Preachers can only tremble before this text aware of their crumbling clay feet… for the gospel reading is a terrible and poignant story.
You see, John has understood Jesus' mission very well. John has come teaching, ”Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near." It is at hand. Change the way you are living! Don't miss out. And Jesus, in his first teaching words, confirms this, and affirms that John is correct. For Jesus also says, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near." (Matt 3:2, Matt 4:17)
There’s just too much on this week, so I decided I needed a treat on the way to work.
12 minutes from my house is this... Read on >>>>
John knows who Jesus is. (Matthew 3:14) He has entrusted his life to proclaiming the kingdom of Heaven. (Matthew 3:2) And paid the cost. In Herod's prison, his only hope is that Jesus will bring the kingdom soon, so that he— John— might be released. But Jesus seems to be heading in another direction altogether. The axe lies, not at the root of the trees, but poised only over John's neck. "Are you the one who is to come, or are we to wait for another?"
… tell John what you hear and see: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have good news brought to them. And blessed is anyone who takes no offence at me.
No axe. No armies. Not even fire. Kingdom is something quite different from what you imagine. John is put in his place. Read on >>>>
We often have a problem with the preaching of judgement. Too often, such preaching seems to be the projection of the preacher's own prejudice. And too often in such pronouncements, God seems to be wreaking undeserved and indiscriminate violence against the innocent.
However, the prophetic tradition in Israel saw that God's judgement was just and merited. It begins even in Genesis 6... Read on >>>>
The first Sunday of Advent. Setting the scene for reading Matthew by beginning, not at the beginning, but in Chapter 24! Read on >>>>
We start to read Genesis with questions about the righteousness of God, and particularly, questioning the goodness of a God who would destroy the whole earth. This question is a stumbling block. How could you "believe in" a God who would do that?
We forget the situation of Israel. In Israel the Flood IS. Israel did not invent the Flood. Israel simply knew, along with all other people, that the Flood had happened. It was a part of the accepted cosmology of the time, just as we all know about The Big Bang and about our evolutionary origins… Read on >>>>
The Flood narrative begins with the reality of our shortcomings. It sees that "every inclination of the thoughts of their hearts was only evil continually" (Genesis 6:5) It makes no attempt to diminish our responsibility for our behaviour.
A quick read can lead to dismissal of the text; outrage at a God who would destroy so many innocent lives— we easily forget thyat in this story there are no innocent apart from Noah. Such outrage glosses over the diagnosis of the human predicament as understood by Genesis— all flesh… only evil continually. The story returns to this at the end: God says, "I will never again curse the ground because of humankind, for the inclination of the human heart is evil from youth."... Read on >>>>
Adelaide’s a good city for riding. Many of the main highways have parallel routes a cyclist can choose, and many have reasonable bike lanes, as well. There’s a multiplicity of options that are not available for cars. So each night, when I set off on the 30km home, I get to choose which way to go. For the cost of a couple of kilometres, I can take a different way home each night! ... Read on>>>>
So the paradise in Genesis 2 has not happened yet. It is a vision, a metaphor, of where we may go if we let ourselves be healed of our violence, and embrace relationships of love, and respect, and honour. Jesus is calling us; will we go there?... Read on >>>>
Thanks (Stephen van Schalkwyk)
I am deeply grateful for these insights, and especially the gentle, cogent way you share them. I had an unfortunate debate with a number of... Read more ...
Walter Wink in Just Jesus - My Struggle to Become Human (Andrew Prior)
But Ezekiel is not beholding a figure of speech. This is really what God is: HUMAN. It is the great error of humanity to believe... Read more ...
Water Wink in Just Jesus - My Struggle to Become Human (Andrew Prior)
I had been struggling with the passage in Matthew 5:39–41 that runs, “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and... Read more ...
Really good stuff (Bill Schlesinger)
this really breaks things open. Transforming obligation into risk-taking openness and a journey of discovery as a life of freedom in compassion transforms the text... Read more ...
Thank you for this good work. Read more ...
At One Man's Web you can read about Theology, Cynicism, Men, Joy, Depression, The Gospels, Sexuality, Fundamentalism, Creation "Science" and more...
I try to share some of the joy and sadness I find in our world. Preachy, cynical, wondering, disillusioned and lost, or all of these together...
I am seeking to reflect a way of living that is about being honest about feelings, but focussed on high ideals. It's messy... like my life... but I have learned to love it and enjoy it.
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