According to some Christian outlooks we were made for another world. Perhaps, rather, we were made for this world to recreate, reclaim, redeem, and renew unto God's future aspiration by the power of His Spirit. - R.E. Slater
Our eschatological ethos is to love. To stand with those who are oppressed. To stand against those who are oppressing. It is that simple. Love is our only calling and Christian Hope. - R.E. Slater
Secularization theory has been massively falsified. We don't live in an age of secularity. We live in an age of explosive, pervasive religiosity... an age of religious pluralism. - Peter L. Berger
Exploring the edge of life and faith in a post-everything world. - Todd Littleton
I don't need another reason to believe, your love is all around for me to see. – anon
Thou art our need; and in giving us more of thyself thou givest us all. - Khalil Gibran, Prayer XXIII
Be careful what you pretend to be. You become what you pretend to be. - Kurt Vonnegut
Religious beliefs, far from being primary, are often shaped and adjusted by our social goals. - Jim Forest
People, even more than things, need to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone. – anon
Certainly God's love has made fools of us all. - R.E. Slater
An apocalyptic Christian faith doesn't wait for Jesus to come, but for Jesus to become in our midst. - R.E. Slater
Christian belief in God begins with the cross and resurrection of Jesus, not with rational apologetics. - Eberhard Jüngel, Jürgen Moltmann
Our knowledge of God is through the 'I-Thou' encounter, not in finding God at the end of a syllogism or argument. There is a grave danger in any Christian treatment of God as an object. The God of Jesus Christ and Scripture is irreducibly subject and never made as an object, a force, a power, or a principle that can be manipulated. - Emil Brunner
Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh means "I will be that who I have yet to become." - God (Ex 3.14)
Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy. - Thomas Merton
The church is God's world-changing social experiment of bringing unlikes and differents to the Eucharist/Communion table to share life with one another as a new kind of family. When this happens we show to the world what love, justice, peace, reconciliation, and life together is designed by God to be. The church is God's show-and-tell for the world to see how God wants us to live as a blended, global, polypluralistic family united with one will, by one Lord, and baptized by one Spirit. – anon
The cross that is planted at the heart of the history of the world cannot be uprooted. - Jacques Ellul
The Unity in whose loving presence the universe unfolds is inside each person as a call to welcome the stranger, protect animals and the earth, respect the dignity of each person, think new thoughts, and help bring about ecological civilizations. - John Cobb & Farhan A. Shah
If you board the wrong train it is of no use running along the corridors of the train in the other direction. - Dietrich Bonhoeffer
God's justice is restorative rather than punitive; His discipline is merciful rather than punishing; His power is made perfect in weakness; and His grace is sufficient for all. – anon
Our little [biblical] systems have their day; they have their day and cease to be. They are but broken lights of Thee, and Thou, O God art more than they. - Alfred Lord Tennyson
We can’t control God; God is uncontrollable. God can’t control us; God’s love is uncontrolling! - Thomas Jay Oord
Life in perspective but always in process... as we are relational beings in process to one another so life events are in process in relation to each event... as God is to Self, is to world, is to us... like Father, like sons and daughters, like events... life in process yet always in perspective. - R.E. Slater

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Biologos Video Series - Genesis Through Ancient Eyes, Parts 1-4

For a good introduction to the Story of Creation in Genesis Biologos has created an excellent short series through theologian John Walton's many years of research and discovery. It integrates the evolutionary view of science with a grand overview of theological commentary showing the richness and depth of the Genesis stories themselves. Though we would not expect the ancient biblical writers to have understood evolution at that time, we would expect them to tell us of the God who created the cosmos and is in the process of redeeming all that He has created.
As such, Genesis is the Story of God as our Creator-Redeemer intimately involved with the world of men and the universe. Genesis is not the story of how God created, but the Story of God Himself. It is a story remarkably different from the stories of God being re-told by previous, more ancient, cultures over the spans of many earlier millenias. The Jewish story of God is the Christian story of God. A story of God's love and redemption in the midst of sin and death.
Biologos continues to do excellent work in the area of integrating biblical studies with the modern theories of evolution. Here then is their most recent production, Genesis Through Ancient Eyes, Parts 1-4.
R.E. Slater
November 27, 2012
*Please be aware that the links below will take the viewer to the Biologos Vimeo site for direct viewing. I have provided these links as a convenient way to view the series as a whole rather than in part. And as a convenient way to link up the thoughts expressed here in Relevancy22 with other adept sources of information that I find helpful and informative.
Genesis Through Ancient Eyes
Produced by Bilogos and John Walton
Today’s entry is part of our Video Blog series. For similar resources, visit our audio/video section, or our full "Conversations" collection. Please note the views expressed in the video are those of the author, not necessarily of The BioLogos Foundation. You can read more about what we believe here.

Today's video features
John Walton. John Walton is a professor of Old Testament at Wheaton College in Illinois and an editor and writer of Old Testament comparative studies and commentaries. Throughout his research, Walton has focused his attention on comparing the culture and literature of the Bible and the ancient Near East. He has published dozens of books, articles and translations, both as writer and editor, including his latest book The Lost World of Genesis One.
- Biologos
A special thank you to Dr. Walton, his son Jonathan Walton for the illustrations, and Scott Karow of ReI-media for the PowerPoint design.
Commentary written by the BioLogos editorial team. 
Genesis Through Ancient Eyes, Part 1
Oct 15, 2012
In the first segment of his talk, “Genesis Through Ancient Eyes”, Dr. John Walton discusses the authority of Scripture and how we should both honor and understand the text. According to Walton, we must remember that Scripture is “for us”, but that it was not written “to us”. He briefly highlights the ancient cosmology of both Egypt and Isreal and implores us to see the text of the Bible the way the Ancient Israelites would have seen it.
Genesis Through Ancient Eyes, Part 2
October 16, 2012
Dr. Walton begins the second part of his talk by noting that there is no scientific revelation in the Bible. The lack of science in the Bible does not compromise its message, however, because the ancient Israelites were focused on function, not material origins. Genesis is concerned with God bringing order from non-order, not with describing how matter emerged. He ends with the illustration of a house vs. a home, contending that Genesis is written to explain the origins of our home (our personal, spiritual place), not our house (the physical place where we reside).
Genesis Through Ancient Eyes, Part 3
October 17, 2012
In the third part of his talk, Dr. John Walton looks at the original language of Genesis, especially the word bara', or “created”. He again notes the focus on function over material beginnings, looking at the examples of “time”, “weather”, and “food” (all functional) that are created in Genesis. He ends by describing the importance of the seventh day (rest) in the creation story, which seems useless from a material standpoint but is the key point of creation from a functional standpoint, as it describes God establishing the cosmos as his home.
Genesis Through Ancient Eyes, Part 4
October 18, 2012
In the final part of his talk, Dr. John Walton briefly looks at the phrase “It was good” and the narrative in Genesis 2-3. He describes the second account in those chapters as a sequel rather than synoptic re-telling of the first narrative, and suggests that its descriptions are archetypal rather than scientific. He argues that if Genesis 2 has an archetypal focus, there is no biblical account of material human origins. Walton concludes his presentation with the poem “The Calf Path” by Sam Walter Foss.
The Calf-Path
by Sam Walter Foss
*Sam Walter Foss: Minor Poet with a Major Message -
One day, through the primeval wood,
A calf walked home, as good calves should;
But made a trail all bent askew,
A crooked trail as all calves do.

Since then two hundred years have fled,
And, I infer, the calf is dead.
But still he left behind his trail,
And thereby hangs my moral tale.

The trail was taken up next day
By a lone dog that passed that way;
And then a wise bell-wether sheep
Pursued the trail o'er vale and steep,
And drew the flock behind him, too,
As good bell-wethers always do.

And from that day, o'er hill and glade,
Through those old woods a path was made;
And many men wound in and out,
And dodged, and turned, and bent about
And uttered words of righteous wrath
Because ‘twas such a crooked path.
But still they followed -- do not laugh --
The first migrations of that calf,
And through this winding wood-way stalked,
Because he wobbled when he walked.

This forest path became a lane,
That bent, and turned, and turned again;
This crooked lane became a road,
Where many a poor horse with his load
Toiled on beneath the burning sun,
And traveled some three miles in one.
And thus a century and a half
They trod the footsteps of that calf.
The years passed on in swiftness fleet,
The road became a village street,
And this, before men were aware,
A city's crowded thoroughfare;
And soon the central street was this
Of a renowned metropolis;
And men two centuries and a half
Trod in the footsteps of that calf.

Each day a hundred thousand rout
Followed the zigzag calf about;
And o'er his crooked journey went
The traffic of a continent.
A hundred thousand men were led
By one calf near three centuries dead.
They followed still his crooked way,
And lost one hundred years a day;
For thus such reverence is lent
To well-established precedent.

A moral lesson this might teach,
Were I ordained and called to preach;
For men are prone to go it blind
Along the calf-paths of the mind,
And work away from sun to sun
To do what other men have done.
They follow in the beaten track,
And out and in, and forth and back,
And still their devious course pursue,
To keep the path that others do.

But how the wise old wood-gods laugh,
Who saw the first primeval calf!
Ah! many things this tale might teach --
But I am not ordained to preach.

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