Seven Stories Book Review: Part 7 – History to its End

In this episode of the RavenCast, Lindsey Paris-Lopez and I discuss the final chapter of Anthony Bartlett’s latest book Seven Stories: How to Study and Teach the Nonviolent Bible. You can watch the video of the conversation below, or listen to the podcast above. You can also subscribe to the RavenCast on iTunes, Stitcher Radio, or Podbean.

Show Notes

Lesson 1 of the chapter is about Wisdom. Wisdom is seen as a feminine figure in the Hebrew Bible. Jesus reflects this femininity when he says he wants to gather Jerusalem like a mother hen gathers her chicks.

Tony asks in a reflection question, “Wisdom teaches how to live a full life by living wisely. Is this generally true do you think?”

It’s a great question because the Bible has different views on wisdom. Many of the proverbs claim that if you make wise choices, things will go well for you. But other parts of the wisdom tradition, such as Job and Jesus, claim that bad things happen to all of us. There is truth in both of these views and the Bible holds the tension of these views on wisdom together.

Lesson 2 discusses the book of Daniel and the apocalypse. Daniel shows that history is a cycle of violence between human empires, one destroying another. Apocalypse, rather than referring to end of the world destruction, is the idea that we are so caught up in our violence that we need someone from outside of our violence to show us the way out of our violence. That’s what the Son of Man in Daniel does. He comes on a cloud with total nonviolence.

Lindsey related this to the horror in Israel and Palestine. She stated that Palestinians are being killed in the West Bank over their protests of the move of the US Embassy to Jerusalem, but the killing is happening in Gaza.

In lesson 3, Tony states that Jesus takes upon himself the nonviolent Son of Man imagery from Daniel. The “end” we are headed for is based on the resurrected, nonviolent love of Jesus. We will also be guided by the Holy Spirit, who is Wisdom. Tony ends the book with,

…But in reality “spirit” is our deepest mode of communication with each other and with the world. If our communication is violent then spirit will be violent. But if God’s nonviolent Holy Spirit is poured out to us through the death and resurrection of Jesus it is because we are now in deepest communication wiht the Father/Mother of Jesus. “Behold I make all things new!” (Rev 21.5 KJV).

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