Giving a Voice to the Voiceless: 2 Samuel 11:1-14
“You have seen, O LORD; do not be silent!” (Ps. 35:22).
We live in a culture of reverence—reverence for people who wield power, reverence for people in uniforms demanding respect, reverence for people who call themselves “Reverends.” And in such a culture, those who have been victimized by the revered are often silenced. A powerful, popular pastor fires those who disagree with him and effectively silences dissent. An officer of the law shoots an unarmed man and later a video is shown portraying the victim as a “thug.” A woman reports a rape on her campus, and she is the one forced by humiliation to quit school and endure taunts and be told she is somehow to blame for her own rape. In a culture of reverence, people witness victimization but stay silent. They are cowed by the revered.
Continue reading Giving a Voice to the Voiceless: 2 Samuel 11:1-14
El Shaddai and the Gender of God (Revised)
In the last few weeks, a debate has been raging on the Internet, and particularly on Twitter, about the gender of God. It started when Owen Strachan called out Rachel Held Evans for using a feminine reference to God and called her a heretic (see also this). And thus began a twitterfeud.
Continue reading El Shaddai and the Gender of God (Revised)
Reading Genesis 2 “Literally”: The Adventures of Mud-Man and His `Ezer Kenegdo, Ish-shah
As a follow-up to “Reading Genesis 1 ‘Literally,'” I thought I would write my thoughts on Genesis 2, the second creation account. Scholarship (almost unequivocally) agrees that Genesis 1:1-2:4a and Genesis 2:4b-25 are written by separate authors in completely different times. Generally, Gen. 1:1-2:4a is ascribed to the Priestly author, and Gen. 2:4b-25 is ascribed to the J writer. Regardless, nearly everyone believes that they were written by two different authors.
Genesis 2 is a playful account. The author is a punster, but unfortunately these puns don’t get translated into the English. I’ve tried to use some similar playful wording to help us appreciate the “punniness” of the account. I wish I could draw comic-book style, but, alas, I don’t have that skill. So, I’m doing some more iPad art, and I’m really bad at humans, so be gentle art critics. Continue reading Reading Genesis 2 “Literally”:The Adventures of Mud-Man and His `Ezer Kenegdo, Ish-shah
Painting Biblical Violence in Primary Colors
I’ve always been puzzled by the fact that we take some of the most violent stories in the Bible and turn them into happy little children’s stories and coloring pages: the flood story; the ten plagues; the genocide at Jericho; Solomon threatening to slice a baby in two. Why, for example, has the Noah’s Ark story become one of the most cheery accounts in Sunday School when it is one of the most violent and disturbing episodes in the Old Testament? Continue reading Painting Biblical Violence in Primary Colors