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Posted by on Jul 11, 2016 | 2 comments

The Nicene Creed: “…who spoke by the prophets.”

The Nicene Creed: “…who spoke by the prophets.”

**This post is part of a series reflecting on the Nicene Creed** << Previous post View series Next post >>   “…who spoke by the prophets.”   Semi-Arian, Pneumatomachian, Spirit fighters. These titles designate a heretical sect that emerged in the fourth-century whose followers denied the divinity of the Spirit. As Alex outlined in his introductory post, the Nicene Creed underwent a two-part development, the first in 325 and the second in 381. One of the important developments of the Creed in 381 regards the proclamation about the Holy Spirit: 325: And in the Holy Ghost. 381: And in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of Life; who proceeds from the Father [and the Son]; who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified; who spoke by the prophets. As can be seen, the 381 additions emphasizes the full divinity of the Holy Spirit as the third-person of the Trinity. But why the addition of “who spoke by the prophets?” In 379, Gregory of Nazianzus was...

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Posted by on Dec 6, 2014 | 8 comments

Are there really “different ways” of interpreting the Bible?

Are there really “different ways” of interpreting the Bible?

I want to make an observation about many (not all) of the contemporary controversies surrounding biblical interpretation. I don’t mean historical debates (such as when Paul wrote Galatians or whether John the Baptist was Essene), I mean the application end: what to conclude from the Bible about how Christians should live their lives. When we say “there are different ways of interpreting the Bible” we often imagine that these alternatives sit alongside one another, like flavours of ice-cream or paths at a fork in the road. We frame the debate in terms of “whether the Bible says X or Y” about a certain topic. But this way of picturing different interpretations of the Bible doesn’t capture what goes on for the majority of hot topics in today’s Christian world. Consider this list: Should women be silent in church? Did creation take six literal days? Is there such a place as hell? Is Jesus really God? Is church leadership only for men? Is homosexual marriage sinful? Should women wear head...

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Posted by on Oct 30, 2014 | 1 comment

The Difficulty of Reading

The Difficulty of Reading

Amidst switching between three different reading communities (undergraduate and two different graduate school settings), I have been faced with a certain kind of difficulty of reading texts. Likely, what I want to articulate in this post is self-evident to many, but for me it is only in this third reading community that the true issue-at-hand has presented itself. The difficulty of reading is that reading is always done within communities. Like our title Many Horizons, there are many horizons for reading texts and these readings are dictated both by the communities in which we have read and presently read. Within these communities there are subdivisions where different ways of reading—i.e. lenses for reading, a hermeneutic—are present. These lenses are defined by overarching theological and philosophical frameworks, be they overtly or subversively presented. So, for instance, reading texts in my undergraduate setting was done through the overarching framework that the way God speaks is through his Word and the way for that Word to speak presently to us today is...

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Posted by on May 5, 2014 | 1 comment

On How Different Exegetical Methods Work: An Allegorical Reading of Judges 3:21-22

On How Different Exegetical Methods Work: An Allegorical Reading of Judges 3:21-22

Judges 3:21-22: Ehud reached with his left hand, drew the sword from his right thigh and plunged it into the king’s belly. Even the handle sank in after the blade, and his bowels discharged. Ehud did not pull the sword out, and the fat closed in over it. Poor Ehud, exegesis has not been kind to him. While to some, the killing of Eglon is a morally reprehensible act, it is justifiable because it led to the freedom of a people enslaved. For these commentators the ends justify the means. To me this is not exactly an ethical high ground; it is not the principled paradigm you would want your children to copy. Another strike against Ehud is that every commentary I read picks up on the fact that he was not filled with the spirit of God. That he, in no uncertain terms, was a morally ambiguous and ambitious man acting out on his own volition. Ehud, it is highlighted in most commentaries, is the judge that begins...

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