Thursday, July 28, 2011

Evangelicals Mourn Stott

John Stott has gone on to glory, well deserved.  He will be missed by an evangelicalism that is increasingly polarised, fractured and antagonistic as an irenic, gracious and trustworthy voice.



Other reflections include

Marc Cortez:  his emphasis on the centrality of Jesus Christ and his atoning life, death, and resurrection had the greatest impact on me.

Michael Gorman: I came to admire John Stott early on for his deep commitment to both the Great Commission and the Great Commandment, an admiration that has become a constitutive part of my own spiritual and theological personality.

Tim Bulkely: Through scholarships, a library fund and the preaching initiatives John Stott will continue to impact wider and wider circles of humanity.

[Update] Paul Windsor shares his top ten Stott books with notes on how they have influenced him

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Abstract for TI Colloquium

I am presenting a paper at a colloquium on theological interpretation this month. I put myself in for this last year, knowing full well that I would regret it but having committed to do it have to do something.  This should hopefully be a reworking of the last chapter of my MTh thesis but I have been away from the material so long I'm worried even I'm not going to be convinced by my arguments!  I'm going to get started on the paper in the next few days, be keen to hear any initial reaction or questions to the abstract.  This will be my first proper presentation at an academic colloquium and there are some fairly heavy weight contributors so it will be inspiring and perhaps intimidating.  It will hopefully also result in a book so will be a first publication for me so I will try not to screw it up!

Paul’s Unconventional Sexual Ethics: A Theological Reading of 1 Cor 6:12-20

ABSTRACT


David Horrell argues that Paul’s argument in 1 Cor 6:12 – 7:16 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.”  Likewise, Bernard Lategan, in a study on Paul’s ethics in Galatians, comes to a similar conclusion: that the content of Paul’s ethics is merely conventional but that “Paul develops a new understanding of what ethical responsibility entails – an understanding that flows directly from his theological assessment of the new existence in faith.”  Thus for Horrell and Lategan Paul’s motivation and responsibility for ethical behaviour may be transformed by his theology, but the actual ethics are both “universal” and “conventional.”  In opposition to this view, this paper will give initial consideration to what a conventional 1st century ethic of prostitution might be, with particular reference to Josephus and Dio Chrysostom.  Paul’s own ethic will then be explored revealing both a radical contrast to the conventional ethics of his contemporaries and a robustly theological ethic constructed from the perspectives of God, Christ, and the Spirit.  Finally it will be argued that, in this instance, a theological reading of the text has served as a valuable corrective to the readings produced by the social science methodology of Horrell and others.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The so-called "Slogans" of 1 Corinthians: Introduction

I will begin our discussion of slogans in 1 Corinthians by looking at 1 Corinthians 6:12-20 and revisiting some of my work from my MTh thesis.  Then I plan to address every every possible instance of Corinthian slogans in 1 Corinthians paying attention to the resulting exegetical and theological ramifications of the argument.  Let me know what you think, :-)

Jay Smith defines a Corinthian slogan as,

[A] motto (or similar expression that captures the spirit, purpose, or guiding principles) of a particular group or point of view at Corinth, or at least a motto that Paul was using to represent their position or attitudes.[1]

Smith rightly warns that there is a risk in not attributing slogans, that the interpreter might mistake the Corinthians’ words for Paul’s.[2]  What also needs to be acknowledged is the risk of mistaking Paul’s words for the Corinthians’.   Although there is a range of nuances to the way such slogans might be derived and operate the basic question is whether or not those phrases identified as slogans should be read as Paul’s words or the Corinthians’; that is, should we understand that Paul is distancing himself from the assertions made in the slogan or do we distort Paul’s meaning by using quotation marks to signal a slogan? 

Monday, July 25, 2011

Blog renewal

I realise Xenos has been a bit flat this year, in fact it lost its way a while ago when I made my bid to enter the Biblioblog top 50 relying on sheer volume of posts to drag me into the ranks.  It is now time for Xenos to shake off its chequered past, to lose its pretensions of grandeur and to embrace its humble blogness.  Gone are the manifesto and overtly pious tag line, the blog roll is much reduced, and I hope this trimming will result in a sleeker more efficent blogging experience for us all.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Preaching Under Fire

Some looney is discussing preaching and spiritual warfare over at Kiwimade Preaching.  Go over there and tell him what you think. ;-)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

God and Dog

This is really beautifully simple, fun and profound.  thanks to David McLeod-Jones in the NZ Baptist Magazine for pointing this out.