Sermon outline

INTRODUCTION John emphasizes throughout his letter that Christians must love one another. Here, he emphasizes that this love must take form as Christlike self-giving and generosity. John’s “children” are to love “in deed and truth” (v. 17). THE TEXT “Do not . . . . Continue Reading »

Hierarchy and preference

Challenging Cunningham’s suggestion, against Deleuze, that without some hierarchy of goods, there is no way to determine preferences, even for something as basic as diet, Kenneth Surin cited a bumper sticker: The top line says, “I love animals,” and the second “They’re . . . . Continue Reading »

Christ and Radical Orthodoxy

The papers in the seminar on the recent Duke publication Theology and the Political: The New Debate were dense, difficult, and hard to follow. And then Graham Ward got up and said, essentially, that the whole point of Radical Orthodoxy was to start with Christ; all the philosophical apparatus . . . . Continue Reading »

Feminine city

Chrisi Maier gave an interesting paper on the feminine conception of space in Lamentations. Jeremiah speaks of Jerusalem in turn as widow, as violated virgin, and as mother bereft of children. There is an intriguing asymmetry between these three images. The first two have an obvious literal . . . . Continue Reading »

Structure of Hebrews

Gabriella Gelardini of the University of Basel gave an excellent presentation on the structure of Hebrews, defending this basic chiasm: A. Elevation and Abasement of the Son, 1:1-2:18 (terminology: son, angels, abase) B. Faithlessness of fathers and sons, 3:1-6:20 C. New Covenant and the cult, . . . . Continue Reading »

Skeptical theism

One of Wright’s respondents argued for what he called a “skeptical theism” with regard to the problem of evil. The main points are: 1) We don’t have the cognitive equipment to figure out whether God intends to achieve goods that are morally sufficient to justify His . . . . Continue Reading »

Prelapsarian carnivores

In a discussion of NT Wright’s new book on evil, the question of pre-fall carnivores came up. Both Wright and his respondent basically agreed that animals killed and ate other animals before the fall, and that this was not incompatible with Yahweh’s judgment that this was “very . . . . Continue Reading »

Isaac and Saul

I don’t recall now if I noticed the connections between Isaac and Saul in 1 Samuel. Isaac abuses his divinely favored son Jacob; Saul abuses his son-in-law David. Isaac preferred Esau, the eldest, to the second son; Saul prefers Jonathan to David. One of the key discontinuities is . . . . Continue Reading »

Critical Scholarship

One of the most annoying things about critical biblical scholarship is the way that every discussion has to contribute to questions of composition, authorship, historical setting, etc. Harrington gives a very intriguing paper on holiness in Ezra-Nehemiah, but the whole thing is part of a . . . . Continue Reading »

Purity and holiness

Hannah Harrington gave a very fine presentation on the holiness and purity terminology in Ezra and Nehemiah. She showed that these post-exilic texts display an expansion of holy space to encompass the whole city as well as an expansion of the duties of Levites, a closing of the gap between Levites . . . . Continue Reading »