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According to John: Excursus #2 – Interview with Dr. Herold Weiss

john-weiss-trailerYou can get more details on the Google+ event, and you can watch either through that link, or using the viewer below.

I apologize for posting this so late. I will post the YouTube and some comments tomorrow. Dr. Weiss is the author of the book I’m using for this study, Meditations on According to John.

From My Editing Work: What is Stewardship?

9781631991738I’m editing the manuscript for a new Topical Line Drives volume, Stewardship: God’s Way of Recreating the World, by Steve Kindle. It’s currently scheduled for the end of May, but I’m hoping we’ll get it out a bit earlier.

Here’s a taste:

The apostle Paul revealed to us the key to successful fundraising in his appeal to the Corinthian congregation to assist in the collection he was taking up for the Jerusalem church. His formula: 3For, as I can testify, they voluntarily gave according to their means, and even beyond their means, 4begging us earnestly for the privilege of sharing in this ministry to the saints— 5and this, not merely as we expected; they gave themselves first to the Lord and, by the will of God, to us, …

2 Corinthians 8:3-5

The Macedonians, in spite of their poverty, begged to give to the Jerusalem church—even beyond their means—because they first gave themselves to the Lord. Sure, it is possible to raise a lot of money using sophisticated methods based on psychological triggers and emotional appeals. These are too often resorted to as substitutes for the Macedonian way. A congregation that first “gives themselves to the Lord,” recognizes their stewardship partnership, and everything they do springs from that commitment. So let’s not encourage tithing, that’s about money. Let’s encourage seeing all we have as God’s and act accordingly.

The book isn’t laid out yet, so I can’t give you the page this will be on. I will tell you that I had to choose between several good quotes to use here. This book also looks at stewardship much more broadly than money, including our stewardship of the world we live in.

We’ll also be hearing from Steve Kindle tonight in his conversation with Elgin Husbheck, Jr. on the topic Lent: Season of the Resurrection.

Thomas Hudgins Looks at Literal in Translation

The term “literal,” when used regarding translation, can drive translators quite mad, I think. But it is a commonly used word in the pews and the hallways of churches. “We don’t take things that literally around here,” is something I hear regularly in United Methodist churches. Which leaves the question of just how do we take it, if we bother to take it at all, quite unanswered.

Thomas Hudgins, in his post Thinking about What’s Literal says, “This whole concept of ‘literal’ is really misleading.”

Go read his post and discover what concept of “literal” he’s talking about and why he thinks it’s misleading.

Christianity and Panentheism (YouTube Video)

My sister sent me a link to a video that I thought was helpful in some ways on this topic. Probably the most important thing here is that panentheism, process theology, and open theism are separate theological positions. Often two of these (panentheism + process & panentheism + open theism [less commonly]) may be held together, but they are not essential to one another. In the video, you’ll hear a discussion of panentheism that does not embrace process or open theism. Unfortunately, in my opinion, he refers to them as heresies. I prefer to keep the word “heresy” for a particular discussion of church canon law. I admit it can be a valid term in discussing orthodox Christianity, but it is also pejorative by nature, and even when quite correctly applied, is a discussion stopper rather than encourager.

With those caveats, the video:

One of the things I like, though I’m not sure I embrace, is the distinction between essence and energy. God is in the universe via his energy, but not his essence. Note, however, that one of the key elements of process theology, if combined with panentheism, is that God is impacted by what goes on in the world. This is one reason an orthodox theologian would call it heresy. A God who is impacted by things outside his control is hardly omnipotent.

On John 3:14-21

In my According to John study I looked at this passage in some detail. Bob Cornwall is looking at it today in a rather good Lectionary meditation.

Fred Craddock Sermon in Memory

Well, I hadn’t heard him (as I posted a bit ago), but then Dave Black put this YouTube on his blog. I had to share it.

My pastor does take a great deal from Fred Craddock, and acknowledges him just about every Sunday.

Remembering Fred Craddock

That’s the title of a post by Bob Cornwall, a friend and Energion author. He is actually remembering the man, whom he has heard preach. I never heard him preach, and I haven’t read any of his books, but I have gotten a strong dose of his stories through Dr. Wesley Wachob (First UMC, Pensacola) and Dr. Geoffrey Lentz (First UMC, Port Saint Joe, FL) and a number of other friends.

He’ll be missed as a person, but his legacy will live on quite vigorously in all the preachers he has influenced and through his books.

Dave Black on the American Dream

1893729222I just extracted a post from Dave Black’s blog and put it on The Jesus Paradigm. For those unacquainted with Dave’s blog, I do this so that I can get a permanent link, and I have his permission to do so.

Dave asks some important questions. How do our values impact the way that we live and the way that we serve? I often hear my generation telling the next one how they ought to be careful and make sure that everything is properly cared for before going into service.

On the other hand, my parent’s went overseas to serve in remote areas with all their worldly goods in a station wagon and small trailer, along with four children in the car. Was it risky? No doubt it was. Did they believe they were doing the right thing? Absolutely! I never heard them say that they would have had it any other way. They believed God had called them and they answered.

My mother tells her story in her little book Directed Paths. I’m going to offer a free copy of her book to a randomly selected commenter on this post. I’ll close the contest on Monday. Just make enough of a comment that I know you’re asking for the book and that it’s not spam.

An Example of Doing Biblical Theology (Mark)

9781631991219Drew Smith, author of Energion title Reframing a Relevant Faith, has posted an article, Mark’s Presentation of Jesus’ Vindication and Exaltation as an Act of God, which shows some of the nuts and bolts of biblical theology in process.

Drew will be my guest on my study of According to John on April 16 to discuss how biblical theology is done. One of the questions I’m going to ask him is how the view of the crucifixion and exaltation differ from Mark to John. I think the answer to that question can illuminate some of the topics I’ve been discussing in the study.

According to John and Psalm 82 Last Night

I’m embedding the viewer here. I spent a great deal of time on Psalm 82, and I think that trying to do that just straight talking until I was out of breath may not have been my best choice. I’ll consider posting further on Psalm 82 and John 10:34 here in writing and hopefully clarify where I was trying to go.

Some of what I’m saying here also relates to what I posted today on Matthew 4:4 and Deuteronomy 8:3.)