Much of the freshest and richest biblical scholarship today is, accordingly, oriented to this ecclesial context of biblical interpretation. I think, for instance, of Markus Bockmuehl’s recent work on the apostle Peter, which locates the significance of the New Testament witness on a trajectory that includes consideration of the Bishop of Rome. Or I think of Walter Moberly’s new Old Testament Theology, whose readings of select Old Testament passages would have been impossible without the history of Christian spirituality and prayer, even as they serve to root that history more firmly on biblical terrain. Or I think of C. Kavin Rowe’s work on the Gospel of Luke, which highlights the continuity between Luke’s portrayal of Jesus as the “Lord,” the kyrios, and the later Nicene doctrine of the Trinity. Or I think of a forthcoming volume on “Reformation readings of Paul,” which lets biblical scholars engage Pauline texts with interpreters such as Luther, Calvin, and Cranmer, demonstrating along the way how deep a conversation is possible when we assume that the “theologians” of an earlier time weren’t simply imposing their own assumptions and convictions on biblical texts but were, like us, trying to grasp the text’s subject matter and state it afresh in their own day.me, commending some recent trends in “theological interpretation of Scripture”
My working process is no doubt much the same as yours and the same as many other people. The artistic process seems to be mythologized quite a lot into something far greater than it actually is. It is just hard labor… As anyone who actually writes knows, if you sit down and are prepared, then the ideas come. There’s a lot of different ways people explain that, but, you know, I find that if I sit down and I prepare myself, generally things get done.Nick Cave (via austinkleon)
[I]t appears Cruz has no meaningful exposure to the actual experience of Middle Eastern Christians, nor does it seem he is even aware that there are millions of Middle Eastern Christians (and Jews, for that matter) who are strongly opposed to the official political and military policies of the modern state of Israel.
The phrase that ignited the disagreement is particularly telling: “Christians have no greater ally than Israel.”
What kind of worldview or theological bias would allow for such a statement? Only one that presumes there is a definite conformity between the needs and desires of Christians everywhere and the Middle East policy of the United States of America. It seems to me, in other words, that when Ted Cruz says “Christians have no greater ally than Israel,” he really means that “America has no greater ally than Israel” — and that the subjects of those two sentences are identical in his mind.
My own writing life is as predictable as the old priest preparing to say the dawn mass. The pleasant cold, the mild pain of being alive. I have the same breakfast every day—cold cereal, yogurt, coffee. I read the newspapers. I take a fistful of vitamins. I shower. I linger at my bookshelf or at the window. I read a chapter or a poem from a shelf I keep above my desk of former lovers and seducers, impossible rivals—Nabokov or Lawrence, Larkin. Woolf. Sitting down at the computer is as daunting as the altar boy’s first genuflection.
Aquinas described writing as a form of prayer. Writing is for me dishearteningly hermetic. Revision is writing. Revision is humiliation—Tuesday saying something less well than Monday. Revision is open to noticing connections. Revision is joy at precisely that moment when the sentence no longer seems mine but speaks back to me and haughtily resists further revision.
I read in the afternoons. I take long walks. I watch TV in the evening. I write letters at all times.
Helen Andrews. I think maybe I linked to this post when it first came out, but I just reread it and resonate with it entirely. And I’m reminded of one of my favorite lines from Auden: “When one thinks of the attention that a great poem demands, there is something frivolous about the notion of spending every day with one. Masterpieces should be kept for High Holidays of the Spirit’.”
But after six months of sticking with only the most unimpeachable reason—I’m reading this because it makes me happy for reasons I wouldn’t be ashamed to admit—I have gained a new appreciation for some of the stupid reasons. Viral articles give you something to talk with strangers about. Blog posts give you an excuse to email your friends. The news cycle helps mark the passage of time, differentiating one week from the next and one’s own century from those gone by (not an unalloyed good by any means, but nevertheless indispensable to sanity).
These scraps of text may be, in themselves, entirely or nearly devoid of content, and if any Luddite wants to urge people to be more self-aware about that, I’m all for it. But positively luxuriating in content for six months has taught me that content isn’t everything.
Isaac Cordal, “Follow the leaders.” Berlin. 2011. AKA, politicians discussing climate change. Via Jason Goroncy on Twitter.
[T]he saint is first and foremost the one who renders constant thanks for having been loved…Erasmo Leiva
This is my commonplace book and sometime-journal.
I blog at SpiritualFriendship.org.
My book is here: Washed and Waiting: Reflections on Christian Faithfulness and Homosexuality.
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