October 1, 2018

David devotes a great deal of attention to organizing Levitical singers (1 Chronicles 25) and gatekeepers (1 Chronicles 26). Solomon follows David’s instructions in setting up these roles at the temple (singers, 2 Chronicles 5:12-23; 9:11; gatekeepers, 2 Chronicles 8:14). Remarkably, after Solomon, these officials virtually drop out of the picture. We can trace several terms to make the point: 1) Asaph, one of the leaders of the Levitical musicians, is a prominent figure in David’s reign (e.g., 1 Chronicles… Read more

September 27, 2018

Commodification is a three step dance, according to John McKnight and Peter Block (Abundant Community). It begins by identifying a human condition; it redescribes the condition as a problem that can be fixed; and then it sells the fix (39). The fix gets reduced to elements and then “curricularized” so that any schmo can do it, and through curricularization comes professionalization. This process ends up “mystifying” the solution, sequestering it off into private space where the pros can handle it…. Read more

September 26, 2018

I don’t agree with Seth Postell’s fundamental thesis in Adam as Israel. He states the thesis as follows: “when understood as the introduction to the Torah and the Tanakh as a whole, Genesis 1-3 intentionally foreshadows Israel’s failure to keep the Sinai Covenant as well as their exile from the Promised Land in order to point the reader to a future work of God in the ‘last days'” (3). Adam, like Israel later, fails to “conquer” the serpent, and so… Read more

September 25, 2018

The Chronicler carefully lays out the chronology of Josiah’s reign (2 Chronicles 34-35). 1)Becomes king at age of 8 (34:1). 2) In the eighth year of his reign, at age 16, Josiah begins to seek God (34:3). 3) In the twelfth year of his reign, at age 20, Josiah begins to purge Jerusalem, Judah, the temple, and the northern kingdom (34:3). 4) In the eighteenth year of his reign, at age 26, he begins to repair the house (34:8). During… Read more

September 24, 2018

Bo and Ben Winegard analyze today’s “Great Awokening” as a religious movement. They deploy the categories of sacredness and purity, priestly privilege, sin, atonement, and absolution to explain “Wokeness” as a religious movement and a status system. They admit to that “many of their moral concerns are entirely legitimate,” but admit to skepticism about some claims about contemporary American culture. It doesn’t matter to the analysis, though. They insist that “Even if its claims were entirely true, one could still… Read more

September 19, 2018

Here’s a connection I missed in my commentary on Revelation. One of hundreds. In Numbers 31, the Lord instructs Moses to take vengeance on the Midianites. The vengeance is for the attack by the Balak of Moab, who joined the Midianites in attacking Israel. Initially, they tried to hire the prophet Balaam; when that failed, they seduced Israel to idolatry and sexual sin by sending Moabite women into the camp (Numbers 25). Yahweh tells Moses to assemble a force consisting… Read more

September 18, 2018

In a chapter in The Social in Question, Bruno Latour summarizes the work of 19th-century sociology Gabriel Tarde. Latour is particularly interested in the anti-structuralist import of Tarde’s social metaphysics and anthropology. Tarde writes, for instance, “In general, there is more logic in a sentence than in a talk, in a talk than in a sequence or group of talks; there is more logic in a special ritual than in a whole credo; in an article of law than in… Read more

September 17, 2018

The Ten Words are a portrait of the true Israel, the true Adamic Son. They provide, in short, a portrait of Jesus. They are commandments, yes, but they are more fundamentally a character sketch of the true man who worships God alone, who bears the Name of God weightily, who gives rest, who honors father and mother, who does not kill, commit adultery, steal, bear false witness, or covet. Once we get Jesus in view here, two things come clear… Read more

September 13, 2018

God speaks worlds into existence, worlds that do not have the capacity to respond before the Word is spoken. Jesus calls dead Lazarus from the tomb, a Lazarus who has lost the capacity to hear and obey. Creative speech confers the capacity to hear and respond. This seems to be a uniquely divine power; it’s a sign of the unique creativity of God. But men and women too can speak in a way that confers the capacity to respond. One… Read more

September 12, 2018

Some typically sharp observations from a 1995 essay by Robert Jenson (Either/Or). First, on pluralism and the ideology of pluralism. What’s new in the modern age isn’t the reality of competing faiths: “The presence of contrary faiths and practices within a society often causes formidable problems, as America now experiences with unwonted intensity but as has always been the case. With due respect to some pop theologians, none of this is newly discovered: Isaiah or St. Paul knew more about… Read more

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