Testimony in the Old Testament

Scot posted a review of Anathea Portier-Young’s book, Apocalypse against Empire: Theologies of Resistance in Early Judaism, last Saturday. I got to work with Thea a couple summers ago, when I taught at Sewanee Summer School. She’s great — one of the shining lights of the future of biblical studies.

Here’s a great video of her talking, passionately, about the Hebrew Scripture:

Maybe the Bible Teaches that We’re NOT Supposed to Obey God

So wonders Robert Burt of Yale Law School:

Whether we approach the Bible as believers in its truth or solely with an appreciation of its literary qualities, we cannot accurately understand the text if we overlook the deep doubts and fears of the characters, including their doubts about God’s wisdom. A close reading reveals many instances when human beings withhold allegiance from God – and seemingly with good reason.

One obvious example is in the book of Job, in which God authorizes the infliction of suffering on an innocent man to prove to Satan that Job will be loyal to Him. Job responds, however, by cursing the day he was born and threatening suicide, which he imagines would somehow punish God for the injustice he is suffering. “Soon I’ll be lying in the earth,” Job says. “When you come looking for me, I’ll be gone.”

There are other notable occasions. After Abraham is held back at the last moment from fulfilling God’s command to kill Isaac, he and God never speak again. Genesis does not proclaim this fact; it simply gives no record of any further communication between them, in contrast to the constant interactions between God and Abraham before this climactic event.

Read on to see why he thinks this means that civil authorities should not necessarily be obeyed eitherShould God be obeyed? Should the state?—A Commentary by Robert Burt ’64 | Yale Law School.

I Sure Hope the Bible Isn’t this Creepy

So, it seems that this image is making its way around the evangelicalfacebookosphere. Maybe it’s just me, but it really creeps me out. If you have that kind of relationship with the Bible, you may need counseling.

It also leads me to ask, What if the person getting the creepy hug were a man?


Stanley Fish on Defending a Sacred Text

Earlier this week, I wrote about Chuck Colson. Colson, in his 2006 attack on the emergent church movement, wrote negatively about literary critic and commentator Stanley Fish, saying,

The arguments of some emerging church leaders, I fear, draw us perilously close to the trap set by postmodern deconstructionist Stanley Fish. Defending himself after his sympathetic statements about the 9/11 terrorists boomeranged, Fish claimed that postmodernists don’t really deny the existence of truth. He said there is simply no “independent standard of objectivity.” So truth can’t be proved to others; therefore, it can’t be known—a verbal sleight of hand.

Fish is a favorite of mine. He is so, in large part, because he often does not say and write what you expect him to say and write. He is unpredictable (not an attribute of Colson’s). Last week, his post at NY Times, for instance, takes liberals to the woodshed for poo-pooing those of us who put stock in a sacred text. Money quote:

[Read more...]


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