Friday, May 21, 2010

How Not to Use Genesis

In going through Brueggemann's commentary on Genesis, one will notice almost immediately the homiletical nature of the text. This is not meant to take anything away from Brueggemann, for his commentary is (as far as I have read) truly an enjoyable read with a wealth of information and really just what I was looking for. Anyhow, in his section on Genesis 2:4b-3:24 Brueggemann lists fives ways that Genesis 2-3 has been misused and misunderstood in the life of the church. Here they are, in summary:
  • The text concerns "the fall" (quotations and italics original)
  • The origin of evil
  • The origin of death
  • "Evil wrought by sex"
  • Preliminary reading for the rest of the Bible
Besides the last, which was the first on Brueggemann's list, the previous four are definitely ones I have heard before on many an occasion (especially 1 and 2).

Yoder on the Cross of Jesus

If you are a reader of Inhabitatio Dei, you are surely familiar with the work of the late Mennonite theologian John Howard Yoder. And if you are not, you should be--on both accounts. Early in my life I was introduced to Yoder's classic text The Politics of Jesus through a friend of mine who is now pursuing doctoral work in the ethics of the Church fathers. Now, some years later, I have picked up Yoder again and I am making my way through bit-by-bit. It is hard not to like The Politics of Jesus, especially reading it now with theological hermeneutic shaped by liberation theologies.
"Here at the cross is the man who loves his enemies, the man whose righteousness is greater than that of the Pharisees, who being rich became poor, who gives his robe to those who took his cloak, who prays for those who despitefully use him. The cross is not a detour or a hurdle on the way to the kingdom, nor is it even the way to the kingdom; it is the kingdom."

Yoder, The Politics of Jesus, p. 51.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

In the Beginning

A Baylor PhD candidate once asked, who is the biggest name in OT scholarship? He subtitled the post, "(or can anyone beat Brueggemann?)". This was a question I had never thought to ask myself. Currently, my interests lay somewhere outside the realm of biblical studies and more in the realm of New Testament anthropological and sociological influences on theology. As someone who hopes to eventually go on to graduate school (and hopefully do serious postgraduate work), John's question reminded me that although I do not have a desire to do work Old Testament theology or studies but in Christian origins and the like, my knowledge of the Old Testament is wanting. Of course, I knew about John J. Collins, Tremper Longman, Peter Enns and Bruce Waltke, other than their names and where they teach (taught), I was lost.

This series of posts on Genesis and Old Testament theology is going to follow along as I read Brueggemann's Genesis commentary, listen to audio lectures by Gary A. Rendsburg (from the Teaching Company) and various articles and publications here and there.

Thank you.