Search This Blog

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

week 5

Theme 4:

t is helpful to think of prophecy as:

a).not just
fore-telling (predicting the future)


forth-telling  (telling forth truth)

b)often having multiple applications and fulfillments, to different "contemporary worlds" and across time.
We'll  used this diagram to illustrate:

-Who was Immanuel?
-Who does "out of Egypt, I have called my son" refer to ?


  • Jesus Says Those “Left Behind” Are The Lucky Ones (the most ironic thing the movie won’t tell you)

  • --

  • Matthew 24:6 “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son,[f] but only the Father. 37 As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 38 For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; 39 and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 40 Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left behind. 41 Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left behind.
  • 42 “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. 43 But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. 44 So you also must be ready,because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.

  • --
  • Luke 17
  •  Then he said to his disciples, “The time is coming when you will long to see one of the days of the Son of Man, but you will not see it. 23 People will tell you, ‘There he is!’ or ‘Here he is!’ Do not go running off after them. 24 For the Son of Man in his day[d] will be like the lightning, which flashes and lights up the sky from one end to the other. 25 But first he must suffer many thingsand be rejected by this generation.
    26 “Just as it was in the days of Noah, so also will it be in the days of the Son of Man. 27 People were eating, drinking, marrying and being given in marriage up to the day Noah entered the ark. Then the flood came and destroyed them all.
    28 “It was the same in the days of Lot. People were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building. 29 But the day Lot left Sodom, fire and sulfur rained down from heaven and destroyed them all.
    30 “It will be just like this on the day the Son of Man is revealed. 31 On that day no one who is on the housetop, with possessions inside, should go down to get them. Likewise, no one in the field should go back for anything.32 Remember Lot’s wife! 33 Whoever tries to keep their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life will preserve it. 34 I tell you, on that night two people will be in one bed; one will be taken and the other left. 35 Two women will be grinding grain together; one will be taken and the other left.” [36] [e]
    37 “Where, Lord? [Where will they be taken?]” they asked.
    He replied, “Where there is a dead body, there the vultures will gather.

  • --

  • p
    You did ALL your homework in class.  So..other than Moodle (usual), NO homework.  But you are strongly encouraged to write a draft of signature paper to bring  next week

  • ..

    The Rob Bell "Drops Like Stars" video on creativity and suffering us below. We watched through the 53 min mark(soap throwing),  Will continue next class.

    1. The Art of Disruption
    2. The Art of Honesty
    3. The Art of Elimination,
    4. The Art of Possession, which is not the same thing as ownership.
    5. The Art of "Failure" 
    Look also for these class themes:
    -a Prodigal Son  paradoxical hemistiche
    -the liminality  (see "Radical Loving Care," pp, 82ff) of the hospital hallway
    -removal of "insulators"
    -removing the boundary (or "box") of a bounded set.
    -how "texting" can literally save lives 
    -the power of unplanned and unscripted interruptions

    It's nothing compared to the videos. But this is my masterpiece. I hope you like itDave


    Here (click):
    are some quotes from the book by the same name, arranged slightly differently.

    you can read much of the book online. 

    Interview about the book:



    As Pastor/Trucker Franks suggests below, sometimes it's "more about the journey than the destination."  See also  "What if Torah/ מלכות השמים, is more 'journey  than 'doctrine'?"


    Text interpretation practice

    Remember how much more you got out of this version of U2's "Where the Streets Have No Name" when I filled you in on the "historical world"?

      taking attendance at U2church..tag yourself

      .. the  U2 Gigelpizel U2 fan cam, see it here,

      If you want to see  a pic of me...or any of the other 70,000 that were with me... at the Oakland gig,click  this.  (just X out the popup)...Have fun with the videocam!  You can find yourself, and almost anyone who is at any concert of the tour.

      This week, the topic is "Worshipping and Singing in Community: Psalms  and Suffering"


      PSALMS are the Jewish prayer-book   that the early Christians used.  What's wonderful, refreshing, honest...and sometimes disturbing  (to us in the West) is that they cover the whole breadth of life and emotion.  They are all technically songs and prayers..  But note how some weave in and out from a person speaking to God, God speaking to a person, a person speaking to himself.  Somehow, Hebraically, holistically, it all counts as prayer.

      ...And as "song"  Note in your Bible that several psalms have inscriptions which give the name of the tune they are to be prayed/sung to.  Some seem hilarious, counterintuitive, and contradictory, but again not to a Hebrew mindset and worldview, with room for honesty, fuzzy sets and paradox:

      • Psalms  (click) with the line "Destroy my enemies", "break their teeth!!" ... To be sung to the tune of "Do Not Destroy"  !!  (Psalm 58:6)
      • Psalm 22, a depressing ditty about someone in the throes of rejection despair and death.  To be sung to the tune of "Doe in the Morning"   ??
      In this video (and in the new book by Sweet and Viola), Sweet makes the case that"the greatest song ever sung" was Psalm 22.....and the singer was Jesus:  (
      The Greatest Song Ever Sung from Marble Collegiate Church on Vimeo.


      Can you name contemporary songs where the music doesn't seem to fit the lyric?  Down lyrics to upbeat music?  Vice Versa?  How might that  be healing/helpful/Hebrew/holy?  and not Hellenistic?

      Remember the Bono quote:

      Click here for the audio (or watch here on Youtube) of this delightful statement by Bono:

      "God is interested in truth, and only in truth. And that's why God is more interested in Rock & Roll music than Gospel... Many gospel musicians can't write about what's going on in their life, because it's not allowed .  they can't write about their doubt....If you can't write about what's really going on in the world and your life, because it's all happy-clappy... Is God interested in that? I mean, 'Please, don't patronize Me! I want to go the Nine-Inch-Nails gig, they're talking the truth!

      From a 2003 discussion with New York Times, more audio here

      "The Jewish disciples all worshipped Jesus, and some of those worshippers doubted."  (matthew 28:17)


      There are several ways to categorize the psalms.

      The first is the way the Bible itself does: Psalms is broken down into 5 "books"  Hmm, 5...does that sound familiar?  Name another book with 5 sections and suggest an answer for "Whats up with the number 5?"
      Note the 5 sections are not comprised of different kinds/genres of psalms..but the styles and kinds are "randomnly"
      represented throught the book..
      kind of like life..

        Here is one way to categorize the styles and genres:

       Walter Brueggemann  suggests another helpful way to categorize the Psalms. (Note: this is part of Moodle homework)
      o      Creation - in which we consider the world and our place in it
      o      Torah - in which we consider the importance of God's revealed will
      o      Wisdom - in which we consider the importance of living well
      o      Narrative - in which we consider our past and its influence on our present
      o      Psalms of Trust - in which we express our trust in God's care and goodness

      q        Disorientation:
      o      Lament - in which we/I express anger, frustration, confusion about God's (seeming?) absence
      §       Communal
      §       Individual
      o      Penitential - in which we/I express regret and sorrow over wrongs we have done
      §       Communal
      §       Individual

      q        Reorientation/New Oreientation
      o      Thanksgiving - in which we thank God for what God has done for us/me
      §       Communal
      §       Individual
      o      Hymns of Praise - in which we praise God for who God is
      o      Zion Psalms- in which we praise God for our home
      o      Royal Psalms - in which we consider the role of political leadership
      o      Covenant Renewal - in which we renew our relationship with God
                                                -Bruggeman, source Click here.

       note how astonishingly HONEST the prayer/worship book of the Jews (and Christians) is!

      We'll spend some time on the "three worlds" of Psalm 22, which Jesus quotes  honestly  on the cross:
      Here (click title below) 's a sermon on Psalm 22, which is another amazing psalm to use in a worship setting...How often have you heard "My God, My God, Why have You forsaken me?"   Or "God, where were YOU when I needed you!!"

        in a church song?

      Yet how familiar is the very next psalm: 23.

      Life is both Psalm 22 and 23...sometimes on the same day, in the same prayer.
      If we think both/and...we think Hebrew.

      Here's a link with several of the stories and illustrations I talked about tonight Iike the speaker who said "I almost didn't come tonight",,


      Click the title: 

      "The Lord Be With You...Even When He’s Not!"


      Jesus died naked..but not in Christian art and movies

      I am not here to offend anyone unnecessarily.
      But I believe Corrie Ten Boom was right and right on:

      Jesus died naked.

      Even the (very conservative)Dallas Theological commentaries assume this, so this is not just some "liberal" agenda:

      "That Jesus died naked was part of the shame which He bore for our sins. " -link

      Which means this picture
      (found on a blog with no credit)
      is likely wrong(Jesus looks too white).

      ...and largely right (What Jesus is wearing).

      I answered a question about this a few years ago, I would write it a bit differently know, but here it is:

      First of all, it is probable that (again, contrary to nearly all artwork and movies), Jesus hung on the cross absolutely naked. This was a typical way of crucifixion, to increase the shame factor. Romans might occasionally add a loincloth type of garment as a token concession and nod to Jewish sensitivity; but not very often, it would seem. Of course, once we get past the emotive and cultural shock of imagining Jesus naked, we realize that if He indeed die naked, the symbolism is profound and prophetic: In Scripture, Jesus is called the "Second Adam". As such, it would make sense that He died "naked and unashamed." We are also told that "cursed is he who dies on a tree." The nakedness was a sign and enfolding of shame and token of curse. And the wonderful story of Corrie ten Boom and family, told in the book and movie "The Hiding Place," relates. One of the turning points of her ability to endure the Ravensbruck concentration camp, particularly the shame of walking naked past the male guards, was her conviction that Jesus too was shamed and stripped naked before guards. "Finally, it dawned on me," she preached once," that this (shaming through nakedness) happened to Jesus too..., and Jesus is my example, and now it is happening to me, then I am simply doing what Jesus did." She concluded, "I know that Jesus gave me that thought and it gave me peace. It gave me comfort and I could bear the shame and cruel treatment." 



      Psalm 22 possible chiasm: Death is off the table.

      LHooge posts:

      Psalm 22 – “My God, My God, Why hast Thou Forsaken Me?:

      This Psalm has 2 parts.  The first part is a chiasmus.  The second part is not. 
      The chiasmus has a famous beginning (“My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken Me?”), a good center, and a nice end. 
      Here’s a basic outline of the chiasmus:
      A:  A cry for help:  no answer
      B:  Israel
      C:  Personal (an “I/me” section)
      D:  Bulls, lion, bones
      E:  Dogs, ‘pierce’, bones
      F:  A prayer for God’s help
      E’:   - , sword, dog
      D’:   – , lion, oxen
      C’:  Personal (an “I/me” section)
      B’:  Israel
      A’:  Cried for help:  heard
      I particularly like the connections through D2, E2′, E’2”, and D’2” :  …  think ‘sharp’, as in e.g., ’teeth’, as in ‘open lion’s mouth’.
      Interestingly, D3 and E3′ (“bones”) have been left unmatched in E’ and D’.  I wonder why?  Is it because of the section’s closer association with death?  If so, then ‘death’ is absent in the latter sections.  …  Death is off the table.  Life is in play  …  ?..
              -CONTINUED HERE
      Related to video:

      My Dress for Sale on EBay...Finally!



      Kubler-Ross stages of

      Many artists who are Christians would serve as anointed bridgebuiders for honest worship gatherings...if churches would allow them: Bruce Cockburn ("Whatever was God thinking of?" is honesty not blasphemy, but simply honesty (T Bone Burnett, Alice Cooper (actually admitting sexual and demonic temptation.)

      The most haunting, devastating, barely listenable (which is why I regularly listen to it, and use it as a call to prayer and honesty)song I know is by Michael Knott, madman-genius-Christian of the voluminous catalog...whether under his own name, Lifesavers Underground, LSU, Cush...
      Here's the song:

      you're sittin' there wondering why is it like this
      and the whole world's crazy and the earth is sick
      and someone's yelling from the bathroom door
      the toilet's overflowing on the floor
      and the one by the phone 
      says i cannot hear
      while the one by the jukebox spills his beer
      and the man on the pinball hits sixteen mil
      someone ducks behind the counter to pop a pill
      and you reach in your pocket to see if there's more
      and the biggest bill falls so you're left with four
      and you're too gone to look but you still try
      then you see it in the hand of a great big guy
      who looks just like he'd kill you fast
      and you think for a minute
      you let it pass

      and the stool falls over when you set back down
      it bumps a mean pool shooter from across the town
      he misses his shot - it's all on you
      and with your last four bucks you know what you'll do
      sorry man can i buy you a drink
      and he shakes his head and says, make it a double

      the next thing you know you wake up at home
      and the little one there won't leave you alone
      she's awake and hungry
      she needs some potty help
      and you remember what happened last time she tried it by herself
      and your wife says hurry, we're late for church
      and you can barely see
      and your head still hurts
      and the preacher starts preaching
      and you feel remorse
      he's got five little kids and a big divorce
      and your wife looks down and says she don't know how
      he's been her guiding light for ten years now
      and his marriage is over, it's barely alive
      and how in the world will ours ever survive?


      The juxtaposing of "church"world and "real world" is too close for comfort...and offers little; as does a pastor's divorce. The sharing and prayer time after the stunned silence that song creates would inevitably be life-changing... BUT is this version ready for church? Note the slight (but HUGE) Lyrics change:

      "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For":

      "There has never been a more concise theology of redemption, atonement and the substitutionary death of Christ. No clearer proclamation of theGospel has ever sold so many copies...But he hasn't found what he is lookingfor. I remember speaking in Dublin and seeing this rather exuberant Christian atthe front of the hall. I began my address by asking had anyone found what they were looking for. "Amen brother. Yes Hallelujah!" I am not sure how my dearbrother came to earth as he discovered that for the next hour I was exposing that to have found what we are looking for has nothing to do with BiblicalChristianity...So my conclusion is that U2's I Still Haven't Found What I Am Looking For is probably the best hymn written in this century, it has the theology of the cross but is centred in the reality of a fallen humanity and i sabout striving towards a better man and a better world" (Rev Setve Stockman, read it

      So why do Christians feel they have to change the lyric to sing it in church?:

       think Bono said it best, when he exclaimed,“You broke the bonds and you loosed the chainscarried the cross of my shame, of my shame.You know I believe it.“But I still haven’t found what I’m looking for.”
      Said what best Mike? He didn’t say anything!I mean, that doesn’t make any sense does it?Jesus is what we’re looking for. Right?
      Well, yes.
      I remember a particular chapel service at my Christian high school,when a worship band came and sang this song.It was terribly cool at that time to sing a U2 song for worship too,but when it came time to sing the refrain after that verse,they cleverly changed the lyrics to,“and now I have found, what I’m looking for!”It was quite a moment too. Hands going up all over the place,people shouting, flags waving, it was totally amazing.And I remember pumping my fist, and thinking, “yeah! That’s right.What does Bono know? How could he talk about Jesus and thensay that he still hasn’t found what he’s looking for?Not me! I’ve found what I’m looking for! I’m not still searching,I’m not still looking….right?
      Well, yes and no.
      Ten years ago I thought U2 was trying to say that Jesus wasn’t really the answer.Now, I’m starting to see that they just understood something that I didn’t.You see, I think Bono was simply reiterating something that theologians havebeen writing about for centuries. He wasn’t making blasphemous statementsas much as he was poeticizing what is commonly referred to as,“the already and the not yet.”And you know, I’d say it might just be the most difficult truth that a Christianwill ever have to wrestle with.The fact that we already have what we’re looking for,and in the same moment, haven’t yet received it,isn’t so easily reconciled as one would hope.   link


      God will ALWAYS give you more than you can handle

      Once, church, we did complaints/laments colored markers on posterboard.
      Photos here, click twice to read and weep...and laugh!:

      But most of us do it less officially, and more often, prayer, even if unarticulated/wordless.

      Complaints/laments/questions have to surface somewhere.  So we might as well be honest andelevate them. pray them post them, sing them....prophetically write them on subway walls or church halls.

      movement, let along the psalms of lament,

      suggests that an outlet must be found, and can be not only threrapeutic/healing, but evangelistic/missional.

      SO It hit me last night, as Rabbi Adam was talking about the Jewish homesickness for the temple,
      that no non-Jewish person can know what that feels like.
      As he was speaking to our class, I quickly found and projected  this photo  of some of us in front  of the Temple Mount, and it nearly brought him to tears.


      The rabbi has not yet been to Israel.
      (but Israel has been to the rabbi).

      He misses a place he's never been.

      With one exception, I  can only miss places I have been.

      He misses a place he's never been.

      With one exception, I  can only miss places I have been.

      I have been all over the middle of  the Connecticut Turnpike.

      Along with Spidey P. and gang, I was a toll collector for a couple of summers.
      Not the most exciting job on the planet, but the memories collected are priceless,
      and the ground there was  therefore hallowed.
      Here we are:

      But that toll booth complex no longer exists.
      It was torn down, and the whole toll system discontinued years ago.

      Which means, on a visit the spot where they were, I once felt I had to reach down and actually feel the pavement where so much of my life once happened.

      No words for what I felt.
      Not even a song of complaint.

       - הקרן למורשת הכותל המערבWestern Wall Live Cam 

      UNTIL we interpret all of a scripture as in large part as a lament/grief that the temple..or something/somebody?Somebody is no longer there/here....we miss the point


      Great column by Carolyn Arends in Christianity Today, especially re:
       1) intertextuality, language and culture ...and "getting the reference"
       2)Jesus' use of Psalm 22 on the cross (Though amazingly, no reference to another CT article [web only] earlier this year, which surely helped inspired it...the Psalm 22 sections are very similar..probably got edited out).
      ......Maybe the most significant reference I've missed has to do with Jesus' final words on the cross. That awful cry—My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?—has haunted my struggle to understand exactly what transpired (Matt. 27:46; Mark 15:34). Was Jesus, for a devastating moment, utterly alone and without hope? How that cry is processed has all sorts of implications for theology—not least for the way we conceive of the Atonement and of the relationality of God's triunity. More personally, it shapes the way I perceive my own experiences of abandonment.

      I've known, in a vague way, that with his cry Jesus was quoting the beginning of Psalm 22, a passage so familiar to his friends that to utter the first line would have been tantamount to reciting the entire thing. Psalm 22 is an anguished prayer of David, spoken as a godly sufferer awaiting deliverance. It's the most frequently quoted Psalm in the New Testament. And its parallels to the Crucifixion are chilling:

      A band of evil men has encircled me,
      they have pierced my hands and my feet.
      I can count all my bones;
      people stare and gloat over me.
      They divide my garments among them
      And cast lots for my clothing. (vv. 16b-18, NIV 1984)

      The psalm is so shot through with suffering, it's hard to imagine any more appropriate reference Jesus could have made. But it's essential to know that the only thing in Psalm 22 that runs as deeply and vividly as the speaker's pain is his unshakable hope:

      You who fear the Lord, praise him! …
      For he has not despised or disdained
      the suffering of the afflicted one;
      he has not hidden his face from him
      but has listened to his cry for help. (vv. 23a, 24, NIV 1984)

      Both Matthew and Mark note that some of the onlookers misunderstood Jesus' cry, mishearing the Aramaic word for "my God"—Eloi—as Elijah. I wonder if, in including that detail, they aren't cautioning us to pay attention to exactly what Jesus is saying....
       -  Christianity Today, LINK


      '"________keeps us alive with hope" (fill in the blank)

      "Lament keeps us alive with hope
                 when the temptation is to surrender to a defeated numbness."
      -Brian J. Walsh, in a discussion of Bruce Cockburn's "Humans" ("If Bono is right, and Cockburn is a psalmist, then Humans is a collection of psalms of lament" ) in terms of BruggeIn this video (and in the new book by Sweet and Viola), Sweet makes the case that"the greatest song ever sung" was Psalm 22.....and the singer was Jesus: 
       (more info, see  "The Lord Be With You...Even When He's Not!" and posts tagged "lament" below).


      N.T. Wright on Psalms: "some people are so wicked that we simply must wish judgment upon them"

      Excerpt here

      Interview in Christianity Today:

      How does Jesus' entrance into human history affect how we read the Psalms?
      Since Jesus was raised from the dead, the first Christians understood that he was the expected Messiah. So their approach to the Psalms had to be reconceived. We have to assume that as good Jews, the first Christians were praying the Psalms day by day, but now with this wholly new and unexpected focus.
      It was actually quite disorienting. Instead of the temple, Jesus is the place where God has decided to dwell on the earth. And since the Spirit has been poured out upon the church, somehow God's presence is everywhere, rather than concentrated in one place. The Psalter needed to be re-read from top to bottom and radically refocused around Jesus and the Spirit. This made the first Christians newly aware of Jesus' personal presence in their worship and prayer.
      Much of the Psalms, especially the songs of lament, can be unnerving. What should we make of these raw, brutal pleas? Can we pray, with Psalm 139, that God would "slay the wicked"?
      Almost all human beings find themselves overcome, from time to time, by extreme anger and hatred. It is not that these emotions should determine how we live. But we must have a way of saying, "Yes, that is actually where I am right now." And the safest and best place to do this is in the presence of God. The Psalms offer us a way of worshiping God amid any and all emotional states.
      Also, the Psalms promote a hyperideal hope for the world. They help us see that God wants a world in which there will be no evil. If there is injustice, if the poor are being oppressed, then it is right to pray that God will rid the world of that. Part of our reaction to the so-called "cursing Psalms" is that we think the modern world basically has the problem of evil solved. The Psalms bring us up short and say, "No, evil is real, and some people are so wicked that we simply must wish judgment upon them.  more


      As Chesterton had it:
                "Every knock on the door of a brothel is a knock on God's door."

       Could it be that every
                    "Oh My God!"
                                  is ultimately (also?)  a prayer?:
        ---From Christianity Today:

      Christians usually respond that God had to turn his back on Jesus because Jesus took on the sin of the whole world, and God can't look upon sin, so he turned away. We hear this in sermons and worship songs. "The Father turns his face away." "God can't stand sin, so he turned his back on Jesus."

      On one level this provides a tidy theological answer. But at a more visceral, emotional level, it's still unsatisfying. In our own families, when a child has erred, we might get mad at them. But would we forsake them? Abandon them? Kill them? There was a case last year of parents with a very strict form of discipline. They thought their daughter was "rebellious," so they starved her and beat her. They locked their daughter out of the house in the middle of winter. She froze to death. We call that child abuse.

      Is that what God did to Jesus? Left him on the cross to die?

      This also raises the theological problem of the broken Trinity. Christians are Trinitarian; we believe that God is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, eternally united in purpose and divine love. But does the Father break fellowship with the Son on the cross? Are they pitted against each other?

      Cross-Cultural Perspectives

      We in the West live in a predominantly guilt-based culture; we tend to think in terms of guilt and punishment. When someone is guilty, they must be punished. So if Jesus took on our guilt and sin, the punishment is death. God's justice must be satisfied, so Jesus must be executed. It's disturbing, but that's how we understand the story.

      But much of the world, including the ancient biblical world, thinks less in terms of guilt and more in terms of shame and honor. A few years ago I read the book The Bookseller of Kabul, about life in Afghanistan. And some of the most disturbing parts were the descriptions of honor killings. A woman somehow brings shame to a family, and she is killed to take away the shame and to restore honor. It doesn't matter if she committed adultery or was raped. It doesn't matter if she was the perpetrator or the victim. If she has been made impure, the impurity must be removed to restore family honor. And in many cases, a father will kill his daughter. Or a woman's brothers will kill her. It will be described as an accident, but everybody knows what happened.

      So modern objections to Christianity say that this is the essence of Christian teaching on the Cross. God's son has been made impure, tainted by the sin of the world. So God restores his honor by killing his son. This puts us Christians in a bind. If we defend this theology of the Cross, then it seems like our Christianity does the same thing as honor killings in Afghanistan. And we lose our basis for saying that those honor killings are wrong, because our God does the same thing. Does he?...
      ...I find it interesting that Matthew and Mark tell us that some of the hearers misheard Jesus.  That opens up the possibility that the same has been true for others, and for us. Have we misunderstood this cry from the cross? The crucifixion narratives do not explicitly tell us what Jesus' cry meant. Both Matthew and Mark record the cry, but neither unpacks the meaning. They just let it stand. Neither actually says that God turned his face away, turned his back on Jesus, or abandoned him. That's an assumption that we bring to the text. It doesn't come from the passage itself

      .Here's the key biblical insight that changed everything for me in how I read this passage. It's a simple historical fact about how Israelites cited their Scriptures. They didn't identify passages by chapter numbers or verse numbers. Verse numbers weren't invented yet. Their Scriptures did not have little numbers in the text. So how they referenced a passage was to quote it, especially the first line. So the book of Genesis, in Hebrew, is not called Genesis. It's called, "In the beginning." Exodus is "Names." We similarly evoke a larger body of work with just a line of allusion: "A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away." or "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times."
      That's why Jesus often says, "It is written" or "You have heard it said." He doesn't say, "Deuteronomy 8:3 says this." No, he says, "It is written, 'Man does not live by bread alone.' " That's just the way they did it.

      So when Jesus says, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" he's saying, "Psalm 22." He expected his hearers to catch the literary allusion. And his hearers should have thought of the whole thing, not just the first verse:  "I am … scorned by everyone, despised by the people. All who see me mock me; they hurl insults, shaking their heads. … I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint. My heart has turned to wax. … My mouth is dried up … my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth; you lay me in the dust of death. … All my bones are on display; people stare and gloat over me. They divide my clothes among them and cast lots for my garment."

      Is Jesus saying "I have been forsaken by God"? No. He's declaring, "Psalm 22! Pay attention! This psalm, this messianic psalm, applies to me! Do you see it? Do you see the uncanny way that my death is fulfilling this psalm?"
      Jesus has done this before. At the beginning of his ministry, in Luke 4, he read the scroll of Isaiah in the synagogue, saying, "The spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor." Then to make things completely clear, he said, "Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing."
      That's what Jesus is saying on the cross. When he says, "My God, my God," he's saying, "Psalm 22. Today Psalm 22 is fulfilled in your hearing. I am the embodiment of this psalm. I am its fulfillment."\

      A Psalm of Lament and Vindication

      Psalm 22 is one of many psalms that fit a particular lyrical pattern. We call them the psalms of lament. They usually begin with a complaint to God, rehearsing the wrongs and injustices that have been experienced by the psalmist. Psalm 5: "Listen to my words, Lord. Consider my lament." Psalm 10: "Why, Lord, do you stand far off? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?" Psalm 13:  "How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever?" Psalm 74: "O God, why have you rejected us forever?"

      This is a common pattern in the Psalms. This opening lament usually goes on for a stanza or two. But then the psalm pivots. The psalmist remembers the works of God, and the psalm concludes on a note of hope. Old Testament scholar Walter Brueggemann says that these psalms were Israel's way of ordering their grief and making sense of their sorrow. Today, we'd call it "processing." They would recount their troubles, but by the end of the psalm, they declared their confidence in God.
      That's what's happening in Psalm 22. It starts out with the psalmist feeling forsaken and abandoned. "Why have you forsaken me? … I cry out by day, but you do not answer." But he's not literally forsaken, any more than the other psalms mean that God was literally forgetting the psalmist forever. It's expressing how the psalmist felt at the time.

      But that's not the end of the story. Like the other psalms of lament, there's a pivot point. Several, in fact. Verse 9: "Yet you brought me out of the womb … from my mother's womb you have been my God." Verse 19: "But you, Lord, do not be far from me. You are my strength; come quickly to help me." The psalm is not a psalm of forsakenness. It starts out that way, but it shifts to confidence in God's deliverance. Verse 22: "I will declare your name to my people; in the assembly I will praise you." And here's the key verse, verse 24: "For he has not despised or scorned the suffering of the afflicted one; he has not hidden his face from him but has listened to his cry for help."

      Here is a direct refutation of the notion that the Father turned his face away from the Son. But the refutation is not as important as the pivot. Jesus is declaring: Right now, you are witnessing Psalm 22. I seem forsaken right now, but my death is not the end of the story. God has not despised my suffering. I will be vindicated. The Lord has heard my cry. Because death is not the end. Verse 30–31: "Future generations will be told about the Lord. They will proclaim his righteousness, declaring to a people yet unborn: He has done it!"

      Jesus is not saying that God has forsaken him. He's declaring the opposite. He's saying that God is with him, even in this time of seeming abandonment, and that God will vindicate him by raising him from the dead.
      The closest modern analogy I can come up with might be something like this. Imagine that later on this election year, this summer, the President is on the campaign trail. And despite his security, an assassin gets in and shoots him. As the President falls to the ground, he says, "  dream." And then he dies.
      Now imagine everybody saying, "Hmmm, his last words were 'I still have a dream.' I wonder what that means. What was his dream? Was he napping on the campaign bus? What was it about?" No, we'd all recognize that he was making an allusion to Martin Luther King Jr.'s speech. He'd be saying that this dream is still alive, that it did not stop with MLK's death, and it would not stop with his.
      It's the same way with "My God, my God" on the cross. It's a biblical allusion, and the point of Psalm 22 is not about being forsaken. After all, David wrote Psalm 22. Was David saying that God had forsaken him forever? No. The literary genre of the psalm of lament shows that David was saying that he felt like God had forsaken him
      . That the odds were against him. That things looked really bad right then. But that was not the end of the story. David still had confidence that God would hear his cry. God did not abandon David. And God did not abandon Jesus. The clearest evidence of that, besides the rest of Psalm 22, is Jesus' final words on the cross, "Father, into your hands I commit my spirit." The Father had not forsaken him. God was still his Father. Jesus was still his Son  -Link, full article\==

      See also:

      God will ALWAYS give you more than you can handle


      Our church may not go as far as incorporating the "Hymns to Swear By" byPádraig Ó Tuama, (though we probably should be that bold and insurrectionist).  

      But we will no doubt glean lots from the section of the Rollins' "Insurrection" book ("The Centrality of Absence," p, 175ff in which we are introduced to an example from their catalog.   About one song, Rollins comments, "this is not simply a song about suffering and the sense of cosmic homelessness--is is sung from that space (177).

      Here's the song, but you are probably not ready to include it next Sunday.
      Which is precisely why you should.

      (P.S. Just tell your team it's called, "Maranatha," ....doesn't that sound safe enough?(:
      Maranatha from Peter Rollins on Vimeo.


      How to study a text via Three Worlds


      First of all, become familiar with the "Three Worlds"  Concept which comes from your Hauer/Young textbook, see especially chapters two and three, and see class notes.
      Here  below is how one student summarized the worlds (she has more detail here)

      Literary World--The literary world of the Bible is simply the text itself, apart from anything outside the text.  We mean the world (or, better, worlds) created by the text; the words on the page, by the stories, songs, letters and the myriad other types of literature that make up the Bible.  All good literature (and the Bible is, among other things, good literature) creates in readers' minds magnificent, mysterious, and often moving worlds that take on a reality of their own, whether or not they represent anything real outside the pages (Hauer and Young ch 2).

      Historical World--The historical world of the Bible isthe world "behind the text" or "outside the text".  It is the context in which the Bible came to be written, translated, and interpreted over time, until the present.  In studying the historical world of the Bible, we look for evidence outside the text that helps us answer questions such as, who wrote this text, when was it written, to whom was it written, and why was it written.  We also probe the text itself for evidence that links it to historical times, places, situations, and persons (Hauer and Young 2)..

      Contemporary World--The contemporary world is the "world in front of the text" or the "world of the reader."  In one sense, there are as many contemporary worlds of the Bible as there are readers, for each of us brings our own particular concerns and questions to the text.  They inevitably shape our reading experience.  We are all interested in answering the questions of whether the Bible in general, or particular texts, have any relevance to our personal lives (Hauer and Young  ch3).


      Then, if a specific way to organize your research would help,

      here is ONE way you might approach your study:

      You might envision studying a passage as a four step process, or a three step process  (Observe, Interpret, Apply) with an important interlude (Correlate).
      The following outline is from Oletta Wald:

      • OBSERVATION What does the text say?
      • INTERPRETATION  What did it say and mean to its original readers? What does it mean by what it says? 
      • Don't forget CORRELATION: How does this fit with the flow/narrative/story of the rest of  Bible
      • APPLICATION How does this apply  today?  What does it say and mean to us?  How should my life be different tomorrow if I believe this message is relevant?
      These three steps parallel fairly well with the "three worlds':

      and in the "one way" article below,



      Here, then, below, might be one way to study three worlds.  You might follow this process for your next "Three Worlds" assignment, limiting yourself to an hour for each world.  You would not necessarily show in the assignment yo all the work from these steps (though you can), these steps are more for your study time, and the final assignment you turn in will show the fruit of this work.  It would be helpful to keep this list of 25 steps beside you as you work on your project, it can be  guideline or checklist.  Or it may be most helpful to you to u turned incopy of these 25 questions, guidelines. and enumerare your final notes just like this:



      1)Pray for wisdom and's not considered cheating! (: 

      2) If a text has not already been assigned, decide on the exact parameters of your text; your pericope.

      3)Make a working decision on genre, and who the text seems to be addressed to.  Note if it is addressed to an individual or a group.

      4)Re-copy on sheet of paper (or word document) the text  (use NRSV, NIV or TNIV translation..Find them all in the drop-down box at Bible Gatway here) without paragraph breaks.  Ponder it for several minutes,  read it aloud several times, listen to it on audio ( and  (maybe) even begin memorizing it..  Jot any preliminary thoughts or questions about what it seems to say and mean.  Comment on  any mood, atmosphere, emotion and tone that you imagine.

      5)Rewrite/rearrange the text (or re-organize or reformat it) in a way that makes sense of the flow of thought and grammar.  Even if you aren't familiar with grammatical terminology, split apart clauses and pay attention to tense and form. Try some sentence diagramming (examples here here,here, here)
      (See Oletta Wald, "The Joy of Discovery in Bible Study" for ideas), and David Thompson, "Bible Study That Works).

      Indent new thoughts, even new phases. Make rhymes, parallelisms, and paragraphs  (obvious.   Note (maybe color code) repeated words and ideas.  New paragraphs or indentations for different speakers. Do you spot  inclusio?  chiasm?
      Maybe use this chart >> as a checklist.
      See pp 40-49 of Hauer/Young for lots of help. 
      Try a computer wordle (here) or word cloud (here) of the passage. Outline the passage.  Jot down any new insights about what the text seems to say or mean.

      6)Chart or diagram the text in any way that makes sense to you. Make particular use of arrows/circles/underlining to connect themes,  logic, words literary devices.

      7)Do you see any examples of bounded sets? Centered sets? Fuzzy sets? 

      8)Comment on the context (the sections just before and after your chosen text.  Are there any thematic or literary connections?  Repeated themes or words?
      Especially if your text is a gospel or from Samuel/Kings/Chronicles, locate any other book where the same story is told (often these are listed under paragraph headings in Bibles;  see a Gospel Parallels chart here;  you can also check and compare/contrast the accounts.  Make tentatative conclusions about your author's viewpoint and TTP (targeted theological purpose), based on what he/she does NOT include.

      9)Briefly consider the book the unit is drawn from.  Do you know of any themes or issues it is known to address?  Read the introduction to the book
       here, and check for it in the index of Hauer/Young

      10)What would be your working title to your text? 


      11)Make observations about which  book, which Testament the text is from, and anything you know about its author, historical setting, and its place in the broader biblical narrative (See index in Hauer/Young, for example).

      12)Are persons/events/places  from other biblical books (or testaments) mentioned?  If so, you might check these names places in  your class notes,  Oxford Bible notes, New Bible Dictionary. Erdmans Handbook to the Bible,  Erdmans Bible Dictionary, Worldwide Study Bible) or on Ray VanDer Laan's website (type the name or term in the search bar).  Is there intertextualty, hyperlinking? Check resources such as (tutorial here), concordances, cross-references.

      13)Read the section about your text from at least two commentaries (and be sure to quote then in your final project)  If your text is from Matthew, use the listed "helpful online resources" tab of the course website. If your text is from a book other than Matthew, you can ask Dave for suggestions.  Either way, the Bible Background Commentary(linked there) is recommended.  Don't get overwhelmed with detail, or understanding everything written, but do make note of anything that confirms or differs from your findings, and especially any iusight that is intriguing or new.

      14)Read the section about your text from "The Bible Background Commentary' (Old Testament  
      or New Testament)What "historical worlds" insights are found there? 

      15)Read any article or datafile below  from VanDer Laan  about your passage:

      1 Samuel
      2 Samuel
      1 Kings
      2 Kings 
      1 Chronicles
      2 Chronicles
      1 Corinthians
      2 Corinthians
      1 Thessalonians
      2 Thessalonians
      1 Timothy
      2 Timothy
      1 Peter
      1 John
      2 John


      16)If the text is from Matthew, incorporate any insights from class about the  historical world of Jesus day. If the text is not a gospel, how would it relate to Jesus and the gospels, particularly  the Sermon on the Mount.
      Watch this short video, and ask how your text relates to the "center" of the Bible.  Where does the story  fit?  Do other passages seem to fulfill,  supercede,  bring further revelation to it?

      17)Read the text in two more translations (one being a standard translation such as NRSV, TNIV, ESV, JB, NASV and one being a looser translation or paraphrase (The Message, The Voice, Good News Bible).  .Find them all in the drop-down box at Bible Gatway here)   Jot down any differences and insights.

      18)Summarize your thoughts, findings, feelings and questions

      19)Would you modify your working title at this point?  Add a subtitle which hints at a sub-theme.


      20). What do you know abut the "contemporary" world of the people in the text., or the people addressed in the text.  Comment on how your world/our world is different than ours, and note any problems this causes in application.  Review

      21)Remembering your":personal and social inventory,"  your results on RRWI/EPIC and the Dan Nainan "What race IS that guy?" video: in what ways does your  faith perspective, culture, class, age or gender help or hinder you in understanding/relating to/ appreciating and personalizing the text.

      22)On the left hand column of  a sheet of paper, summarize your findings, suggestions and hunches about what then text "means" to the original readers/ hearers.  Then on the right hand column, make corresponding implications for what the text might mean to us today.  How is our situation/nation/church/world the same or different? 

      23)Especially if your text is  teaching or parable, how might it be retold in  our day, with contemporary references (culture,k technology, news etc).  If the text is parable (or acted parable, like the Fig tree cursing or temple tantrum)  how might Jesus (or whoever told the parable) tell the same story to make the same point today?  (ex. who are the "Samaritans" of our day?)  How might Jesus (or whoever told the parable) tell a different  story to make the same point today? 

      24)Incorporate any insights from areas of skill and knowledge you have (maybe from different classes you have this semester),especially from disciplines that may seem unrelated (science, math,  music, computers. mechanics).  Think creatively.

      25)What is your working summary of the text;s message and meaning,and applications.
      What does it have to with a contemporary church's life?  My life?
      Craft a short devotional thought, or a brief outline of a teaching (sermon or drama) you might offer if asked to bring a  devotional or message on this text in a church setting.

      Kraybill, The Upside Down Kingdom:
      • "In one stroke, Jesus erases titles (Matt. 23:8-10). Tagging each other with titles has no place in the upside-down kingdom where everyone stands on equal ground" (226).
      • "Titles are foreign to the body of Christ. Terms like Doctor and Reverend perpetuate status differences unbefitting the spirit of Christ."  Titles pay tribute to position, degree and status rather than to personhood.  Members of flat kingdoms call each other, as the sign of highest personal respect, by our first names" (239, emphasis mine)
      • "We call each other by our first name, for we have one Master and one Lord, Jesus Christ" (256).

      First world problems:

      Any list of great books on the Psalms would include Eugene Peterson's amazing "Answering God" (see "Eugene Peterson on loud farts"), works by Bruegemann (of course) and....

       ...did you know David Crowder wrote a book on the Psalms? It's"Praise Habit: Finding God in Sunsets and Sushi"
      ...and it's a ...well, Crowderesque...devotional on selected psalms. Here's a hilarious highlight, from the book's conclusion:

      The Ancient Chinese Secret - by David Crowder

      Se-mi-ot-ics n
      1.  the study of signs and symbols of all kinds, what they mean and  how they relate to the things or ideas they refer to.

      I bought a T-shirt in Washington,  D.C. It was red. It  said "Ancient Chinese Secret" on the front. Below this  statement, it had writing, which I assumed to be Chinese. Never  assume. My sushi friend Shelley was there when I picked it out. I held it up, and she said, "Oh, that is soooo Crowder." I  put it on that very day. I ate lunch in it sitting across from  the pastors of the church where we were playing music later that  evening. As I made my way across the stage, heading for our bus  that was parked outside, our lighting technician stopped me and  said, "Wow. You are brave."

       "Yes. Well, brave how? I mean, what do you mean  'brave'?"

       "The shirt. You know the secret right?"

       "Well, yeah."
      I nervously responded in an uncertain  chuckle. It is embarrassing to wear a shirt and not know what it  means. "Wait, what? You mean you know Chinese? Wow. So, huh,  well what does it say? I don't know the secret. I don't know  Chinese. What's the secret?"

       "Oh, it's in English."

       "What? No! I studied this shirt at the store like a flipping semiotician. It is most certainly not in English. That I am sure  of."

       "It is in English. Turn the shirt sideways then read."

      It was most definitely in English. Granted, it was intended to be cleverly hidden in ornate, faux Chinese brushstrokes, but once spotted it was unmistakable. I was wearing a shirt that said,  "Go F#$@ Yourself!" It was all I could see now. How had  I missed this? I am not a semiotician. I sat across from pastors  eating hamburgers, laughing and smiling, while the whole time  this was written on my chest!

       Stuff in life happens, and we try to make sense of it. So we look carefully. What could this moment, this tragedy, this weight,  this mountain, this tearing, this violence, this frenzy that is  life be teaching us? What is being said here? And then someone  points out, "Hey, it says, 'Go F#$@ Yourself!'" and  you've had it on the whole time.

      Se-mi-ot-ics  n
      2.  the study of identifying the ways that various symptoms indicate  the disease that underlies them. (Medical)

       The real message, the thing that is scribbled barely legible, the thing that's always there, underlying, is—we need rescue.  
      Things aren't as they should be. When your eyes focus and this  becomes visible, you can't tear your eyes from it. And you start  to see that there are those all around us who wait in begging  wonder. "What is wrong? I am here. I am here, and I need you  to notice. At times I'm waving my arms above my head, screaming  it. At times I am too frightened to move, but always I am here,  and I want you to notice. And in the dark I am afraid. I lie with  my hand on my chest waiting for the tapping to come. Things  aren't as they should be. There are symptoms. You see it in my  eyes. I have seen it in your eyes, too.

      Come  to Jesus
      To follow Jesus doesn't remove us from the stuff of life. It is  not resolution. It is tension and journey. In 1 John 2:6 it says, "Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did."  Jesus was in the world, engaged, alive, involved, making a  difference. To follow Him, we must do the same. His prayer for us  in John 17 is "Not that you take them out of the world  ..." and "As you sent me into the world, I have sent  them into the world" (verses 15, 18).

      This is what God has  done for us. He has come into our condition. He has come to bring  us back. He has come and embraced us. He has come and covered us  in Himself. Watch this Christ. Watch as He is accused of being a  drunkard, of associating with tax collectors. Watch as He brings  healing to the afflicted, love to prostitutes, forgiveness to  sinners. Watch as He climbs the hill bearing His destruction on  His back. Watch as blood and water flow. Watch as salvation comes  to us all. Watch as glory ascends to come again. Watch and fall  in love with a God who does not resolve, whose rescue is  never-ending. Whose prayer is that you would be that rescue. Who  sends you to be that rescue.
      Be courageous. Even as you stand  there hiding in the bushes, shaking to the bottom of your toes,  frightened of what's to follow, what consequences will come of  it, know that evil will not prevail. That you are not alone. That  you bring the kingdom  of God, and  there is hope. There is hope always. And others will walk out of  dark places and see you standing there, arms outstretched, given completely to this hope.
      Praise is response. Praise happens when there is revelation, and there is revelation waiting for us around every bend, in places  we would not suspect.
      Our task is to live with eyes wide open to  God's greatness because when we see the imprint of the creator,  our insides will swell with devotion, our hearts will erupt with thankfulness. You will live, breathe and radiate praise. The  habit isn't in learning "how to praise"; it is in  reminding yourself "who to praise." It is a remembering  of who you are. It is a remembering of your identity. Praise is  redeemed and redefined with rescue.

      When you have been found by  grace, your identity is swallowed in Christ. You are enveloped by  Him, clothed in His merciful sacrifice. To live in this  remembrance is to bring awareness of Christ into your every encounter. In this awareness you bring His embrace to the things you embrace.

      You  Are Here

      There is a sign in my favorite restaurant, 1424,  which happens to be located directly across the street from my  house, that hangs by the bar and states, in black letters on a  pale-yellow background, "You Are Here."
      I call often  for takeout. I pretend that they are my residential kitchen staff  that just so happens to cook the most flavorful foods on the  planet. The chef's name is Bill, and he knows exactly how I like  my pork tenderloin. We have never discussed it; he just knows.  He's always known. And as I wait for my order to be packed in  white Styrofoam and placed in a plastic bag for transport, I sit  at the bar and read, "You Are Here," and it brings a  comfort and solidity to things. You often hear or encounter  inspirational art convincing you to live as if today is the last,  to engage each moment as if it were all we had, but usually this  is married to the idea that it is. That this is it.  
      There is nothing more than now. All we get is what we suck out of  this moment. But I disagree. I read, "You Are Here,"  and I am equally inspired to be fully present in this moment, but  it is not because that is all I have, but because I am bringing  something more. I am bringing the very kingdom of God.  
      I read, "You Are Here," and I, ignoring the dramatic  punctuation of finality, think, "The kingdom of God  is sitting at this bar, waiting to bring something better."

      We are to be rescue. We are to be redemption. We are to carry the story of God to the ones waiting. To the ones with their hands on their chest, begging you to notice that things aren't right. And  this is praise. You are the note sounding in a thousand different  rooms. There are chords and reflective surfaces around you. There  is context.

      Sometimes life comes at us with the delicacy of a sunset, and  other times it comes with the rawness of sushi and the bitter  bite of wasabi. Sometimes the tears will be because you cannot  stand empty-eyed in the presence of such beauty, and sometimes  they will be full of fire, but notice/know this: You are here. You Are Here! You are here, and you are not alone.

      Look me in the eyes. Can you feel the fabric on your skin? It is woven from the threads of love. Pay attention to the way it folds around you, sense its softness, brush the hair of your arms as  you lift them toward the heavens in unencumbered declaration.

      It is the coverings of rescue that you feel. It is a flood. It is  an ocean. It is a sea that has no bottom, for there is no end to it.  To be fully present in the rescue and recreation of Christ is to  embrace what God does for us, and this is the best thing we can  do for Him.-David Crowder, pp, 152-153 Praise Habit: Finding God in Sunsets and Sushi

      See also:

      God will ALWAYS give you more than you can handle


      Our church may not go as far as incorporating the "Hymns to Swear By" byPádraig Ó Tuama, (though we probably should be that bold and insurrectionist).  

      But we will no doubt glean lots from the section of the Rollins' "Insurrection" book ("The Centrality of Absence," p, 175ff in which we are introduced to an example from their catalog.   About one song, Rollins comments, "this is not simply a song about suffering and the sense of cosmic homelessness--is is sung from that space (177).

      Here's the song, but you are probably not ready to include it next Sunday.
      Which is precisely why you should.

      (P.S. Just tell your team it's called, "Maranatha," ....doesn't that sound safe enough?(:
      Maranatha from Peter Rollins on Vimeo.


      A Crash of Rhinos...a Committee of Buzzards

      "Rhino Crash Church"

      from The Barbarian Way, Erwin McManus

      A few years ago I took my kids to a wildlife animal park near San Diego. As we rode on a tram through the open terrain, a guide pointed out the unique features of the different species that we encountered. I suppose I always knew it in part, but I had not come to realize how most groups of animals have unique names or designations when they dwell together.

      With insects most of us know that bees are called swarms, and ants are called colonies. Among ocean life, I was aware that whales are pods, and fish are schools. Cattle are herds, birds are flocks, and if you watch Lion King, you know a tribe of lions is a pride. If you grew up in the country, you might know that crows are murders. Maybe the most unnerving one is an ambush of tigers.

      I was surprised to learn that a group of buzzards waiting around together to feast on leftover carnage is called a committee. Just this one insight is worth the price of the whole book. This explains so much of what’s going on in churches—a lot of committees waiting around to live off human carnage.

      Flamingos are called flamboyants, which for some reason reminds me of TV evangelists. And the less glamorous owls are known as parliaments. They do seem sort of British.

      But my favorite of all is the group designation for rhinos. You see, rhinos can run thirty miles an hour, which is pretty fast when you consider how much weight they’re pulling. They’re actually faster than squirrels, which can run up to twenty-six miles an hour. And even then who’s going to live in dread of a charging squirrel! (Sorry—that was a bit off the point.) Running at thirty miles an hour is faster than a used Pinto will go. Just one problem with this phenomenon. Rhinos can see only thirty feet in front of them. Can you imagine something that large moving in concert as a group, plowing ahead at thirty miles an hour with no idea what’s at thirty-one feet? You would think that they would be far too timid to pick up full steam, that their inability to see far enough ahead would paralyze them to immobility. But with that horn pointing the way, rhinos run forward full steam ahead without apprehension, which leads us to their name.

      Rhinos moving together at full speed are known as a crash. Even when they’re just hanging around enjoying the watershed, they’re called a crash because of their potential. You’ve got to love that. I think that’s what we’re supposed to be. That’s what happens when we become barbarians and shake free of domestication and civility. The church becomes a crash. We become an unstoppable force. We don’t have to pretend we know the future. Who cares that we can see only thirty feet ahead? Whatever’s at thirty-one feet needs to care that we’re coming and better get out of the way.

      We need to move together as God’s people, a barbarian tribe, and become the human version of the rhino crash. The future is uncertain, but we need to move toward it with confidence. There’s a future to be created, a humanity to be liberated. We need to stop wasting our time and stop being afraid of what we cannot see and do not know. We need to move forward full force because of what we do know.

      Yesterday Mariah was in a store with her mom. She saw a man working with fabrics, and for some reason he caught Mariah’s attention. Mariah looked at Kim and pointed to the man, and she said, “Mom, look at the man. He’s the loneliest person I’ve ever seen.” Mariah began to weep uncontrollably.

      We may not be able to see what’s at thirty-one feet, but we don’t have to be blind to what’s right in front of us. There’s a world that desperately needs God, a world filled with loneliness, hopelessness, and fear. We have somehow become deaf to a cry that reaches heaven coming from the souls of men. But God hears.

      Erwin McManus

      How does it change your interpretation of the Bible to realize that many passages are to a "plural you": 

      Ephesians: 2:8-10,  3:16, 6:10-20 ?

      We watched an amazing video of Cappadocia.

      UNFORTUNATELY> this episode called "Don't Forget Us" is not online
      (remember the church 2o stories underground, and the amazing testimony of Rebecca from Sudan?)  but some notes on it are here.  Also pp. 164ff here.
      Here is more on Cappadocia and  the underground cities of Derrankuyu"

      We finished "Drops Like Stars":

      Link to below
      Drops Like Stars: Sketchnotes 01-02Drops Like Stars: Sketchnotes 03-04
      Drops Like Stars: Sketchnotes 05-06Drops Like Stars: Sketchnotes 07-08
      Drops Like Stars: Sketchnotes 09-10Drops Like Stars: Sketchnotes 11-12


      Here (click):
      are some quotes from the book by the same name, arranged slightly differently.

      you can read much of the book online. 

      Interview about the book:



      As Pastor/Trucker Franks suggests below, sometimes it's "more about the journey than the destination."  See also  "What if Torah/ מלכות השמים, is more 'journey  than 'doctrine'?"


      Text interpretation practice

        taking attendance at U2church..tag yourself

        .. the  U2 Gigelpizel U2 fan cam, see it here,

        If you want to see  a pic of me...or any of the other 70,000 that were with me... at the Oakland gig,click  this.  (just X out the popup)...Have fun with the videocam!  You can find yourself, and almost anyone who is at any concert of the tour.
        Pastor D.J. Criner
        Sometimes in a Bible class, I will leave the room for five minutes,
        and challenge the students to practice presenting anything they've learned.
        It's totally up to them: they can tea- teach it, one person can present etc.

        Sometimes I am even brave/dumb enough to say they can choose someone to impersonate (roast/toast( me and my style.

        I should have known that with  the delightful and daring Pastor D.J. Criner (of Saint Rest Baptist Church) in class, that  the class would choose him for that impersonation option (:

        It was caught on video ...
        I guess I say ":awesome" a lot.

        Be sure to catch his whiteboard artwork of me. as well:

        -common errors in signature paper:

        Homework Help  IF RED<< YOU CAN SLIP

        Week 6                                                                                                                                                                 

        Topics:  Living in Community: Individual Worth, Status and Relationships

        Preparation Reading:

        Reread Genesis 25:19 – 34; 27:1 – 28:5; 37; 41

        Hauer & Young ch 13 “The Birth of Christianity: The Acts of the Apostles” (entire)

        Reread Acts 2

        Reread 1 Corinthians 12 – 13

        Hauer & Young ch 14, “Ephesians: He is Our Peace” (pp. 301-303 only)

        Ephesians 5:21 – 6:9

        Hauer & Young ch 15, “The Literary World: The Pastoral Epistles” (pp. 311-312 only)

        1 Timothy 2:8 – 15; 5:3 – 16; 6:1 – 5

        Reread Philemon (entire)

        Grimsrud, ch 11, “Paul, Missionary to the Gentiles:

        Grimsrud, ch 12, “The Book of Revelation – Christianity Under Fire”

        Grimsrud, ch 13, “Reflections on God’s Healing Strategy

        Preparation Assignments:

        1)     Complete “The Literary World & the Contemporary World” worksheet (attached to this syllabus). This worksheet and the worksheet from Week 5 form the basis for the final paper.<YOU HAVE ALREADY DONE THIS IN CLASS< YOU DON"T NEED

        No comments:

        Post a Comment