Extracurricular Activities — October 25, 2013
Driscoll calls pacifists pansies, failing yet again to comprehend what pacifism is and how best to approach the question at hand: What about the Christian, the state and violence? What does it mean to live the gospel in a world of violence? Three recent posts about pacifism are worth your read and at the bottom I have a brief response myself:
In the continuing scholarly discussion about the origins and nature of earliest “Jesus-devotion” (my term for the reverence given to the risen/exalted Jesus in early Christian beliefs, proclamation, and worship), a question repeatedly emerges, especially from the general public: Did Jesus demand that he be so reverenced?
Essentially, I contend that a critical sifting of the evidence (in the NT Gospels) yields the conclusion that Jesus was treated with the sort of reverence that connoted respect for a teacher or prophet or holy man, especially by those who approached him for healing or exorcism, or for respectful dialogue over religious matters. But there is no indication that Jesus was given the sorts or level of devotion that so quickly erupted among early circles of Jesus-believers soon after his crucifixion. Nor is there evidence that Jesus demanded recognition as “divine” or demanded that he be given worship. We should not expect this of a devout Jew of his time, and the evidence conforms to this expectation.
The key issues in the ongoing debate about Christianity, evolution, and human origins can be summed up by three academics who used to watch me have dinner.
I attended Christ's College Cambridge. There, we would eat in a dark, oak-paneled dining room with distinguished alumni peering down at us out of their oil paintings. Three of them in particular—John Milton, William Paley, and Charles Darwin—changed the way we think about the Book of Genesis. They continue to represent three major ways of reading it.
Last week, Dever dusted off his 2007 series and delivered it, with a few changes, as an hour-long lecture at Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington, D.C. "If there were so few self-conscious Calvinists in the 1950s," the pastor-historian asks, "how did we get so many today?" In what follows I offer a taste of his non-exhaustive, roughly chronological attempt to answer that question—12 sources God has used to reinvigorate Reformed theology in this generation (timestamps included).
Last night, while Detroit was digging itself into a deep hole it could not climb out of—I mean the Tigers, not the city—my class of urban pastors turned a session on church government into a spirited conversation on homosexuality. I was surprised by their level of passion, because I had naively assumed that homosexual practice was not a huge problem in the black community. They said they knew of several black churches where the members of the worship team are practicing homosexuals, and this is overlooked because of their ability to sing.
Here are a few takeaways from the class:
Extra-Curricular Activities is a weekly roundup of stories on biblical interpretation, theology, and issues where faith and culture meet. We found each story interesting, thought-provoking, challenging, or useful in some way – but we don't necessarily agree with or endorse every point in every story.
If you have any comments on these stories, we welcome you to share them here. We hope you enjoy!
–The Editors of Koinonia Blog
Sign up complete.