According to some Christian outlooks we were made for another world. Perhaps, rather, we were made for
this world to recreate, reclaim, and renew unto God's future aspiration by the power of His Spirit. - 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

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Peter Enns, "Scripture as a Polyphonic Text has not One, but Many Voices"

Genesis, creation, and two very different portraits of God (or, you can’t pin God down)
 
He concludes by saying that the Bible as “a polyphonic text—a work that speaks in many voices… is the strength of the Bible rather than a weakness.” He continues,
 
Different people relate to one or another of these divine portraits—some of us are drawn to an approachable God, and being that is more be like us, while for others, a majestic, distant deity is more “Godlike.” Sometimes this can even shift with time and need—the very same person may sometimes need to connect to a God who walks about the Garden at the breezy time of the day (Gen 3:8), while at other times they may need to connect to a God who insists that all is ordered and in its place, good, indeed very good. Post-biblical Judaism used interpretation to discover different images for God in the Bible—no two parshanim or philosophers shared identical images of what God was like.  But this inability to pin God down, to create one single, uniform, univocal image of God already has strong roots in the biblical text itself.
 
Bottom line for Brettler: You can’t pin God down. The Bible tells us so.
 
Note how a Jewish reading celebrates diversity in Scripture–even diverse portraits of God–whereas Protestant readers, particular evangelicals and fundamentalists, tend to seek a singular, unified voice in Scripture–and do some fretting when they don’t find one.
 
Jewish readings of Scripture see diversity as a property of a sacred, inspired text. Conservative Protestants see it as a characteristic that is incompatible with divine inspiration and thus needing to be “solved.”
 
Personally, I have long thought that a Jewish approach to diversity in Scripture is preferable, given the degree of theological diversity that is self-evident in Scripture itself – the two creation stories being only a small sampling of that. That is why chapter three of Inspiration and Incarnation: Evangelicals and the Problem of the Old Testament deals with theological diversity.
 
 
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Brettler is also author of numerous other books, including How to Read the Jewish Bible, and co-editor of The Jewish Study Bible and The Jewish Annotated New Testament. He is also cofounder of Project TABS (Torah and Biblical Scholarship) -TheTorah.com.
 
 
 

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