Engaging BHI; Reading Paul in the shadow of Luther

Old debates and “New Perspectives”

Martin Luther rememberedAs far as old debates go there is none older1 than Justification either; by faith or “faith + works” since the “Sola” part of “Sola fide” is the issue of contention. This was dug up (not that it was ever buried) once more quite publicly in the theological skirmish now historically known as “NT Wright vs. John Piper“. As usual many lined up on one side or the other and many blog posts were written that mischaracterised the position of either of the theologians. What wasn’t known by outsiders looking in was just how much the two parties agreed on, relying on rhetoric alone, a lot was lost in what Piper or Wright each uniquely offered in their positions. Continue reading “Engaging BHI; Reading Paul in the shadow of Luther”

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Vomitorium in the Sanctuary

As a follow-up from yesterday’s post, below is one I wrote on Becky Nightingale’s blog. 

dinner for eight

As annoying as Stephen Fry is to me as an average religious person, not as a person in terms of personality, though his know-it-all demeanour when presenting QI sure could grate on anyone in real life. I speak instead of his disdain for God albeit a non-existent god. However, this post isn’t about Fry but one of Fry’s many corrections on commonly held historical facts, you know, the type that Alan Davies mentions and Fry’s buzzer goes off to tell Davies he’s wrong (again).

It is commonly (wrongfully) held that the Vomitorium can be found in the average Roman Banquet Hall. After guests have sufficiently gorged themselves and could no more, they had the opportunity to purge their stomach contents, in order to create space for more. This is in fact pure fiction ! The Vomitorium was actually an exit to a Stadium or Amphitheatre.

The myth continues because most are aware of Roman decadence. The idea that they gathered at a particular time and place to feast to their heart’s content, eating so much that they need to purge in order to return to their binging is not hard at all to imagine. Removing the image of excess from this picture, I’d like to argue that our Sunday mornings should feel like a Banquet, a feast for the senses.

Read the rest on her blog here.

Equiano’s curious Argument against Slavery

Reading another one Penguin’s Little Black Classics reminds me of the role narrative plays in identity forming.

Fitzrovia MuralEquiano’s story was clearly important for the abolitionist cause. His account is intentionally emotional and that the book is titled, ‘Kidnapped’ is telling, although, it also has the alternative, original title of, The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano: Or, Gustavus Vassa, the African, Written by Himself.

To call it propaganda would be somewhat disingenuous, but that Equiano was possibly born in South Carolina (rather than an Ebo Village) does force one to reexamine his claims. Although there may be possible explanations for this inconsistency, yet better still, it is not inconceivable that the narrative of the life of the kidnapped prince served the purpose of establishing rights for a man whose (birth) place could be considered historically fictional. Some will consider such an approach justified, given the liberation ends of such a narrative (especially nowadays that activists are popping up everywhere). The end does not justify the exaggerated means, this plays right into the hands of victors who had previously controlled the dominant narrative. Continue reading “Equiano’s curious Argument against Slavery”

No Life beyond the Sun in Ecclesiastes

Too lonely up here!Whilst watching a documentary on uncontacted tribes of the Amazon, one of the tribesmen made a comment on what they think happens to a person after death. Their view of the afterlife was that a member of their tribe upon death simply flies upwards and beyond the sky where they live on. This view of the post-mortal state of humans needed space for the white man that already flies in the sky, which they duly supplied by proposing that white men do not make it beyond the sky. A fellow Christian I was watching this with, chimed in with the verse in Ecclesiastes which has been read as meaning that most know they will live forever because God has placed this in human hearts. This view of what Ecclesiastes 3:14 means runs into all kinds of problems. Continue reading “No Life beyond the Sun in Ecclesiastes”

First chapters of Genesis, Evolution, and Big Bang Cosmology

**This is the first of two posts in response to some questions a cousin of mine asked . These were about; my Position on the first chapters of Genesis, the truth of evolution, big bang cosmology, time as it relates to God and which kind of hell awaits sinners.
I’ve split my response into two posts. This post deals with Genesis, Big 
Bang, and Evolution as they are all related to creation. 

Hubble Spies Charming Spiral Galaxy Bursting with StarsIn terms of Genesis and Evolution, the one thing to always keep in mind is that every system or account of the origin of the world has its own internal logic. I think the scientific understanding or theory of creation even though can be proven to be true is still incredibly insufficient on its lonesome for understanding creation. One other thing is, it just simply doesn’t care at all about purpose or any other deep questions about the Cosmos. Science only cares about describing the world and no more. I’m deeply sceptical about Evolution just because of the chanciness of the whole of thing, it unreflectively rules out the world as a created entity right from the start, which in itself (I think) is anti-scientific. When debating with Atheists one of the things they don’t seem to get is that Genesis is not a Science textbook and does not care to conform to scientific descriptions of creation, the main aim of the book is theological: Continue reading “First chapters of Genesis, Evolution, and Big Bang Cosmology”