David Atkinson – Why Do Christians Disagree?

Every Saturday, Scot McKnight share with us on his blog his virtual meanderings. One of the items he has shared with us in today’s Weakly Meanderings is David Atkinson’s text Why Do Christians Disagree? A very good question, indeed.

Here are, in summary, his answers:

1.  Because they look to different sources of authority
2.  Because they draw on different guiding metaphors for God Continue reading “David Atkinson – Why Do Christians Disagree?”

inerrancy and the recent non-apocalyptic discussion at the annual Evangelical Theological Society meeting in Baltimore

inerrancy and the recent non-apocalyptic discussion at the annual Evangelical Theological Society meeting in Baltimore.

This is a very important discussion in the context of the blatant biblicism that dominates evangelicalism in general, and this ecclesial tradition in Romania, in particular.

Opposition to Gender Equality, East and West. | Jenny Rae Armstrong

Opposition to Gender Equality, East and West. | Jenny Rae Armstrong.

One of my Facebook contact shared this link on the internet. Here is my reaction to it.

Seriously? Is ‘dowry’ biblical?
What makes something to be ‘biblical’? its presence in the text. We can find the devil there too. If the devil ‘biblical’? We also find there the genocide at the time of Joshua. Is genocide also ‘biblical’?
Let’s be serious and not play games with these dangerous things.
If Jenny is right on something, is the fact that we should not try to impose western rules on other cultures (nor the other way around). However, we also have to be aware that no culture is 100% ‘biblical’ (in the correct sense of the word, meaning compatible with the ‘mind of God’). That is why all cultures, be them in the East or the West, have to be judged in light of God’s revelation, correctly understood – meaning, not in a literalist/biblicist manner, which could lead to heresy, and even worse, but ecclesially – both in a synchronic and a diachronic manner.

Tim Keller on Interpreting the Bible

Carson Clark – Not ‘Sola Scriptura’, but ‘Prima Scriptura’

Since yesterday I have posted Carson’s text on his post-evangelical stance, I add now a continuation of that, his view of the Protestant principle of ‘Sola Scriptura’. To this view, which leaves no place for the concept of Tradition, Carson opposes the ‘Prima Scriptura’ position, a view which I also share, as it comes quite clear in the way I tend to handle Scripture on my blog.

Here is what Carson Clark says:

* * *

The historic Reformation principle of Sola Scriptura often gets a bad wrap because people fail to distinguish it from Bible-onlyism, which is its unfortunate, dumbed down contemporary heir. The former was critically nuanced and discerning. The latter is overly simplistic and ignorant. So when I say I don’t affirm Sola Scriptura, let’s all be clear about a couple things. It’s not for a lack of respect for the Reformers nor am I castigating a strawman position. Here I’m making a concerted effort not to contribute to the entrenched, heated idiocy surrounding this issue.

Within the context of the 16th century, I understand how and why Sola Scriptura came to be. The late Medieval Roman Catholic Church was heavy-handed and hegemonic. Its abuses, corruptions, excesses, and hypocrisies were obvious. This coincided with Renaissance humanism’s call of “Ad fontes!” or “Back to the sources!” Long story short, Martin Luther and Co. were trying to pull a Marty McFly by going back to the future. I get all of that. Lord knows had I been alive at their time I almost certainly would’ve been sympathetic to the Protestant cause. Continue reading “Carson Clark – Not ‘Sola Scriptura’, but ‘Prima Scriptura’”

Aristotle vs. Jesus: What Makes the New Testament Household Codes Different

Aristotle vs. Jesus: What Makes the New Testament Household Codes Different.

In today’s blog post Rachel compares Aristotle’s housecodes with those in the New TEstament.

The Letter to Nympha’s Church (a creative interpretation of Colossians)

The Letter to Nympha’s Church (a creative interpretation of Colossians).

The saga of household codes continues, this time with the house church on Nympha in Colosse.

Rachel Held Evans: Four Interpretive Pitfalls Around the New Testament Household Codes

You have heard me, over and over again, singing praises to Rachel. Here I come again. On Sunday I have just preached at a wedding on one of these family codes, so I cannot skip this topic, which, I know, trouble many sincere Christians, men and women alike. So, here it is:

Ever heard this before? 

“The Bible says wives are to submit to their husbands, so clearly, Christian men are supposed to be the heard of the household and Christian wives are supposed to defer to the wishes of their husbands when making family decisions.” 

Or this? 

“The Bible teaches husbands to love their wives and wives to respect their husbands because men need respect more than they need love and women need love more than they need respect.” 

Or what about this? 

“The Bible says wives are to submit to their husbands and slaves to their masters, so clearly, it’s an outdated and irrelevant text that oppresses people.”  Continue reading “Rachel Held Evans: Four Interpretive Pitfalls Around the New Testament Household Codes”

A Few Comments About Snyder’s Text on Holistic Evangelism

After I have published (see HERE) Howard Snyder’s text on evangelism, somebody asked if indeed the author’s position was aligned 100% with what the New Testament has to say about evangelism. In other words, is not evangelism primarily a communication of good news and is not ‘conversion evangelism’ the prime emphasis of the biblical text?

Here is my answer to this absolutely legitimate question:

* * *

In my opinion, the question of the meaning of ‘evangelism’ cannot be decided based on an etymological study of ‘euangelizo’ or of an exegetical study of the occurrences of this term in the NT, which is similar to the fact that the meaning of ‘church’ in the NT cannot be legitimately decided on the basis of an etymological study of ‘ekklesia’ (as coming from the Greek ek-kaleo) and the exegetical study of the occurrences of this term in the Bible (74 in the Septuagint and 114 in the NT).

The reasons for this are multiple: Continue reading “A Few Comments About Snyder’s Text on Holistic Evangelism”

A Little Glimpse Into My Spiritual Journey

Soo K Chang - Spiritual Journey
Soo K Chang – Spiritual Journey

Not long ago I have been invited by Professor Adrian Marinescu, who teaches Orthodox theology at the University in Munich, Germany, to contribute a short paper to an occasional issue of the the journal called Studii Teologice [Theological Studies], dedicated to the commemoration of twenty years since Fr. Dumitru Staniloae went to be with the Lord.

Prof. Marinescu suggested that I could write 3-5 pages about something like ‘how my mind has changed’ through interaction with Eastern Orthodox theology in general, and Staniloae’s theology in particular. Unfortunately, the relentless traveling that is part of my professional responsibilities made it impossible for me to write the requested paper. However, I am compensated by the fact that a postgraduate Romanian Orthodox student, doing his research on Staniloae’s theology at the University of Strasbourg, in France, will publish in this journal an academic review of my PhD thesis of Staniloae.

Also, for some time now, I have become a member of the Facebook group ‘Anglican Discussions: Respectful, Diverse, Orthodox’, at the invitation of my virtual friend Carson Clark (at a simple search you will find on this blog a number of links  to the interesting blog posts he writes quite often). I do not have a lot of time to interact there, but I do it from time to time, when members discuss issues that are not connected to the most troubled context of Anglicanism in the US). Continue reading “A Little Glimpse Into My Spiritual Journey”

Scripture’s Paradox: Extraordinarily Simple & Profoundly Complex (Miniblog #156) | Musings of a Hardlining Moderate

Scripture’s Paradox: Extraordinarily Simple & Profoundly Complex (Miniblog #156) | Musings of a Hardlining Moderate.

I agree with Carson. Again.
I recommend again on this theme the excellent book of Christian Smith called The Bible Made Impossible, the strongest indictment of biblicism that I know.

Rachel Held Evans – My Take: The danger of calling behavior ‘biblical’

rachel-held-evans

Rachel tackles daringly (she can’t do otherwise) another very dear ‘holy cow’ of fundamentalists and biblicits, the obsession of everything, legitimately or not, having to be ‘biblical’.

Here are a few excerpts from the opinion article published by the CNN website:

On “The Daily Show” recently, Jon Stewart grilled Mike Huckabee about a TV ad in which Huckabee urged voters to support “biblical values” at the voting box.

When Huckabee said that he supported the “biblical model of marriage,” Stewart shot back that “the biblical model of marriage is polygamy.”

And there’s a big problem, Stewart went on, with reducing “biblical values” to one or two social issues such as abortion and gay marriage, while ignoring issues such as poverty and immigration reform.

It may come as some surprise that as an evangelical Christian, I cheered Stewart on from my living room couch. Continue reading “Rachel Held Evans – My Take: The danger of calling behavior ‘biblical’”

Rachel Held Evans – I Love the Bible

I love Rachel Held Evans. I hope I am allowed to say that. She is the kind of Christian writer (and blogger) I always read with great pleasure. I guess those who come from time to time on my blog already got that. A simple search on her name would help the others understand.

Today I want to draw your attention to a sort of elegy to the Bible. Rachel puts very well in words much of what I myself feel about this topic. Here are just a few quotes:

* * *

I have wrestled with the Bible, and it has left me with a limp.

But I am glad. I am glad because this limp has slowed me down a bit. It has humbled me. It has forced me to stop running so fast and sure down the path of certainty that I forget to listen, to pay attention, to ask questions, to build altars, to wait. Continue reading “Rachel Held Evans – I Love the Bible”

Adam şi Eva, suspecţi de serviciu | medievalia

Adam şi Eva, suspecţi de serviciu | medievalia.

Chiar daca uneori face consideratii legitime, in esenta Andrei Gaitanaru trateaza in acest text in mod destul de confuz si cu o cunoastere superficiala a problemelor discutate o chestiune controversata in spatiul evanghelic american.

Ca sa nu mai vorbim de apelul la argumente patristice, foarte putin relevente, de vreme ce Parintii Bisericii nu s-au confruntat cu datele pe care trebuie sa le ia in seama in interpretarea lor bibloica teologi precum John Schneider.

Voi ce credeti?

Meaning and Myth | BioLogos

Meaning and Myth | BioLogos.

Today’s entry is part of our Video Blog series. For similar resources, visit our audio/video section, or our full “Conversations” collection. Please note the views expressed in the video are those of the author, not necessarily of The BioLogos Foundation. You can read more about what we believe here. Continue reading “Meaning and Myth | BioLogos”

Defending Scripture. Literally. | Christianity Today | A Magazine of Evangelical Conviction

Defending Scripture. Literally. | Christianity Today | A Magazine of Evangelical Conviction.

Are you one of those Christians struggling with impossibility of biblical literalism, or the so-called ‘biblicism’? Then, I would say you could find this confession refreshingly sincere and vulnerable.

Here is the conclusion of the text:

‘We shouldn’t be surprised (or worried) that in his overtures to us God uses every kind of language available—straightforward (but culturally lensed) historical narrative, analogy, metaphor, parable, poetry, apocalyptic vision, and, hallelujah, the Word made flesh, Jesus. The best way to receive his Word is with the humble conviction that not only can we find what we’re looking for, it (he) will be more than we could hope for, imagine, or fully comprehend. That’s the best news there is.

Literally.’

When is the Bible metaphorical?

When is the Bible metaphorical?.

Here is some help for those who need some help in moving from blatant literalism to wise Bible reading, that distinguishes between metaphorical and plan textual meaning.

Associated Baptist Press – Opinion: The Bible tells me. So?

Associated Baptist Press – Opinion: The Bible tells me. So?.

Here is how this though provoking article by Bill Leonard begins:

Everybody is quoting the Bible these days. In the church and the public square Bible-based rhetoric and mandates echo throughout the culture, often with varying, even contradictory, interpretations. Such convictions can be deep and culture transforming; they can also be mistaken, perhaps even dead wrong. The Bible may say it and we may believe it, but that doesn’t always settle it.

Christian history suggests as much. Lent, the season of reflection and repentance, offers opportunity for those of us who live in and out of the Bible to acknowledge that the church’s history is full of acts and imperatives thought to be grounded in Holy Scripture that led the church to make horrible mistakes. Reflecting on those errors, and their sinful ramifications (it is Lent after all); we might revisit our own claims to be “Bible-believing Christians.”

… and how it ends:

And what of us? While grateful that such destructive misuses of Scripture are no longer acceptable, we must ask ourselves: what texts are we using to promote practices for which later generations will call us to account?

For which of our “biblical defenses” will our children or grandchildren be compelled to repent? Good questions for reflection, perhaps even repentance, then and now. Lent, you know.

Bill Leonard is James and Marilyn Dunn Professor of Church History and Baptist Studies at the School of Divinity, Wake Forest University.

* * *

I would encourage you you to read it all. It is worth it.

Christ at the Checkpoint Conference Statement

A major breakthrough in the evangelical world took place in Bethlehem through a gathering of over 600 international and local Christians, including renowned evangelical leaders. Organized by Bethlehem Bible College, the conference, under the banner “Christ at the Checkpoint,” addressed the issue of how to find hope in the midst of conflict. The conference exceeded all expectations.

For the first time, a broad spectrum of evangelical believers met literally at the “checkpoint,” and engaged biblically on issues that have historically divided them. Subjects included, Christian Zionism, Islamism, justice, nonviolence, and reconciliation. These themes were intended to create an ongoing forum for Christian peacemaking within the context of the Israeli Palestinian conflict. These issues were discussed in the form of inspirational messages, Bible study, interactive workshops, panels and site visits. Continue reading “Christ at the Checkpoint Conference Statement”

Fr. Richard Rohr – ‘Real Meaning’ vs ‘Literal Meaning’ of Doctrine

Leonard Cohen’s song, “Anthem,” states in the refrain: “There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.” That is a much more poetic way of naming what we unfortunately called “original sin”—a poor choice of words because the word sin implies fault and culpability, and that is precisely not the point! Original sin was trying to warn us that the flaw at the heart of all reality is nothing we did personally, but that there is simply “a crack in everything” and so we should not be surprised when it shows itself in us or in everything else. It keeps us patient, humble, and less judgmental. Continue reading “Fr. Richard Rohr – ‘Real Meaning’ vs ‘Literal Meaning’ of Doctrine”

Joel S. Baden: The Problem With Rationalizing the Bible

Joel S. Baden: The Problem With Rationalizing the Bible.

This is something all those tempted by the lure of modernity as applied to the Bible should read. Whether you agree with all details is not important. The gest of the argument is captured well in the following paragraph, with which I fully agree:

‘We cannot have it both ways. The Bible cannot both be a foundation of faith and conform to modern notions of scientific rationality. Nor should it. For true believers, naturalistic rationalizations undercut a central message of the Scriptures, that God intervenes in human affairs. Skeptics must wonder why any attempt is being made in the first place to prove that biblical events really happened. The Bible may be couched as historical narrative, but the claims it makes are claims of faith, which no amount of positive or negative data can alter.’

Baptistii si shiboletsii – Raspuns lui Radu Gheorghita

 
Cu Eugen Matei la restaurant in Pasadena                            Radu & Liz Gheorghita

Eugen Matei, de la Fuller Seminary, a scris AICI un text oarecum autobiografic, legat de aventurile lui atunci cind a incercat sa revina in Romania, pentru a preda teologie. Intre altele, el a atins si povestea incercarii de impunere in Romania, de catre cei de la Southern Baptist a alinierii noastre la Declaratia de la Chicago, privind ineranta Scripturii, la care am fost supus si eu in perioada cind predam la Oradea. Unul dintre cei care au raspuns acestui text este prietenul nostru comun Radu Gheorghita, care preda la seminar SBC din Statele Unite. Gasiti comentariul lui la linkul de mai sus. Acestui comentariu ii raspund eu cu cele de mai jos.

* * *

Imi pare rau ca raspund atit de tirziu la o conversatie care abia s-a infiripat si vad ca a si murit. Ar fi multe de spus, dar ma restring la ceea ce a spus Radu mai sus.
Mai intii, apreciez agnajarea lui Radu in acest dialog. Nu ne-a prea obisnuit cu asta.
Iata si comentariile mele la cele de mai sus. Continue reading “Baptistii si shiboletsii – Raspuns lui Radu Gheorghita”

Hermeneutica eclesiala

Dictionar de imagini si simboluri biblice – O aparitie editoriala de exceptie

Editura Casa Cartii ne pune la dispozitie un nou si valoros instrument de referinta, asa cum ne-a obisnuit in ultima vreme. Felicitari!

Imaginalul – cu tot ce cuprinde el, metafora, imaginea, simbolul – nu este nicicum unul dintre punctele forte ale hermeneuticii evanghelice, care este mai degraba inclinata spre literalitate si limbajul direct. Asa fiind, acest dictionar poate functiona drept medicament pentru cei care sufera, in diverse grade, de boala iluminista a ingineriei biblice. Autorii, Leland Ryken, James C. Wilhoit si Tremper Longman III, sunt autoritati recunoscute ale teologiei biblice si merita toata atentia noastra.

Redau mai jos citeva detalii de pe pagina web a editurii cu priovire la acest important eveniment editorial. Continue reading “Dictionar de imagini si simboluri biblice – O aparitie editoriala de exceptie”

Cine are dreptate? – despre competiția interpretărilor « Cu drezina

Cine are dreptate? – despre competiția interpretărilor « Cu drezina.

Teofit Stanciu despre dragoste ca paradigma hermeneutica. Excelent.

Christian Smith on his Book ‘The Bible Made Impossible’

(I thank Scot McKnight for this link.)

Here is the link to Christian Smith’s book The Bible Made Impossible: Why Biblicism Is Not a Truly Evangelical Reading of Scripture.

You may watch below the other four parts of this video presentation.

Continue reading “Christian Smith on his Book ‘The Bible Made Impossible’”

Egalitarians vs. Complementarians

I like reading Scot McKnight’s Weakly Meanderings (see HERE the latest one). I always find a few very interesting links.

This week’s most interesting ones for me have to do with the complementarian vs. egalitarian debate.

Rachel Stone, who writes for Her.meneutics, the Christianity Today blof on women issues, shared with us recently two interviews she took on this issue.

The first to be interviewed was egalitarian theologian William Webb, now an adjunct professor at Tyndale Seminary in Toronto, Canada’s largest evangelical seminary, after he was forced to resign from a tenure position at another evangelical school, because of his egalitarian views. Here is the first part of this interview: Continue reading “Egalitarians vs. Complementarians”

Al Mohler vs Scot McKnight over Adam and Eve

Scot McKnight responds on his blog to the overtly fundamentalist assertions of Southern Baptist theologian Al Mohler over Adam and Eve being the ‘beginning of the story of the Gospel’, based on the genealogy of Christ in Luke.

Dr. Mohler headlines his post with a picture of a bible open to Genesis and the synopsis:

The denial of an historical Adam and Eve as the first parents of all humanity and the solitary first human pair severs the link between Adam and Christ which is so crucial to the Gospel Continue reading “Al Mohler vs Scot McKnight over Adam and Eve”

Rohr on Reading the Bible from the Side of the Poor

We see in the Gospels that it’s the lame, the poor, the blind, the prostitutes, the drunkards, the tax collectors, the sinners, the outsiders, the foreigners, et cetera, who tend to follow Jesus. It is those on the inside and the top who crucify him (elders, chief priests, teachers of the Law, and Roman occupiers). Shouldn’t that tell us something really important about perspective? Every viewpoint is a view from a point, and we need to critique that perspective if we are to see truth.We fail to appreciate liberation theology because of 1,700 years of interpreting the scriptures from the perspective of the educated clergy class, rather than from the perspective of the marginalized. After Christianity became the established religion of the Roman Empire, we largely stopped reading the Bible from the side of the poor and the oppressed. We read it from the side of the establishment and, I am sorry to say, from the priesthood, instead of from people hungry for justice and truth. No wonder Jesus said, “I did not come for the healthy but for the sick” (Mark 2:17).

Adapted from CAC Foundation Set: Gospel Call to Compassionate Action
(Bias from the Bottom) and Contemplative Prayer

(CD, DVD, MP3)

Simpozion national – Explorari in traditia biblica romaneasca si europeana – Editia a II-a

Universitatea «Alexandru Ioan Cuza», Iaşi
Centrul de Studii Biblico‑Filologice «Monumenta linguae Dacoromanorum»
Institutul de Filologie Română «A. Philippide», Iaşi
Asociaţia de Filologie şi Hermeneutică Biblică din România

organizează

Simpozionul Naţional
«Explorări în tradiţia biblică românească şi europeană»
Ediţia a II-a

Iaşi, 4‑6 noiembrie 2011

Organizatorii îşi propun ca lucrările Simpozionului să ofere un cadru de dezbatere multidisciplinară şi interdisciplinară în jurul problematicii complexe a editării, traducerii şi interpretării, circulaţiei şi receptării textelor sacre în limba română. Simpozionul se va desfăşura în cadru plenar sau pe secţiuni, după următoarele tematici generale: Continue reading “Simpozion national – Explorari in traditia biblica romaneasca si europeana – Editia a II-a”