procrastination, heresy, and navel-gazing.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Mark 2 Chiasm

not sure if this post will work - blogger's doing some funky things tonight - if it starts behaving again i'll remove this and maybe add a picture if any buttons appear to allow me to do so!

this sunday at GBC* we're doing Mark 2.1-12, and believe it or not - i've realised it's a chiasm.
A 2.1-2a - the big picture, a crowd astonished at Jesus

      B 2.2b-5 - movement to Jesus, Jesus speaks

                  C 2.6-10 - opposition's negative reaction, Jesus' positive reaction

      B' 2.11-12a - Jesus speaks, movement away from Jesus

A' 2.12b - the big picture, a crowd astonished at Jesus

mark does this a heap, or at the very least sandwiches (A B A' - cf Mark 5.21-24a; 24b-34; 35-43)

it's not so much a theological comment as a narrative device, guiding you into and then out and onwards.

* if you're a german speaker, you may be interested in coming along to german bible cafe - check out our facebook or blog if you're keen.

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Monday, October 12, 2009

wishlist updated

in the sidebar, or just click here!

any suggestions i should add to the list?

what would you have in yours?


cocktail church?

wow. crazy.
a weeknight, food, drinks - and church?
what will they think of next!

anyway, you may be free on Tuesday 27 and Wednesday 28 October from 7.30 pm, and live somewhere near st albans lindfield - if so, get along, bring a friend or two.

apart from food and drink, there will be a talk each night:
27th :: A hell of a Life
28th :: A hell of a Death

get into to it!

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Saturday, October 10, 2009

Batman the Musical

been oddly talking about musicals a bit lately. my parents took us to see the very fun wicked the other day, which fits in between the wizard of oz and return to oz - surely one of the scariest movies ever. i guess sort of like the sarah connor chronicles in between the terminator and T2. the interesting thing about wicked was the not just the freudian analysis of the wicked witch of the west - what made her the 'wicked' witch, why was glinda the 'good' witch. but if people talk about good and wicked, do we need to rethink what those titles mean; who gave them the titles; are we just buying into the hype?

and for some strange reason people are still banging on about buffy the musical which i pray i will never have to see.

anyway, this is a little more my taste. complete with the music meister and the black canary.

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Thursday, October 08, 2009

praxis vs theology

chatting about evil again. reading david bentley hart's doors of the sea again.

but this time it's with others, including mark and steve, who have been interviewing christian counsellors for their pilgrims podcast.

the reason i mention this is not to promote them (they do enough self-promotion as it is), but to raise the question of how what we say to people relates to what we think - and particularly in the context of suffering.

if we believe evil is evil, an affront to God, an absurdity, then let us say this.

however, if we believe in a divine, universal harmony, where nothing happens but by the hand of God, and we are talking to someone suffering - why can we not say this? is this not the gospel of comfort to the suffering, the poor, the bound? but we realise that saying 'it's all a part of God's plan' is no comfort, and not pastorally appropriate.

my question is, if what we believe does not match with what we are willing and comfortable to say, are we too weak to say the truth that might hurt, or is our theology profoundly impersonal and thus leaving us in a schizophrenic state as we try to comfort the suffering?

what do counsellors do? what do you do?

can we in a clear conscience preach one thing from the pulpit and say another in the hospital room?

if evil is evil, it is evil. let us proclaim the goodness of God despite that evil.

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Thursday, October 01, 2009

no fall put to the test

last night at bible study we did the final in our series based on Tim Keller's "The Reason For God". we looked at Sin, through the lens of Genesis 3:1-13, Romans 1:18-32, Romans 3:21-26.

as you would know, i've just finished an essay on the consequences of denying an historical fall (here, here, and here). the position i finished at was that the idea of "the fall" is not what Genesis 3, nor the rest of the testimony of the bible, is trying to get across.

rather, as Karl Barth agreed with me, "the first man was immediately the first sinner." (CD IV.1 §508)

so as we discussed the idea of the fall, we didn't use the terminology of "fall", but analysed what the story said. and it said that sin consists of disobedience, selfishness, disrespect, but primarily trusting Satan's lies. we agreed that none of us would have been different, and that this grasping against God is something we all continue.

i can perhaps post some of the best bits of my essay a little later, but i just thought it would be helpful to show where this thinking has ended me up (if that sentence makes sense!).

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