Friday, January 22, 2010

The God of Glory and the God of Love

I liked this section from Tom Wright's latest book 'Justification'. Taking John Piper to task for his rather idiosyncratic understanding of the 'righteousness of God' as 'God's concern for God's own glory' he says

'...the great story of scripture, from creation and covenant right on through to the New Jerusalem, is constantly about God's overflowing, generous, creative love - God's concern, if you like, for the flourishing and well-being of everything else. Of course, this too will redound to God's glory because God, as the creator, is glorified when creation is flourishing and able to praise him gladly and freely. And of course there are plenty of passages where God does what he does precisely not because anybody deserves it but simply 'for the sake of his own name'. But 'God's righteousness' is regularly invoked in scripture, not when God is acting thus, but when his concern is going out to those in need, particularly to his covenant people.

The 'righteousness of God' is an outward-looking characteristic of God, linked of course to the concern for God's own glory but essentially going, as it were, in the opposite direction, that of God's creative, healing, restorative love. God's concern for God's own glory is precisely rescued from the appearance of divine narcissism because God, not least God as Trinity, is always giving out, pouring out, lavishing generous love on undeserving people, undeserving Israel, and an undeserving world. That is the sort of God he is, and 'God's righteousness' is a way of saying, Yes, and God will be true to that character...' p51-52

Sunday, January 17, 2010

N.T. Wright: Meaning and Myth

Interesting video of N.T. Wright over at the Biologos blog on Meaning and Myth, referring to the interpretation of Genesis 1-3. He talks about the way, in the States at least, these questions are caught up in the cultural and political wars in a way that's not the case elsewhere. He goes on to explain that 'myth' is not necessarily over against 'historicity'. He does think it's still appropriate to think about a 'primal pair getting it wrong', but says he roughly goes along with John Walton's 'cosmic temple' interpretation. He critiques the way literal 6-day creationists are often also dualists who believe that God is going to 'throw the present space-time universe in a trash-can and leave us all sitting on a cloud playing a harp.'

Peter Enns pops up with some thoughts in the comments section. He suggests, and I think he's right, that the big question for evangelicals working through the issues of theology and evolution is not so much Genesis and Darwin, but Paul and Darwin. I think this is clearly going to be one of the key questions for evangelical theology for the foreseeable future.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Alone in the Shed

Did anyone see that Channel 4 programme Alone in the Wild? It was about some guy called Ed who attempted to survive alone in the Canadian wilderness. He was incredibly earnest, and started out doing elborate camera shots of him diving into a lake from 6 different angles and stuff. After what seemed like not very long he broke down and spent the whole of the next 2 episodes crying. He very quickly got to the point where he couldn't catch or kill anything and it all went downhill fast. Eventually the production crew took pity on him and left him a box of food. A short while later he phoned for help and got rescued, then proceeded to cry some more in the hotel room. It was all a bit self-indulgent. Anyway, in his inimitable style here is Adam Buxton with his own version 'Alone in the Shed'. Pure comedy genius.