As of 2011, my blog is now at:
Friday, January 02, 2009
For those few of you who do read my blog, I apologize for the lack of posting last month. I am really being hounded by deadlines right now. I have been out of town for Christmas and I have to have my course in Biblical Hermeneutics written and sent by Feb 1, I have 60 Amos exams to grade by next week, and we've just begun a new series at Encounter on James so I have had to gear up for that the past few weeks. I will be back...promise. Pray for my next month as I finish up all these projects and take a break for a few months! [And by break I mean focusing on my pastoring, taking only one class, and only being a TA for Mike's OTI].
Thursday, January 01, 2009
Keep in mind, I don't ever actually go to the movies, I always rent them, so these probably came out in 2007. I have chosen these not based on entertainment value but on impact, either intellectual, emotional, or spiritual. In no particular order:
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Sunday, November 16, 2008
In case anyone is interested I found some helpful resources when dealing with the primary sources of ANE texts. Browse around. The first one looks hokey but the translations come from mostly standard sources or scholarly sources (such as the second link).
Friday, November 14, 2008
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
One of my favorite books to read is The Giver by Lois Lowry. Not to get all reader-response or anything but I love it because it means something specifically to me and reminds me of my role as a pastor/theologian. Let me explain:
In The Giver the protagonist is a young boy named Jonas who lives in a utopian society where there are no skinned knees and there is no experience of pain. In this society the time came, at the age of 12, when children became adults and were given what was to be there destiny, their place in the community, the role they were to perform for the good of the community. There were all kinds of jobs but only every great once in a while was there a replacement chosen for the most revered role of all, the role of the Giver. This lot befell Jonas.
The Giver was responsible for bearing all of the painful experiences and painful memories of the community so that the community didn't have to (Christ figure?). At the end of the day, Jonas decides that the joys that come with pain are worth the pain and so he releases the pain back into the community.
So where do I see the pastor/theologian? S/he is the Giver in the community. The weight of theological and biblical "pains" must be borne by them, they are the gatekeepers of the faith. Not everyone who claims Christ needs to master or even be aware of the myriad questions and theological problems the pastor/theologian is constantly confronted with. But the questions and problems must be dealt with by someone.
With this position is the utmost responsibility - deciding in what scenarios and relationships it is best for the community to be exposed to a little "pain." Do you keep bearing all of the burden to shield those in your care? Or do you let them in on a little of your experience? But when will it do good instead of doing harm? This is increasingly the role I find myself in as a pastor and as a student of the Scriptures.
As I tell most people who aspire to know more about the Bible...be very careful that you don't have false expectations about what this knowledge will bring. This knowledge is not primarily a gift but a burden. If we are interested in having our egos boosted by our knowledge then pick another field because the ethical weight of Scriptural knowledge can be a weight under which our pride and self-sufficiency are crushed.