Flesh it out

June 28, 2006

This morning I decided to take my God Crucified by Richard Bauckham to work with me. I read it a few months ago, but I wanted to refresh. And you know what? I wish the guy would just publish those numerous fuller treatments. What’s he busy with, anyway? Family? Friends? Work? They are all trivial compared to the detailed works I need about first century Jewish monotheism and christology.

Eh. Anyway, more realistically, I can’t wait for his latest book, due out September of this year.

Jesus and the Eyewitnesses

I’m almost done with Marshall’s NTT, and it seems I misjudged him on his view of the resurrection. Later in the book he clarifies and states that he understands the resurrection as a physical one, albeit involving some sort of resurrection in the spiritual realm. Not sure I understood it all, I probably spelled it out wrong in the sentence before. Ah well, anyway, that was comforting. Perhaps I shouldn’t be so hasty to jump to conclusions about people’s theologies.  At the same time, his use of spiritual (seemingly contrasting fleshly) rang bells for me.

Finally – SAT scores!

June 26, 2006

Well, while I was doing my aerosols this morning I got to collegeboard.com and finally got my SAT score! While this is not the detailed analysis thingie, it does tell you the bare score:

Critical Reading – 690 / 94 percentile

Math – 530 / 53 percentile
Writing – 740

– Multiple choice 80 (20-80)

– Essay 7 (2-12)

Yeah, math isn’t my strongest point. My critical reading score was rocking, and my writing score was good as well. I got all 80 writing multiple choice right! And the essay was 7 out of 12, which is not too bad (multiple choice and essay make up the writing section score).

Now here’s the lame part. If I were to add up all three scores, I would get a 1960 out of 2400! Not bad at all. However… no college in the state of Florida cares about the Writing section except Florida State University, which I’m not considering. Eh.

So with just critical reading and math, I get a 1220. I am just 50 points shy of getting the best Bright Futures Florida scholarship. So next time I take the SAT I’ll just focus on getting the math score up, since colleges take your best score in each section.

Of course, maybe colleges outside the FL look at the Writing section. But I doubt I’ll have luck convincing my mom to let me attend a university out of state.

Not much going on

June 25, 2006

I’ll get to that baptism series eventually. Right now I’m enjoying the discussion over at Jonathan’s blog on God’s ethics for Israel during the Canaanite conquest.

My stomach’s been acting up a bit this weekend, so I hope that gets better soon.

I took my senior pics this weekend as well, and those came out surprisingly well.

Hope you’re all blessed and doing well!

Night Had Fallen (5)

June 22, 2006

My posts (#1, #2 , #3, #4) on Night were varied – a few from the book itself, one from the preface, and one from Wiesel’s Nobel prize acceptance speech. The common thread in all of them was the numerous mentions of faith, and each quote demonstrated different aspects of Wiesel’s faith, particularly loss and renewal. And the post that ties them all together is this:

And that connection between the cross and human suffering remains, in my view, the key to the unfathomable mystery in which the faith of his childhood was lost?

This quote is an attempt to respond to the incredible evil that stared Wiesel in the face daily. It was this very problem of evil that led Wiesel away from his childhood faith. How can a good God, the God of the Exodus, the God who gave us Canaan, the God who will one day send Messiah – how can God allow his people to be turned into smoke in the fires of a German hell? What sort of promise-keeping God is this? This terrifying statement comes from a lips of one of Wiesel’s hospital ward mates, and it demonstrates the complete loss of trust in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob that had occured in the lives of many of the Jews during the Holocaust. Indeed, some had more faith in Hitler than in the God of their ancestry.

And I pause and think. Can I truly blame them? What would happen to my faith if I saw my little sister and mother carried away, never to return? What would happen to my faith if I were forced to run miles in the brutal snow, and then experience the death of my father soon after? What would happen to my faith if the only thing that I heard from the God I once trusted was silence?

I pray that God would sustain me – I am too weak.

And yet it seems that Wiesel’s faith, buried in the ashes of his people, was somehow resurrected (at least this is how I interpret his Nobel prize speech). And it is this faith that spurs him to action for the good of others.

What do we as Christians make of this? I can think of no other response except that of the bold quote above – to proclaim the suffering of a Jew from Nazareth as the key to this suffering. We must tell his story. It is a story of pain and agony, of obedience to the point of death – even the death of a cross.

It is this story of God’s vindication of this man, this man in whom the love of God is revealed. This man in whom true humanity and true deity are revealed. This man who showed us all that God is not an outside observer, but intimately involved with the evil in this world. With the evil in my heart.

It is the story of a God who is not deaf. Indeed, he has not only heard the cries of suffering, but also himself cried out to God in his forsaken state. And this very God rose from the grave to offer hope and resurrection to all who will believe that God’s new creation is beginning in this man, Jesus Christ.

Yes, it is an unfathomable mystery. Does it make the pain and sorrow go away? No. But it does provide the comfort and assurance that God is not a God who is distant, but a God who has gone into the very heart of evil and returned victorious.

“For God’s sake, where is God?”

And from within me, I heard a voice answer:

“Where He is? This is where-hanging here from this gallows.”

Wiesel is close. During suffering, we must answer: “Where He is? This is where – hanging here from this cross.”

Yet at the same time we must answer: “Where He is? No longer on the cross, nor in the tomb, but exalted and victorious.”

May He quickly return to bring that victory to a creation that desperately needs it.

The Kingdom

June 22, 2006

  You scored as Kingdom as a Christianised Society. Christians shouldn't withdraw from the world, but by being present in it they can transform it. The kingdom is not only spiritual, but social, political, and cultural.

Kingdom as a Christianised Society
 
100%
The Kingdom is mystical communion
 
67%
The Kingdom as Earthly Utopia
 
58%
The Kingdom as Institutional Church
 
50%
The Kingdom as a counter-system
 
50%
The Kingdom as a political state
 
50%
The Kingdom is a Future Hope
 
25%
Inner spiritual experience
 
0%

What is the Kingdom of God?
created with QuizFarm.com

Thanks to Scot McKnight for the link.

Disappointed by Marshall

June 21, 2006

I'm almost done with "New Testament Theology" by Marshall. Overall, it has been an educational and entertaining read. I especially enjoyed the chapter on Revelation. However, while reading a chapter on 1 John, Marshall wrote something which I considered troubling:

 "The new significant item is the identification of the error that indicates that people are not in a right relationship with God, namely, the refusal to acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh.  It is unfortunate that so important a belief is expressed in a rather unclear manner. The problem is the tense. A perfect or aorist participle would probably give a reference to the earthly, human life of Jesus as heaving really taken place. But the participle is imperfect. It could be in effect future ("who is going to come in the flesh"); if so, we would then have a reference to a future human coming of Jesus that is not paralleled elsewhere in the New Testament; the future coming (parousia) of Jesus is firmly enough attested, but there is not a present stress on his coming in the flesh; indeed according to Paul he will have a spiritual body. So this can heardly be the meaning. From the evidence of 1 John we can only conclude that despite the puzzle of the participle, the elder is referring to the life of the earthly Jesus." – I. Howard Marshall, New Testament Theology, pg. 532

  After having read The Resurrection of the Son of God by Wright, I am fairly convinced that "pneumatikon" means spirit-animated, not made of spirit. Because of my interpretation of 1 Cor 15 in this manner, Marshall's dismissing of an apparently clear indication of a physically embodied Jesus returning in the parousia is bothersome. If Jesus is not returning in a physical body, in what way does Marshall envisage Jesus' return? And if he ascended in a glorified, nonetheless physical body, what happened to it?