Saturday, August 31, 2013

Weekly Random Links

Recovering from inerrancy in the second half of life

I met an old friend for lunch yesterday. He was, once upon a time, firmly ensconced in a career in the ueber-conservative world of “Evangelical orthodoxy”–and he actually had a pretty good gig.
He left because of inerrancy. He could not square that non-negotiable pillar of the evangelical system with (1) how the Bible behaves when you sit down and read it, (2) a modern/scientific framework of thinking that is fully operational in every other phase of his life but not permitted when it came to his faith, and (3) his own experiences with real live people of faith whose very lives were a living testimony to other, vibrant, paths of Christian communion that did not require him to turn a blind eye to the cognitive dissonance created by 1 and 2.

Jesus is lucky to have us!

Wow, put something into words that tells a sad truth.

What Biblical Scholars Do

Biblical scholars build models. A model is a way of accounting for as much of the available data as possible in as coherent and persuasive manner as possible, producing along the way as little cognitive dissonance as possible.
A model is a hypothesis of what the “big picture” looks like. Models do not focus on biblical issues in isolation, but are after the big picture. All biblical scholars–fundamentalist to liberal and everything in between–have models that form the intellectual parameters within which they handle the particulars of biblical interpretation.

Miss your mark in the toilet? Pay $16 fine

BEIJING: People with a poor aim are to be fined if they miss their mark when using public toilets in a Chinese city, officials said รข€” provoking online derision over how the rule will be enforced.

The penalty will apply to those who urinate outside the bowl of facilities in Shenzhen, the southern boom town neighbouring Hong Kong, although draft regulations seen by AFP did not specify a minimum quantity of spillage required to be classed as a violation.

Would Jesus get hired to teach an Old Testament seminary course today?

It may help to know that anchoring one’s views by means of a creative handling of scripture was part and parcel of Jewish interpretation for generations before Jesus came on the scene. One of those creative techniques was to deliberately isolate a few words or a verse from its surrounding context and work it to make a point.