Get in on the fun and learn about some women and men from Church history during Lent!
Wonderful guest post over at Gravity Center by my Church History Professor, Kelly Pigott.
"We must always begin by asking: What texts are you using to understand the birth of Christianity, and why those rather than some others?"
— John Dominic Crossan, The Birth of Christianity: Discovering What Happened in the Years Immediately After the Execution of Jesus (New York: HarperCollins, 1998),143.
My wonderful Old Testament professor wrote this on her blog a bit back and I wanted to share it with you all!
Enjoy her illustrations.
I’m considering using the above title for the rest of my coffee shop live-blogging (unless of course the topic has nothing to do with spirituality). My situation seems somewhat fitting for something like this: the coffee shop I work it is called “Monks”, a church meets here and two churches meet in storefronts across the street, there are three Christian universities in town, folks have a tendency to have bible studies/theology conversations/prayer meetings here.
It’s quite the environment to say the least.
I’m currently conducting a bit of a social experiment by playing mewithoutYOU tunes while there are THREE different Bible studies going on. We’ll see if the lyrics cause a stir.
Current track: Allah, Allah, Allah
"Because of the righteous women of that generation, Israel was redeemed from Israel."
— Midrashic Proverb
"This proclamation of the universal lordship of Christ-Sophia is addressed to people of the Hellenistic world who believe the world to be ruled by merciless powers, and above all my blind fate. It addresses the desires and longings of Hellenistic persons seeking liberation from the powers of this world and participation in the divine world. In this religious milieu of the mysteries, Christians proclaim Christ-Sophia as the ruler of the principalities and powers which I previously enslaved the world. In this milieu, where the hymns and aretalogies to Isis and other gods are sung, the Christian community sings hymns in praise of Jesus Christ the Sophia of God who appeared on the earth and is now exalted as the Lord of the whole cosmos. These Christians believe they are already liberated from the bondage of death and freed from the cosmic evil spirits. They believe they already participate in the power and “energy” of Christ-Sophia, that they are the new creation because they have received the power of the Spirit in baptism."
— Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza, In Memory of Her: A Feminist Theological Reconstruction of Christian Origins (New York: The Crossroad Publishing Company, 1994), 190.
"Therefore, the Gospels may not be understood as actual transcripts of the life or work of the historical Jesus nor simply as textual tenets abstracted from their historical context and their social world. The New Testament writers were not concerned with preservation and antiquarian reading but with proclamation and interpretive persuasion. They did not want to set down what Jesus said and did; rather, they attempted to comprehend what Jesus meant to his first followers and what meaning his life had for their own time and communities. As a result, what we can learn from the gospel transmission and redaction process is that Jesus - as we can know him - must be remembered, discussed, interpreted, accepted, or rejected in order to comprehend the importance and impulse of his life."
— Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza, In Memory of Her: A Feminist Theological Reconstruction of Christian Origins (New York: Crossroads, 1994), 102.
Years ago Presbyterian sociologist of religion Dean Hoge (Catholic University of America, d. 2008) wrote this about American Christianity:
“For the typical Protestant church member middle class commitments to family, career, and standard of living are so strong that the church commitment is largely instrumental to them and contingent on whether the church appears to serve them. As a result, many local churches tend to become instruments for achieving middle class interests, whether or not these interests can be defended in New Testament terms.”
Very interesting post by Roger Olson from a bit back.
"We can only think of Christ inclusively. Anyone who thinks of Christ exclusively, not for other people but against them, has not understood the reconciler of the world. And yet a narrow, personally-centered and church-centered Christianity does exist, with its tragic incapacity to discover Christ in the cosmos - an incapacity which has made it guilty of destroying nature through its refusal to give help where help was needed."
— Jürgen Moltmann, ‘The Way of Jesus Christ: Christology in Messianic Dimensions’ (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1993), 276.