Saturday, October 31, 2009

The Seeger Sessions

I haven't mentioned a favorite CD for a while. So right now while I'm listening to "The Boss" and a group of first class musicians due folk music "Bruce style" is a good time to mention The Seeger Sessions. With accordions, fiddles, banjo, upright bass, and washboard, spirituals, Dixieland, and folk standards come together in a listening experience that gives new life to these old classics. Here's a sample from YouTube with Bruce's translation of O Mary Don't You Weep. Enjoy!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Quote of the Day

I absolutely love this quote attributed to Martin Buber at C. Orthodoxy.

What is the difference between Jews and Christians? We all await the Messiah. You believe He has already come and gone, while we do not. I therefore propose that we await Him together. And when He appears, we can ask Him: “Were you here before?”… And I hope that at that moment I will be close enough to whisper in his ear, “For the love of heaven, don’t answer.”

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Jesus: The Preacher

In one of our recent Sunday morning adult education classes, we discussed the difficulty of getting to the actual words of Jesus. Here is a short clip from National Geographic with some familiar scholarly faces to comment on Jesus, the Preacher.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

More Books to Consider

Bill Tammeus has reviewed a number of outstanding new releases. Check out his thumbnail sketches and be prepared to head to Amazon.

Two books particularly caught my attention. The first is Richard Hughes' Christian America and the Kingdom of God. Richard, now at Messiah College and formerly at Pepperdine University, is an astute historian and one of the most knowledgeable Stone-Campbell scholars in the country. I had the pleasure of getting to know Richard many long years ago when we attended the same church in Springfield, Missouri.

The second book, The Future of Faith,is by retired Harvard professor Harvey Cox. Cox believes that fundamentalism around the world is dying and sees spirituality replacing formal religion.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Why Arguments Against Women in Ministry Are Not Biblical

Ben Witherington, one not shy in sharing his opinion, provides a timely follow up to the previous historical study. Here is his case for women in ministry.

The Quiet Position

Work travel and vacation have kept me away from the blog for the past three weeks. But now I should have a more regular schedule and opportunities to share. Below are links to an article that I came across in the current issue of Discipliana, published by the Disciples of Christ Historical Society.

The author is John Mark Hicks, Professor of Theology at Lipscomb University, a Church of Christ institution. The complete title of the article is Quiet Please: Churches of Christ in the Early Twentieth Century and the "Woman Question." I found the online version at the author's blog site.

The heart of the article is how the Tennessee Stone-Campbell Churches (in the process of separating from Northern Disciples) was significantly shaped by the "Cult of True Womanhood" or "Cult of Domesticity" that influenced large segments of the American population in the late 19th century. It became the dominant view in Churches of Christ, having first been baptized in the selected proof texts from Scripture.

Here is John's blog site. An here are the links to the five segments of his article: Part 1; Part 2; Part3; Part 4; Part 5. This is an excellent article and a vivid reminder of how culture can shape our understanding of scripture.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Visit the Carnival . . .

. . . a Biblical Studies Carnival that is. A Carnival provides links to many of the key articles on the web related to biblical studies during the month. This is a great way to catch up with current discussions and find new blogs to explore. Hosted by rotating bibliobloggers, Carnival #46 is found at the Hebrew and Greek Reader site.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Worship in the 3rd Century AD

Mark Goodacre calls attention to the Oxyrhynchus Hymn, the earliest known manuscript of a Christian hymn containing lyrics and musical notation. It dates to the 3rd century. The initial post is credited to the Perspective blog of Crystal.

Church History in 4 Minutes

This video is showing up on a number of sites. I first saw the post on James McGrath's Exploring Our Matrix blog. Watch the video and in 4 minutes you'll be prepared to write your own systematic theology to rival that of Barth or Brunner or even revJohn!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Leviticus - The Purity Laws

If you have access to a copy of the JPS Study Bible, make sure you read the essay by Jonathan Klawans entitled Concepts of Purity in the Bible. These ritual impurity laws are found primarily in Leviticus and Numbers and are baffling to most modern readers.

Klawans helps distinguish the concepts of holy, common, pure, and impure, often radically misinterpreted in Christian circles. According to Klawans, there are three distinct characteristics of ritual impurity:
  1. The sources of ritual impurity are natural and more or less unavoidable.
  2. It is not sinful to contract these impurities
  3. The impurities can convey an impermanent contagion to people and to many items within close proximity.
These laws were not a primitive desire to avoid dirt or disease. Those who contacted the impurity were not considered dirty and were not socially stigmatized.

Has America Become More Spiritual?

Today's Parade Magazine asks the above question and goes on to answer it based on a poll of over 1,000 adult respondents. Here is the online article and the detailed results. A few statistics that caught my eye:

The validity of religion
12% said that their own religion was the only true faith
12 % said no religion has validity
59% said all religions are valid

Attends a religious service
27% - Weekly
14% - A few times a year
50% - Rarely or never

Thursday, October 1, 2009

James Dunn and N.T. Wright

Two of the prominent New Testament scholars associated with the New Perspective on Paul and seen together on the following video.

Weekly Communion - One Presbyterian's View

Why communion weekly? For Disciples, it just something we do, almost intuitively.

Bill Tammeus, former Faith columnist for the Kansas City Star, has a recent post on the role of communion in the Reformed Tradition. He makes a plea for weekly communion to his own denomination, the Presbyterian Church USA.

To see his argument reminds those in the Stone-Campbell tradition that this part of our theology we got right!

The Ten Commandments on ABC

No, not the movie with Charlton Heston as Moses. It's a new series on Nightline about the commandments with a website you might find interesting. Here is an example of the various video segments - this one on keeping the Sabbath, featuring the Chick-fil-A franchise. It's quite the combination of business acumen, evangelicalism, pietism, and the bible. Watch the video here.