- William Black reflects on his experience of teaching systematic theology in Africa.
The theology that is taught in almost all theological institutions around here is an ill-fitting version of Christianity that simply does not work here. The Christianity that results is not transforming lives or churches or communities or cultures or nations. In that sense, rather than reflecting what is happening theologically, these Western theologies may actually be erecting barriers preventing people here from experiencing the transforming power of the risen Christ.
- Louis McBride comments on the incarnation as an analogy for understanding inerrancy. Citing Kevin Vanhoozer,
“I cannot help thinking that the incarnational analogy may be more trouble than it is worth. Chalcedon was designed to clarify the being of Jesus Christ, not Scripture. Please do not misunderstand: there is nothing wrong with Chalcedon, just as there was nothing wrong with the paper clip I used so cleverly in my skateboard to replace a screw. However, that improvisation ended with a broken arm. I wonder, then, about the wisdom of using language formulated for one truth to express another.”
- Scott Bailey argues that David’s “naked dancing” is not normative for modern worship.
Here’s our context: they are bringing the ark to the house of Obed-edom, the future site of the Temple, and they are sacrificing. The context is cultic. The modern correlation to worship (i.e., singing) is false.
- Joel Watts offers some thoughts on different views of the atonement.
- I forgot to mention earlier, but James McGrath has posted a link to what looks like a really useful set of resources from the Wabash Center for evaluating online resources. If you’re a teacher or student, check these out.
- Brian LePort would like some help figuring out if he’s human. At least, that’s what I think he’s asking for.
- Koinonia is giving away two copies of Four Views on Moving Beyond the Bible to Theology.
- And, Mashable points out a recent study by Facebook which suggests a very strong correlation between Facebook popularity and recent election results.
- Brian LePort has started a very interesting discussion on how cultural context impacts and shapes theological discourse.
Is Buddha really any worse than Aristotle? Why shouldn’t a theologian from Korea or Taiwan seek to use Buddha or Confucius where the language is suitable and doesn’t contradict the gospel? In this case Moore’s criticism may be spot on. I don’t know. But I do know that we need to realize our own hybridity is as much a concern as someone else’s.
- Daniel Kirk discusses “high” and “low” Christologies in the NT, arguing that we need to appreciate the “low” christological perspective of the Gospel writers.
And, much if not most of the New Testament, develops its theology of Jesus within a framework of low Christology. Low versus high Christology is one of the points of genuine theological diversity in the New Testament, with the Synoptic Gospels in particular (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) telling stories of Jesus as a specially empowered man whom they do not simultaneously depict as God incarnate.
- Richard Beck has an interesting discussion on a theology of monsters.
The monsters of the undead embody our fears of death. In agrarian eras we confronted death more directly. Nowadays we have to wait for the dead to come to our door once a year at Halloween. Or we can go to zombie movies. Either way, we feel a need to use monsters to confront our bodies, their gooshy vulnerabilities, and their ultimate demise. Monsters are existential.
- On a similar note, John Byron points out an important new scholarly work for understanding the Matthean tradition – a webcomic called Zombie Jesus. How is it that no one has written on this vital subject before?
The comic will tell the story of the 48 hours following the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, in which a horde of zombies attack Jerusalem in search of the messiah’s body.
- William Black explains why he thinks that predestination just doesn’t seem to work.
Predestination, as normally taught by all the venerable reformed divines, both past and present, is unstable and unhelpful. In the past, I and everybody else that I have read got around this by employing the very useful term ‘mystery’ to cover the internal contradictions that rip the doctrine apart.
- Michael Hyatt has an interview with Andy Stanley and is giving away 100 copies of his new book The Grace of God.
The church, or I should say, church people, must quit adding the word “but” to the end of our sentences about grace. Grace plus is no longer grace. Grace minus is no longer grace. We are afraid people will abuse grace if presented in its purest form. We need not fear that, we should assume that. Religious people crucified grace personified. Of course grace will be abused. But grace is a powerful dynamic. Grace wins out in the end. It is not our responsibility to qualify it. It is our responsibility to proclaim it and model it.
- And in the sad news of the day, Paul, the World Cup predicting octopus, died today at the ripe old age of 2 1/2.