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Showing posts from March, 2015

Apocalyptic Paul

So as someone who has struggled to keep up with currents in Pauline studies over the last 5 years, has limited time for reading and blogging I wanted to try and get a handle on "Apocalyptic." General the term is presented in the following trope: "scholar so and so thinks that apocalyptic is that but they are wrong apocalyptic really means this!" So it strikes me that what we have is not one agreed upon concept but a trendy word which scholars like to throw about to show that they are no longer trudging around in the old hat of the "new perspective". Is apocalyptic just a cipher for "my preferred approach to reading Paul"?

So where should one go for a primer on Pauline Apocalyptic, a concise description and a balanced account of the differing views?

Well Scot McKnight is usually a reliable guide, he says,
First, the primary word is “apocalyptic” but this term is not being defined by Jewish apocalypses so much as it is almost equivalent to a cosmi…

Stone the crows it's a mini black hole!

Well my blog doesn't really try that hard to be topical but to see in the news that scientists at the Large Hadron Collider in Cern have decidied now that the big bang probably didn't happen but that our universe is eternal and part of a multidimensional reality where gravity leaks though blackholes to higher and lower dimensions seemed rather coincidental seeing as my last post quoted David Bently Hart saying: 
At some point, then, at the source of all sources and the origin of all origins, the contingent must rest upon the absolute. One will not understand this line of reasoning properly, however, unless one recognizes [sic] that it is not concerned with the question of the temporal origin of the universe; it would make no difference for the argument whatsoever if it should turn out that the universe has existed forever and will go on existing eternally, without beginning or end, or that it belongs to some beginningless and endless succession of universes. (102) So don'…

Hart on Naturalism, Existence and God

So, life is kind of hectic and reading has not been high enough on the priorities recently, but this afternoon I picked up The Experience of God by David Bentley Hart (Yale 2013) again. The book is starting to get going, although I'm sure he could say the same thing more clearly with 1/3 of the words, but maybe that is a style thing?

[P]hilisophical naturalism could never serve as a complete, coherent, or even provisionally plausible picture of reality as a whole. . . The question of existence is real, comprehensible, and unavoidable, and yet it lies beyond the power of naturalism to answer it, or even to ask it. (p95)
To be clear here: not only has physics not yet arrived at an answer to this question, it never can. All physical events - all physical causes, all physical constituents of reality - are embraced within the history of nature, which is to say the history of what already has existence. The question of existence, however, concerns the very possibility of such a history,…