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Archive for the ‘Apologetics’ Category

Is homosexuality genetically determined? BETHINKING doesn’t think so.

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Tom Wright, being just brilliant, here. (streaming video)

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Michael Jensen blogs on the postmodern (I hesistate to use the word) critique of power in Scripture. I thought one of his footnotes summed it up best:

We may say further that for Castelli, Foucault’s works have become Holy Writ. She is, it turns out, gormlessly uncritical of him while being super-suspicious of Paul. Why doesn’t she do a Pauline reading of Foucault?

Really, all of this “hermeneutics of suspicion” is a powerplay itself: the substitution of the authority of Scripture, for more “suitable” alternatives…

Also, check out Michael’s final entry and personal response, here.

Sneekpeak:

[…]the power critics have gone too far. What they have failed to see is the crucified form in which the Bible seeks to persuade its readers; which is to say, although the Bible witnesses to an Almighty God, it witnesses to him through the story of his sacrificial love for the world. The God of the gospel is a God who himself rules by dint of an act of submission to the powers of the earth. The very nature of the Bible’s message in fact relativizes human attempts at domination: it is a power protest of its own.

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While I’m not a fan Linkin Park, I’m going to give them kudos for the song “What I’ve done” (see video below). It’s truly impressive to see people publicly express the belief that they’re actually part of the problem. While the band doesn’t go so far as to actually say “sin”, the lyrics of this song are nevertheless very impressive.

If people are beginning to recognise (1) the Western-Modern Project has ultimately failed (2) that they (that is, we) are actually contributing to the problem (in other words, it isn’t the merely the system‘s fault), then maybe this is a great moment for Christians to speak up and bravely talk about sin and the need for redemption.

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I’m very glad Ben Myers, who is usually too “Barthian” for my likes, wrote this. Brilliant writing, analysis and criticism.

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I remember that in my first year at University I wrote a piece on the movie “The Matrix” for a class called “The History of Culture”. I affirmed in the paper that the film’s narrative and characters were imbued with gnostic-christian and Buddhist doctrine, admittedly woven into the wider sci-fi structure and anime style.

Having read Nietzsche, I realize now that I was quite mistaken. Sure enough, on the surface Judeo-Christian elements abound: The “Nebuchadnezzar”, Cyphus as the Judas-figure, Resurrection themes and so on. But fundamentally, the ideology that serves as the basis for the ideas that the film promotes are thoroughly nietzschean. Neo isn’t fundamentally a Christ-figure, despite a few references here and there.

In the end, he is Nietzsche’s “Super-man”: the one who becomes aware of the myth in which we all are living and being. Myth, for Nietzsche, as an apparent proto-late-modernist, is an over-arching explanatory paradigm. The big story that helps us make sense of the little stories. Nietzsche doesn’t hate the Myth, but rather values it as a means of bring order and structure to everyday life. We’ve bought into the illusion that there is something that makes sense of the never-ending and ever-changing chaos of reality, and participate in a sort of grand play, each with his role, totally enrapt in the illusion.

The superman, on the other hand, is supra-myth, and even though he still lives and interacts within the walls of the illusion, he is conscious of its existence, which allows him ultimately to use and encounter the myth in the ways he desires, no longer bound by it’s limitations. In the Matrix, it’s physical laws; for Nietzsche, it’s the moral universe, Good and Bad, from which the Superman is freed.

Ultimately, both the Matrix and Nietzsche have got something terribly wrong. Man IS in fact, under a self-imposed and self-created illusion: the illusion of emancipation from His creator, to whom he is accountable. Man cannot escape this Illusion: the prison of sin, of his in-selfness. He is inescapably “homo incurvat us se” (see Romans 1:21-31).

It is God himself who must become the Super-man, but this is not Nietzsche’s super-man. Existing eternally as the second person of the Trinity, The Son of God, totally outside and above any and all rules that bind man (these, in fact, having their origin in Him), left this authority of position behind him, submitted himself and became man in Jesus of Nazareth. Instead of lording it over everyone, as the one in charge and as the only one with any right to, this super-man goes to the Cross, and dies in the most horrific, embarrassing and scandalous way imaginable. This super-man flys in the face of anything Nietzsche conceived of.

 

 

2000 years later, and the Cross is still madness for the World, but in reality, God’s grandest display of Wisdom. God’s victory is achieved through sacrifice and self-giving. God’s might, power and righteousness are affirmed through Christ’s meekness, humility and (apparent) weakness. God’s purposes are achieved, promises fulfilled and justice satisfied through the Death of the Super-man for those under the Illusion.

As if this wasn’t enough, the resurrection of Jesus becomes the guarantee that in Christ, by the power of the spirit, all those who have been freed are allowed to live lives of “super-men” in imitation of Christ: they are MADE aware of the illusion, and seek to live lives modeled on the cross, and so serve as instruments of God that others may “wake up” and be allowed to know, trust and serve the only true Super-man.

Martyrdom of Stephen

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