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Showing posts from August, 2011

Van Hecke on Metaphor

This is a nice concise definition of the way metaphors work:
Metaphor is considered not so much as a way in which people speak but rather as a way in which people think.  We use metaphors in our language because, to a large extent, we think metaphorically.  The essence of metaphor, according to cognitive linguistics, is that we make use of our knowledge of one conceptual domain (the source) in order to gain new understanding of a second, non-related domaim (the target).Pierre van Hecke, "Conceptual Blending" in Metaphor in the Hebrew Bible, pp 218-19  cited in Dearman, Hosea, NICOT, p11

Monday Morning Quotes: Jesus, Israel and Election,

In terms of the open questions of the Old Testament and the apocalyptic promises, and the existential experience of Israel in exile and alienation, Jesus is revealed as the one who fulfills these promises. This of course can be described superficially as a proof from prophecy. But what is meant is that the person and history of Jesus have been manifested and understood as open to the future of God in a way which was characteristic of the distinctive existence of Israel among all the nations.  Moltmann, The Crucified God, Fortress 1993, p99 Election needs to be seen as a doctrine of mission, not a calculus for the arithmetic of salvation. If we are to speak of being chosen, of being among God's elect, it is to say that, like Abraham, we are chosen for the sake of God's plan that the nations of the world come to enjoy the blessing of Abraham.Chris Wright, The Mission of God's People, 2010, p72

The Death of Postmodernism

Thanks to Tony Jones for pointing to a very useful article on the death of postmodernism and what is to come after.

The death of postmodernism, 

For a while, as communism began to collapse, the supremacy of western capitalism seemed best challenged by deploying the ironic tactics of postmodernism. Over time, though, a new difficulty was created: because postmodernism attacks everything, a mood of confusion and uncertainty began to grow and flourish until, in recent years, it became ubiquitous. A lack of confidence in the tenets, skills and aesthetics of literature permeated the culture and few felt secure or able or skilled enough or politically permitted to distinguish or recognise the schlock from the not. And so, sure enough, in the absence of any aesthetic criteria, it became more and more useful to assess the value of works according to the profits they yielded [. . .]
In other words, increasingly, artistic success has become about nothing except money; and, increasingl…

Was Paul a Trinitarian?

Eddie Fearon and Daniel Kirk have been reflecting on the Theological Interpretation of Scripture Colloquium that I also attended this weekend past, although neither of them found my paper worthy of mention ;-) but like the Murphy's i'm not bitter.  Kirk shares the following exchange,
In a side conversation with one of the presenters (whose paper I very much appreciated and whose overall position on theological interpretation I find quite congenial), I made a brief case for why Christian hermeneutics should be Christological rather than Trinitarian.
He sees these working together. And I get that. But in trying to situate my point I asked, “Was Paul a Trinitarian?” He said, “Yes.” End of conversation.
That’s a small picture of where a biblical scholar can’t say what a theologian presumes, and why scholarship’s Bible will continue to be an enigma to the church. Beyond whether scholars are approaching their exegetical task as Christians, theologians (and church people) o…

The Social Location of the Preacher and the Blame Game

Since coming to NZ I have heard a common refrain despairing at the poverty of preaching in NZ, how preachers willfully abuse the scriptures and fail to feed their hungry people on the word of God instead feeding them a toxic mix of homespun advice, pop psychology and gratutuitous proof texting. 

As a foreigner i would confidently guess that the percentage of good preachers to bad ones here is probably the same as anywhere else in the world, though i'm not sure i have sufficient experience to know for sure.  But for sure the percentage of those NZ academics ready and willing to decry the state of preaching is sky high.  The accusation is always that the preacher does not respect The Word, that they are too busy pushing their "leadership" agenda to properly minister the scriptures, or that they just don't spend enough time in preparation - all of which may be quite true.

But like all of God's creatures the preacher is a product of their environment, most particular…

Paul’s Unconventional Sexual Ethic

This paper is what I presented at the recent Laidlaw-Carey/Otago sponsored colloquium on theological interpretation.  If you've already read my thesis, there is nothing new here, but if you haven't will give you a skeletal version of my last chapter.  Enjoy!
The Problem
In warning the Corinthians against πορνεία, sexual immorality, Paul does not appeal to OT law or the ruling of the Jerusalem council (Acts 15:20, 29)[1]instead he gives a stricter indictment against prostitution than anything found in the OT.[2] David Horrell argues that Paul’s argument here is based on the “presumption” that sex with a prostitute is illicit, while sex with a spouse, believing or not, is permitted.He claims that, “while Paul uses arguments about holiness and bodily union with Christ to support and promote his sexual ethics, the substantive ethical convictions themselves are not derived from these arguments but are already assumed.”[3]
In Horrell’s reading Paul is using the theological indicative o…

The so-called "Slogans" of 1 Corinthians: 6:12: 1 Cor 6:12

1 Cor 6:12, A Corinthian slogan or Paul’s own words?
(12) Πάντα μοι ἔξεστιν ἀλλʼ οὐ πάντα συμφέρει· πάντα μοι ἔξεστιν ἀλλʼ οὐκ ἐγὼ ἐξουσιασθήσομαι ὑπό τινος.
(12) Everything is permitted to me, but not everything is for the good. Everything is permitted to me, but I will not be ruled by anything. 

The consensus view is that the phrase "everything is permitted to me" is a citation of a Corinthian slogan.  Some translators go even further than merely putting the phrase in inverted commas and insert “you say” or words to that effect into the text.[1]  Brian Dodd traces this tradition back to Johannes Weiss and finds Weiss’ argument, based on what Paul didn’t write rather than on what he did, unconvincing, given the frequency with which Paul does signal his citations.[2]   Fitzmyer takes exception to Dodd’s thesis but does not tackle the issue of Paul’s failure to indicate a citation.  For Fitzmyer the statement cannot be Paul’s own words because it is “proverbial” and because of …