Honest-to-goodness conversation with Hen last night:
Me: I found a bit where it talks about cheese in the Bible.
H: Where’s that?
Me: In the story of David and Goliath, David brings ten cheeses to his brothers’ unit.
H: There’s another bit that talks about cheese.
Me: Where’s that?
H: Right at the beginning.
H: In the Garden of Edam. Read more about Cheeses of Nazareth
So I’ve been hearing lots of laughs about the Conservative Bible translation - I’m not going to dignify them with a link, they don’t deserve the publicity they’re getting already - and how American Christianity is finally coming to terms with the fact that the Bible just doesn’t fit their ideology and needs to be rewritten.
At least they’re explicit about their ideological assumptions, which, let’s face it, is better than most. We all have ‘em.
But some of the criticism I’ve heard is not always justified. Read more about Actually, they're right on that one...
I was about to write something about how evangelical authors (I was looking particularly at Chris Wright, in his “Mission of God”) do not take canon formation seriously, because if they did, then Chicago-inerrancy gets a bit fuzzy and then they realise they don’t have a magisterium. All die, oh the embarrassment.
And then along came this quote, which is superb: Read more about Biblical Inerrancy once again
So as I mentioned, I've been reading through the Psalms recently, and it's been very interesting. But one niggle I've had is that I don't quite know how to read the Psalms - it's in the Bible as the songbook and praise book of the people of God. But how much of it is humans praising God, and how much of it is God telling us how to praise?
I really don't know how people can go out to bat for the inerrancy of Scripture when there's a horkin' great big Epimenides paradox in the middle of it.
Kosuke Koyama is a preacher and theologian whose work I really enjoy and am inspired by. This is the operative bit of Sunday's sermon on Exodus 3. There's more, which I'll put up when I've finished the translation, but this is the theological key to the passage as far as I'm concerned. Nothing here is Koyama's words, but his spirit was definitely at work while I was writing it. My pastor, whose sermon style is very different, asked me after checking my Japanese “How do you come up with this kind of meditation?” Well, I just look at the text, then a look at a map, then I ask stupid questions, and I try to find the answers…
So I don't think it's cool to judge politicians, or indeed anyone, on what their preacher says, or else, well, all of my congregation would be in deep trouble. But a recent sermon at Sarah Palin's church kind of raised my interest a bit. The passage in question, about 1 minute 20 in:
Just after writing about Christ as a critical category over our theologies, I turned to the next part of our series through Acts to see what I had to preach on this week. Chapter five, oh yummy. One of the reasons I prefer preaching in series like this is because it keeps me honest, stops me from picking and choosing, and encourages me to deal with passages I would prefer to avoid. I believe that reading the Bible is meant to change you, not just reinforce your existing views, and grappling with the bits you find unpleasant is a necessary part of this.