tradition in our religions.  That certainly is the case with the Baptists who I have been exposed to over the past several years.  They would contend that they follow only the bible and not tradition, but it seems to me that they follow tradition even more closely than the Catholics, its just that they don’t realize that is what they are doing.

Scot provides a multi-chapter discussion of how one can apply this way of thinking to the issue of women in ministry.  Aside from it making an excellent argument for Scot’s method of interpretation, it also is a valuable resource for talking with people about getting rid of restrictivist organizations in the church.

Thanks for a great read Scot.

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My Birthday Thanks to my Family

by Dave on January 27, 2011

in General, Uncategorized

I had a birthday this past week and I want to give a great big hug and kiss to my wife and kids for making it a great day.  As I was driving home from work I was wondering what I would have for dinner since I have taken up cooking over the past couple of years and fully expected that they would let me cook my own dinner, not out of neglect but out of love.  To my surprise they planned a Jesus dinner for me.  The felt that Jesus would eat fish, bread, perhaps cheese and wine so they had Sushi (fish), a very nice Cab (my favorite brand), a couple of unique cheeses (a cheddar and something that was dry, old, like parm, but different), and some good bread (but with butter instead of olive oil).  Ok, so maybe it was not exactly what Jesus would have had, but it is what I like to have!  Thanks Family!

Dave

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As I said in the previous post, I started out with McKnight.  I am a big fan of Scot now and his Blue Parakeet is in keeping with my high expectation for him.  However, his book is only in printed form whereas the Piper apologetic is in audio.  So while I am halfway through with Scot’s Parakeet, I have finished Piper and am on the second time through.

Initial Thoughts on Piper’s Wright Rebuttal

I am greatly enjoying Piper’s work.  With each succeeding chapter he further convinces me of the insights of N.T. Wright.  I must say that Piper seems to continue to rely on the fact that Christianity has taught it differently as his most obvious tactic to dissuading the reader of Wright’s right.  But it just further emboldens me to find the meaning in Wright and see the folly in Piper.  Too bad.

It is a good thing, however.  I feel that I am learning more about Wright and his views by facing the critical arguments in Piper’s book.  His view of justification seems quaint to me now.  Almost like he believes in magic and refuses to let his belief in magic sway his view even though we have been shown how the tricks are done.  I have to listen to it at least once more this week then will start back into my not Tom Wright book.

Thoughts on Scot McKnight’s Blue Parakeet

My wife and I are fairly well read when it comes to different worldviews and different views on religion.  Both of us love to come across a new concept on a way to view the fundamental nature of the world and a new way to look at life.

I showed my wife Scot’s book today and had her read part of it, and she had her typical comment , “nothing that I have not heard before”.  And to me, that is the brilliance in Scot’s book.

Scot presents a clear and articulate concept of the relationship of the bible to our life today.  He goes right for the difficult subjects and deals with them in a way that almost all of us would say that his thoughts make sense.  But the issue comes when many read the conclusions and realize that his making sense leads to conclusions that are outside of the current paradigm of belief.  Way to go Scot!

I am more than halfway through, but cannot wait to get to the end, read it again, and try and get others to read it.  Enjoying a lot.

Dave

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We all have those days when we suddenly get the urge to read and all the books out there look ripe for the picking.  A couple days ago I realized that there are two from some of my favorite people that I have not read so first, I went for Scot McKnight’s “The Blue Parakeet – Rethinking How You Read the Bible“.  I spend more time on the Jesus Creed blog (which is Scot’s blog) than any other single place on the internet.  I love his posts, the variety of people in conversation, and just about everything about that site.  So I am looking forward to this one, it is long overdue.

Next, I continue to round out my N.T. Wright Collection.  So far I have read “Jesus and the Victory of God”, “Simply Christian”, and “Paul in Fresh Perspective”.  Tom Wright is absolutely my favorite theologian, period.  So this time I went for “Surprised by Hope – Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church.”  I didn’t even realize until I was just writing this up the similarity in the subtitles to Scot and Tom’s books.  I guess I was in the mood for some rethinking.

Lastly, I realized that I have not read any John Piper books.  The reason I have never read anything of his is that he is a Calvinist and I am quite certain that I would not agree with much he has to say.  But one never learns unless we push the envelope so I got John Piper’s “The Future of Justification: A Response to N. T. Wright” (I bought it on audio, my preferred method for reading these days).  I think it is obvious why I picked that one.  Let’s give it a try.

So I am going to start with the Blue Parakeet, ready for a good day.

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