Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Around the Blogosphere

Here's a little summary of what's going down in the blogosphere at the moment.
First up on my blog-roll is a discussion on the gospel traditions by Michael Pahl [1 & 2]. If you're unfamiliar with the names of Bailey, Dunn and Bultmann with regards to oral traditions and written sources, then Pahl's brief intro's will serve you well.
Following that, Ben Witherington gives us a brief preview of what's to come in his book: Troubled Waters: Rethinking Our Theology of Baptism. Ben's got some fascinating thoughts here, but I wonder if his exegesis would be helped by some creative theological reflection. Of course, Ben is right on the money when he points to the paucity of evidence regarding this initiation rite, but is he correct about families and households and baptising children just because they belong to the family of faith? There is much to think about here, whether you're a paedo-baptist or not.
Mike Bird is still struggling with the Pistis Christou debate, and has some quotes by Mark Reasoner, which I think miss the mark. I'm not convinced that this discussion is decided by theological factors. Maybe I don't fully understand all the issues at stake, but Richard Hays dealt a decisive grammatical and exegetical blow to the objective genitive discussion in his paper "Pistis and Pauline Christology: What is at Stake?" In Pauline Theology Vol. IV, 35-60. Atlanta: Scholars, 1997.
Furthermore, I disagree with Reasoner's comment that: Proponents of the subjective genitive, who hold that Christ's faith is what saves, will not call for a distinct, conversion-constituting act of placing one's faith in Jesus. They will rather call people to join the church that lives out in a concentric pattern the faith that Jesus displayed. The fact that the faithfulness of Jesus is what accomplishes salvation, does not mutually exclude the need for trust on our behalf to participate in the salvation/victory that Jesus has accomplished. There is a false dichotomy here that I reject. As a proponent of the subjective genitive, I am still with Paul [and Jesus] in viewing them as calling for a decisive act of faith, trusting what Jesus has done.
Mark Goodacre describes how access to the internet interferes with writing, and I know all about this problem! He's not giving up blogging, just becoming more disciplined with time. A lesson I am trying to learn - and only partially succeeding at! My writing time has been halved lately, but I'm on a road that will get me back to my happy place soon... I hope! The trick for me is to have regular and set writing times when I can forget the odd jobs and just focussed. Working at home now on Thursday mornings gives me the perfect opportunity to pour in some good writing. It's quiet and I'm alone - no distractions from my black hole -> the office!
Ben Myers has a great article on apologetics that he discusses. He note the following concerning his piece: Against certain forms of apologetics, I suggest that “the task of apologetics is not one of rational coercion, but of imaginative invitation. It is the invitation to envision – or rather, to re-envision – the world through the lens of the gospel of Jesus Christ…. The fundamental mode of such apologetic discourse, therefore, is one of peace and freedom. This sound excellent, and right on track to me.
Alan Bandy re-opens the café, with an excellent series on faith and scholarship that must be read. Brant Pitre describes Walking in the Footsteps of the Messiah, which offers further confirmation on Brant's thesis developed in Jesus, the Tribulation, and the End of the Exile: Restoration Eschatology and the Origin of the Atonement. I think this is one of the best books on the historical Jesus that I have read. His arguments are coherent and insightful, as well as pretty solid. When I write my thesis one day, I hope that it can match this offering.
That seems to me to be the best blogging around, if you've got any other suggestions post them in the comments box. This month Stephen Cook has done a great job over at Biblische Ausbildung:Biblical Studies Carnival XIX. One should also note that the Biblioblogger of the month for July 2007 is Claude Mariottini.
Back to the books for me...

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