Random Links 147

9/11 Didn’t Change the World (HT:Odyssey)

A conversation with Stanley Hauerwas. Interesting portraits.

a double take on early christianity: an interview with rodney stark

Will look into this …

22 Questions and Answers about Mind Maps

Survived with more than 5 Mind Maps for the camp I was involved in from Monday till today!

How Large-scale Change really happens: Working with Emergence

The opening line is very insightful:

In spite of current ads and slogans, the world doesn’t change one person at a time. It changes as networks of relationships form among people who share a common cause and vision of what’s possible”

The Cross and the Caricatures

NT Wright gives a response to Robert Jenson, Jeffrey John, and a new volume entitled Pierced for Our Transgressions. This little quote stuck out 🙂

Not, of course, that I claim myself to be infallible in my own interpretation of scripture. But it will not do (to anticipate an obvious reaction) to suggest that some recent works from the same school have effectively holed my exegesis, e.g. of Paul, below the water-line. Just because I have not had the time to respond, for instance, to Mark Seifrid, Don Carson and others in some of their recent polemic, does not mean that I am conceding the points they have made – not least because I see no evidence that they are really trying to hear what I and others are saying, but are instead simply waving us away as hopeless ‘new perspective’ people.”


About Sivin Kit

man of one wife, father of four kids

6 thoughts on “Random Links 147

  1. Rodney Stark’s interview brings new questions 🙂

  2. Bob K – here’s some stuff which stood out for me:

    “… Christians loved one another, and when they got sick they took care of each other. Someone brought you soup. You can do an enormous amount to relieve those miseries if you look after each other.

    … I don’t believe establishment is good for churches. It gets them involved in the worldly realm in ways that are unsuitable and corrupting. By the end of Constantine’s reign, we see people competing madly to become bishops because of the money. After that, Christianity was no longer a person-to-person movement.

    … One thing about religious truths is that we have to take them on faith, and faith needs reassurance. What’s more reassuring than noticing that some other people, whom you admire, are so certain that it’s all true that they’re willing to go the ultimate mile?

    … Women were leaders in the early Church. Paul makes that clear. And we have Pliny’s letter in which he says that among the people he’s tortured were two “deaconesses.” We’re not helped by Bible translations that render “deaconess” as “deacon’s wife.” I’m not saying the Church was ordaining women in those days. Of course it wasn’t. But women were leaders, and probably a disproportionate number of the early Christians were women.

    … Somebody at Harvard Divinity School might say, “That wasn’t a miracle. It was a spontaneous remission.” “Spontaneous remission” is the way the experts say, “We don’t have the slightest idea what happened.” The most hard-nosed scientist has no reason to doubt that miracles took place in the early Church. The opinions of the village atheist are as fundamentalist as anything any Baptist ever believed.

    … Christianity told the Greco-Roman world that the definition of “brother” has got to be a lot broader. There are some things you owe to any living human being.

    … People value religion on the basis of cost, and they don’t value the cheapest ones the most. Religions that ask nothing get nothing. You’ve got a choice: you can be a church or a country club. If you’re going to be a church, you’d better offer religion on Sunday. If you’re not, you’d better build a golf course, because you’re not going to get away with being a country club with no golf course.

    … I don’t know what I believe. I was brought up a Lutheran in Jamestown, North Dakota. I have trouble with faith. I’m not proud of this. I don’t think it makes me an intellectual. I would believe if I could, and I may be able to before it’s over. I would welcome that. “

  3. BK

    With all due respect, I feel that in this particular instance where he critiques Pierced for Our Transgressions, Wright has fallen into the same trap of not actually listening to the authors. I have actually read the volume and felt that Wright’s remarks, such as them not paying enough attention to the biblical narrative and marginalisation of the gospels, is plain unfair.

    Furthermore, Wright says that the book angrily denunciates Steve Chalke and provides page references. I was surprised when he said that, because one of the most attractive things about Pierced for Our Transgressions was its winsome and charitable tone. So I looked it up, and I can assuredly say that in the page references he supplies, all the authors do on one page is summarise Chalke’s book fairly, and on another, briefly respond to one of his lines of argument without ever confusing the argument with the person. In fact, the book was actually sympathetic towards the “New Perspective”. Thus, I am disappointed that Wright, after commendably being gentle in spirit towards Dr. John and Steve Chalke, does not extend the same courtesy to the authors of PfoT. Wright is well within his rights, of course, to disagree with some of the exegesis and theology within the book, but to call it “deeply unbibical” is a serious charge, and one I feel he shouldn’t have made.

    Of course, Wright himself has been at the receiving end of some terrible remarks and I have no doubt plenty of people have not listened to him. And I know your link here simply provides a gateway to an interesting article which people can judge for themselves, rather than a necessary agreement with everything Wright says. But I felt that enough people might go away from reading Wright and not give the book a chance, which I think will be a real shame, and so wanted to comment briefly here.

    The authors have also since responded to Wright here:

  4. BK – Thanks for your input. I was a little intrigued by Bishop Wright’s response myself and would love to ask him about it when he comes to Malaysia (God willing!) tentatively in September as far as I know.

    For me, I agree with Daniel who commented on the link you provided – “The disagreement does seem to stem largely from different approaches to theology…” That’s my more intuitive non-researched take most of these disagreements or even controversies.

    As one who has not read Chalke’s book yet or PfoT, I won’t comment on details. My interest stems from how Christians are handling diversity in matters like this – e.g. a particular doctrine – the “politics” surrounding such discussions and how one can move forward after prayerful consideration.

    Though interesting, currently I believe we have more pressing issues we need to confront in Malaysia which is occupying my energies for now. 🙂

    Once again, appreciate your comment BK.

  5. BK

    Thanks, Ps. Sivin. After I left the comment, I thought to myself, should I have said that or kept my mouth shut? I’m also struggling to work out how to handle differences in opinion while seeking to be the reconciled community, the “new-humanity church” (a term I learnt from Bruce Milne!) Jesus calls us to.

    Thanks for reminding me (implicitly) that I should keep praying for my country as well.

  6. BK – for me, on the matter of “mouth shutting” – I’m happy you feel “safe” to share your thoughts on the blog and be “vulnerable” in a way not just with thoughts but also with feelings. This is one of the ways we work out what’s bubbling inside of us. I think it’s healthy. I thought you did so with respect and maturity. So, please you are welcome to do so anytime.

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