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Showing posts from October, 2012

Luke 14:28-33: A new interpretation?

I'm preaching on Luke 14:25-35 this coming Sunday and my companions as I preach through Luke have been the commentaries by Green and Marshall. (I find usually reading more than a couple of commentaries for the purpose of preaching a waste of time). However on the subject of the two parables in Luke 14:28-33 I find them both unconvincing and have subsequently come up with my own interpretation. It probably isn't new or unique, but it seems so satisfactory to me I am surprised neither Marshall nor Green even mention the possibility. I'd appreciate your thoughts, whether you think my alternative reading has any merit, and whether you know any other commentators who have suggested something similar.



What they say

Jesus is talking about the need to hate our families and take up our crosses to be his disciples. He then tells two parables, one about understanding the need to estimate the cost of a building project before starting it to avoid ridicule and one about the need to surr…

America through the eyes of others

Images like these have a powerful effect on my perception of the USA (both borrowed from James).





It is funny, because so many of my favorite musicians, authors, bloggers and theologians are American. But the overriding mental image I have of the USA is governed by the reactionary racist greedy obnoxious and unbelievably imbecilic. There is something in the idea that it takes 10 positives to overcome a negative, but the idea that a pastor feels OK to put something like that on his notice board must cancel or someone wears a t-shirt like that (and it looks official - is it really?) counts for more than one negativity point. Vinoth Ramachandra puts it so well,


Democracy in the US is now largely a sham. The US Supreme Court has interpreted the US Constitution in a way that removes all restrictions on campaign spending. What this amounts to is that rich American individuals and corporations can buy presidents and congressmen. The support of a billionaire now counts vastly more than th…

Hurtado on Jesus and the Syro-Phoenician Woman

pic from sacred sandwich Hurtado writes,
Since the assigned lection a few Sundays ago on Jesus and the Syro-Phoenician woman (Mark 7:24-30), I’ve intended to comment on what appears to me a surprisingly widespread mis-reading of the passage.  Essentially, the “dogs” (who Jesus says here must wait till after the “children” have eaten before they can be fed) are taken with an extremely pejorative connotation as feral mongrels, and the scene is read as if Jesus is pictured insulting the woman and treating her with contempt.  Read the rest, you'll be glad you did, first on the how we should understand the dogs in question (not to mention the connection to the gentile mission), and second as to how the parable connects with the woman's own life. This was a real ah-ha! moment for me. Those two posts justified wading through the other 100 worthless posts clogging up my reader. ;-)

For a totally different discussion of Moses' use of canine imagery and women try this old Xe…

The Doctrine of Errancy

Andrew Wilson throws down a bold and extraordinary challenge to the critics of inerrancy. As one such critic, I'm grateful for the provocation. I know there are more subtle, nuanced and persuasive views of inerrancy out there but Wilson gives a good grass roots sketch of the motivation for the doctrine. He starts like this,

There are a bunch of reasons for [holding to inerrancy]: theological (what would it say about God if his word was incorrect?), anthropological (isn’t the idea of the pot telling the potter that he got it wrong somewhat problematic?), even Christological (Scripture is affirmed as both divine and human, like Christ, and to use the latter to argue for the flawed nature of the former could pose substantial problems for our view of Jesus - which is evident when you find people saying that Jesus, in his humanity, made a mistake about the historicity of Adam). To which I would rather briskly reply,
it is not God's words that contain errors it is our Bibles …

Has Bulkeley Really Retired?

One could be forgiven for thinking that rumours of Tim Bulkeley's retirement have been greatly exaggerated.  For only seconds ago it seem I was serenading him on the occasion of his escape from the workforce and yet in the space of a few short jiffies he is appearing on television under an unconvincing pseudonym and launching a book in a radical new interactive medium.

The video goes like this,

But he didn't feel it covered it properly so he released this too,




And his book looks like this if you buy it from Amazon:



But go here and you can change what it looks like by covering it in comments, I have already added a few but I like what Tim has written so much I can only be sycophantic and not give any helpful critique. :-(

But the most important thing is to enjoy that nice calming deep blue that adorns the cover, because that was my contribution to the book - colour consultant. Without my input it might have been beige *shudder*.


So that is the evidence your honour, one can o…