Friday, June 10, 2011

What They're Saying 06.10.11

Dr. Peter Williams, senior lecturer in New Testament at the University of Aberdeen, has a great video presentation on why we can trust what the Gospels say about Jesus; It was intensely interesting, and I went in prepared to dislike it

"Last night I stumbled across an example that shows how, when used creatively, such techniques can expand our knowledge and appreciation of a text. Dr. Peter Williams, a Senior Lecturer in New Testament at the University of Abeerdeen, has conducted what I’d call an “algorithm-enhanced close reading” of the canonical gospels and compared them to the apocryphal testimonies about Jesus... As Evangel blogger Tom Gilson says, it’s a “talk on apologetics like you’ve never heard before."

"Now, what convinces the believer that Resurrection merits such authority when other imaginative possibilities such as extraterrestrial life or time-travel do not? The answer here appears to be historical commitment. There's no record of people committing themselves to the point of martyrdom to other imaginative possibilities as they have to Resurrection. The earliest example of such commitment being found, of course, in the dramatic post-crucifixion turn-around of the Apostles. Such an astounding change of heart, followed by an unwavering commitment capable of altering human history demands a categorically unique explanation: Resurrection."

The world has a big problem with Christian exclusivism—the belief that there is one God uniquely revealed in Jesus Christ, who is the one way, truth, and life for all people at all times. Theologians and apologists have defended exclusivism’s truth since time out of mind, but never so much as in these pluralistic and relativistic times. Recently I’ve come to wonder, though, whether we’re addressing the wrong question; for I am hearing less and less that exclusivism is false, and much more often that it is immoral. The difference is crucial.

"As an evangelical scientist, Katharine Hayhoe is already a member of a rare breed. As a climate change researcher who is also married to an evangelical Christian pastor, she is nearly one of a kind. In these three videos, Hayhoe divulges her beliefs about God, climate change, and the difficulties of believing in both those things."

Monique from Yinon blog shares a sort of Messianic Jewish devotional on God's plague of quail upon the wilderness-wandering Jews in the 1400's BC.

"Rashi suggests that the people are tired and cranky of a long journey into the wilderness. They’re complaining because they miss the relative comforts of Egypt. Most modern rabbis who address this passage theorize that the people longed for variety in their diets. Life had become monotonous in the wilderness. Exhaustion and boredom may have been part of the problem, but I think that’s just scratching the surface. According to Nachmanides, the people are motivated primarily by fear."

Kelly, a follower of The Voice, could use some encouragement

"I believe that if you tell your mistakes out loud to someone that you respect there is much more accountability. You are much less likely to repeat these same sins. They are or should be embarassing. Well here's my confession to my blogging community...I have failed in my attempt to continue reading the bible. My life has taken over and parts of me feel like I am so far behind I can't catch up. I don't take to failure very well. Horribly actually. But there is a little part of me that says I haven't failed completely.....I am still within the year and I could still read my bible. I just need to change my approach a little. Sigh."

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