Wednesday, March 21, 2007

NT Wright

Last night, Maggie and I had the opportunity to travel to the beautiful campus of Flagler college in historic St Augustine to hear the notable (and sometimes controversial) Bishop Wright lecture on "Paul's Jewish gospel for the Gentile World." TheBishop was engaging and clever, and his wife was named "Maggie" and she sat behind us. More importantly, however, he unpacked the highly nuanced times into which Paul preached his gospel message, to show how the Second Temple Judaic conceptions of history, salvation, and eschatology affected and filtered for the hearers of such a gospel. Paul's letters are littered with the undertones of a Jewish (not separate) religion and the presupposition that Jesus Christ is not bringing a different order, but rather that he is the long expected fulfillment of the promises already within the Jewish meta-narrative. In fact, the Bishop pointed out that the Jewish story is the hinge upon which swings the door of world history, and the Messiah is the hinge upon which swings the door of Judaic history. Together, they swing to open a door for the world to enter in. Though Paul's message to the Gentiles was irrelevant to them (as they had no idea that they were in need of a messiah) he sincerely believed that by the very preaching of the Gospel, it would awaken them to the reality that the world was in a time of eschatological significance, that the curtain was pulled back, and man could now (must be) justified before the Creator of the universe. Wright went on to unpack these ideas and show the implications of how this context of Paul's message is nuanced in his writings as well as the implications of this message in the post-modern, post-secular, and neo-empirical world that we live in today. I suppose this was where Wright showed that his biblical hermeneutic is very applicable to our present situation as we Christians attempt to preach a very relevant Gospel to a culture that finds it absurd. Wright also mentioned the implications of this vis. the Judaic and Christian relationship--remembering that Christians are not separate at all from the Jewish narrative, but rather humbly accepting that, by God's grace, we have been grafted in to the story of redemption. Their story is now our story. Finally, he reminded us that this man, the present condition, is but a shadow of the future, full self. The goal of Christianity is not to leave earth and live in heaven, as heaven is temporary, but to go about bringing the kingdom of God to earth and making right what has been wronged on earth. There is yet a lot of work to do.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Regina Spektor - Fidelity

Maggie loves this song by Regina Spektor. We first heard this song when one of Magg's students introduced us over Christmas. This song, "Fidelity," breaks my heart...

Sunday, March 18, 2007

This past week (3.9-3.18) Maggs had the week off for Spring Break! We kicked it off right at New Smyrna Beach with the Garmanys. Maggie used the week to catch up on housework, gardening, pruning the crape myrtle trees that were supposed to have been pruned in February, baking and writing thank you notes. We also enjoyed the Winter Park Art Festival and all the fun festival food and Spring flowers! We love Florida. 65 degrees and bright blue, sunny skies.
Pictured: Jonathan teaches Hutch how to surf and Maggs and Ashleigh soak up the Florida Sunshine!

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Well it is almost Easter again and as per usual, more proof against the resurrection! Hopefully, not too many people are going to lose sleep over James Cameron's new documentary about the alleged tomb of Christ. But for those of you whose heart has yet to stop pounding and who can't find rest for your troubled mind, take solace from the words of Steve Brown who contends that it is "no more a problem than a gnat on the leg of an elephant with rape on his mind."

If you need something more substantial than that, Dr. Köstenberger has a solid argument that pulls apart the absurd claims made by doubters.

"Surely, as we prepare to celebrate Easter, we owe a debt of gratitude to God and the way in which he has used the makers of the 'Jesus tomb' special to deepen our appreciation for Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection—the Christian gospel—and the way these events are reliably portrayed in the New Testament. The myth propagated by the makers of the 'Jesus family tomb' special cannot hold a candle to the reality of the resurrection of the Jesus of the Bible. Truly, what others meant for personal profit, God meant for our good and his greater glory."

I rabu Japanese engrish.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Hmmm...Sometimes "Mrs. Iverson" gets a little whacky at school. What a humbling occupation. Daily, I realize how unimpressed these kids are with my hourly performances. I prepare for hours every night, eyes straining and aching by the pale lamp light, only a cold draft of wind keeps me company...okay, I'm exaggerating. Nonetheless, for all my hard work, frankly, the kids really couldn't care less. Now, this used to upset me, even to the point of resentment. But now, I think I realize that children are God's perfect way of sanctifying us, that their rejections and thoughtlessness are perhaps designed, but at least used, to force us to focus only on our "audience of One." What's more, it reminds me that I, too, am careless and thankless toward those who deserve my gratitude. Thank heaven for a mirror. Thank heaven for his mercy.