A brief theory about the spirits in 1 Pt 3

February 18th, 2013

Firstly, some context.  Peter talks about suffering for doing good, referring to Isa 8, and then telling people to always have a apologia on hand about they hope they have.  I think Peter envisions a Christian getting beat up by local authorities, at which that Christian continues to talk about Jesus.  Then Peter draws on the example of Jesus and his righteous suffering.  In chapter 4, Peter resumes on the point about Jesus’ suffering.  So in many senses what’s in between is a tangent.  That’s not my theory.

My theory is that the keruxing to the imprisoned spirits is Peter showing Jesus ‘giving an answer’, drawing on whatever cosmological precursors these imprisoned spirits might be, e.g. 1 Enoch, as the audience.  I’ve got nothing but context to make this theory, and I’m not even sure it works, but it attempts to give some cause as to why Pete even started mentioning this in the first place.

The Reading List – Feb 11-17

February 15th, 2013

A new thing I’m doing this year is to take full advantage of continuing library membership and regularly reading stuff. I will chronicle this adventure with frequent posts about what I’ve been reading, frequency depending on whether I made it to the library that week.

On to this week’s stuff then.

1) John Day’s PhD in book form about Chaoskampf in the Old Testament. This is part of my ongoing interest in the associated typologies surrounding the ‘millennial’ section of Revelation, and general interest in Old Testament theology. Since it’s a published version of a PhD, it’s fairly dry. It’s also a little old, so the next book on this subject will probably be David Tsumura’s more recent volume on the same subject. For those of you who don’t know or can’t read German, Chaoskampf refers to the imagery of a god versus the sea monster/sea/dragon/dragon-type monster. This imagery is found in Canaanite mythology (various references in Ugaritic texts, for example), Babylonian (like the Enuma Elish), and in various places in the OT, like Job and some Psalms. An understanding of this helps to illuminate the meaning of the imagery in these texts.

2) Pitkanen’s Joshua commentary for the Apollos series. Fairly straightforward and relatively easy to read, much like the rest of the series. Has good coverage of all the issues involved. I’m interested in Joshua because I think the conquest of Canaan is the type behind the battle in Revelation 19.

3) Michael Gilmour, Gods and Guitars: Seeking the Sacred in Post-1960′s Popular Music. This is my ‘random category’ book of the week. That is, I like to read something a bit different to just keep things interesting. Whilst the book offers some insights in lyrical criticism especially with regard to how religious symbols and language are used, abused, subverted, challenged, or exalted, it’s otherwise not all that exciting. I think the book might have worked better if he didn’t go from ‘theory’ to ‘example’, but rather, started with interesting examples that actually give an idea of what the heck he’s going to talk about, with longer lyrical excerpts, and then explored ‘theory’. Not particularly recommended.

Random Miscellany, pt. 35

January 28th, 2013

1) It’s been a while. Sorry. I haven’t really been updating much about myself. Mainly because the update is that not much has happened. Apply, wait, sometimes talk to someone, wait, etc.

2) As mentioned a few posts before I did a guest preaching spot, for Doug at ND, which you can hear here. Offer is generally open for preaching fill-ins in the Sydney area.

3) On preaching, I’m getting better at the no-notes approach, and so I’ll probably stick to it forever. I think I felt it when I went to the car, and actually felt really ok not bringing any material, my only Bible being logos on my phone.

4) Men’s tennis is generally more enjoyable to watch than women’s.

5) T20 just doesn’t do it for me.


January 16th, 2013

This whole David Marr inspired beat-up about the religious discrimination thing in the federal government’s planned update to the anti-discrimination bill is getting friggin’ ridiculous.

By framing the debate as a kind of anti-social exclusivism, and by using the term ‘sinners’, a lot of injustice has been done to a sector that actually does a lot of good. Unfortunately, and perhaps for this purpose, all it’s done is to reinforce the stereotype of the Church raging against the fading of the light. The ACL would do well to actively NOT play to type, to issue media releases that deliberately subvert the vocab. Except that they don’t. Anyway, the news cycle up at Fairfax seems to be using whatever Jim Wallace actually said (which I believe is simply a reiteration of the status quo, rather than what their select quotes and framing might suggest) to try to dredge it back up, but I guess by now we’re hoping people just shut up. We do, however, need to change the way people actually see what’s going on. Like this use of ‘sinners’, which is simply provocative.

Lk 11:14-54

January 3rd, 2013

Some thoughts as I prep a guest sermon.

As large as the section is, it’s not as disparate as the sub-heading titles most translations give. In fact, I think the whole lot holds together fairly well. The theme as a whole of the unit is alluded to in Luke’s introduction of the narrative. The occasion is the exorcism of a mute demon, which evokes three responses: amazement (fairly usual), “by Beelzebul …” etc.etc., and the call for a sign. Essentially, it’s about responding to Jesus (many things are however), but the slant here is on the dangers of responding negatively. The sum of that comes in the eye-lamp-light part – be careful lest the light in you be darkness. That, though, needs some explaining.

The problem for Jesus is that he’s surrounded by a bunch of people who just won’t repent, hear the Word and keep it, or otherwise believe that the Kingdom of God has come. So first off, he deals with the objection about him and Beelzebul, first with logic, then with a “Hey, it’s the Kingdom of God”, then with a warning about the need for permanent change in life to prevent undoing of demon exorcism. Then, what may be described as an over-enthusiastic fangirl makes a blessing remark that clearly shows that she hasn’t understood or been listening to what Jesus has just said, hence his response. Then Jesus deals with the demand for a sign, first by condemning people for their lack of repentance compared to some Gentile characters in the Scriptures. Then we get the whole light show. I didn’t used to understand this, but I’ve figured it out now. Firstly, he uses the figure of speech to point to the self-evident nature of his works. Second, he moves to the whole eye thing. As noted in Green and others, it’s not about light entering the eye, but the eye as a barometer of one’s inner ‘seeing’ light or lack thereof. For whatever reason (like, lack of modern medical knowledge), the ancients thought light came out of the eye and came back in. Thus, Jesus links one’s eyes, and hence, faculty of perception, with one’s ‘inner light’. Then he warns about whether what you think is light is in fact darkness. In other words, whether you think you can see, but are in fact blind (thanks John 9).

Thus, what ties this unit together is the inability of people to see or understand what’s going on in front of them, i.e., that the Kingdom of God has come upon them in Jesus.

The following part of Jesus and the woe-ing of the Pharisees and the lawyers simply demonstrates further Jesus previous point. Their inner ‘darkness-that-they-think-is-light’ is blinding them to the truth of Jesus. In the Pharisees’ case, what they think is their light – their commitment to purity and zealous following of the law – is in fact darkness because they ignore their greed, the love of God, and are ironically pictured as unclean tombs. So also the lawyers. They love their knowledge of the Torah, but don’t actually help people keep the law, think the only good prophet is a dead prophet, and in fact hinder people’s knowledge (there may well be some quiet reference to the law, prophets, and writings, but I’m not putting anything on that. Just a “hmm, I wonder”.)

A Symphonic Spectacular

December 18th, 2012

Thanks to Kiri deciding to book out a row and having an excess ticket, the fact that my cricket game was rescheduled, and the fact that I was going to be out of the house anyway, I was fortunate to experience the Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular. Experience is deliberate choice of word at this point, because that’s really what you’re being sold here. An experience of hearing various compositions of music from Doctor Who, played with relevant video on the big screen behind, along with some appearances of appropriate enemies. It’s really only suitable for fanboys and fangirls, or for people who like orchestral music. That said, it was quite good. Seeing Daleks live is an especially uncommon pleasure (probably because if it were to happen for real, it’d be an uncommon terror instead). The music itself is good. If you’re a girl, it’d probably be more emotionally engaging for you. It was also good that they also pay homage to all the previous incarnations of the Doctor, one piece showing all the reincarnation sequences that have actually made it to film (i.e., everyone except McGann (8) to Eccleston (9)), as well as all the opening sequences of the TV series. The finale (the current version of the theme song) is especially good.

It’s on for a very limited time – you have until Friday (21st). Also, be warned, there is merchandise on sale. Fan-people who lack retail self-control may suffer a relapse.

Tickets available via the Opera House. It has a fairly obvious url that I can’t be bothered linking to here.


December 2nd, 2012

Quick rate: it was alright.  Nice leave-your-brain-at-home action.

###*** usual potential spoiler alert ***###
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NaGaDeMon: Final Day

November 30th, 2012

Behold, it is finished. Well, finished in a “release candidate” sense, for those of you in the biz who understand the terminology. Continual refinements, new cards, that stuff will continue to happen. But there’s enough here for you to play with. Now is probably a good time for a victory Milo. Oh wait, Australia has South Africa 6 down for 70-odd. Glorious!
UPDATE: I can now put this on the post

NaGaDeMon: Day 29

November 29th, 2012

At this point, I believe I have officially won.

I have now made two copies using 200gsm card paper, the second using a guillotine acquired at OfficeWorks.

If you wish to acquire a personally hand cut copy, email me. Otherwise, I will work on putting up the print-and-play material online tomorrow, and you can wait until then if you’re that way inclined.

NaGaDeMon: Days 23-28

November 28th, 2012

Most of the progress has been working out how I can produce my game in an amateur but efficient manner.

It turns out that my printer can do 200gsm paper. This is pretty much the key part. By printing the stuff directly onto the paper, it makes it a lot easier since the next step is cutting it up. This can be efficiently done with the help of a guillotine. 200gsm paper can be bought at OfficeWorks, though what colours are available at any given time may be hit and miss. Specialty shops online have either smaller or incredibly large packs, making them less suitable bang-for-buck or way-too-much. I say this for those of you who may in the future be planning to print-and-play your own set. Of course, to do that, I’d have to put up the PDF’s, which I’ll do sometime soon, probably in the non-blog part of this site (yes, it still exists).