Saturday, September 05, 2009

Dr. Timothy J. Wengert on a biblical foundation for the decision in Minneapolis

1] If there is one rule we need to follow in the wake of the ELCA Churchwide Assembly, it is this: Do not break the eighth commandment (against false witness) in order to defend the sixth (against adultery and other sexual sins). Both those who supported the changes in policy and those who did not need to remember this. We must speak what we know and not cast aspersions on those who disagreed with us. Luther’s comments on the eighth commandment in the Large Catechism are helpful here. Even when forced by one’s office to speak out, one must not lie or distort the truth.

[2] In light of some implied (and explicit) attacks on the decision, however, it is also necessary to make one thing clear. The change in policy was grounded in Scripture. In fact, the calls for justice toward gays and lesbians in committed relationships and the recitation of examples of healthy same-gender relations, as important as these are to some folk, finally do not in themselves constitute a complete standard for changing church policy, since even calls for justice must for Christians be grounded in and normed by sound interpretations of Scripture as God’s Word for us....

And it goes on. I'd read it, Dr. Dubya is good folk, thinks things through,tries to be fair.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Cats... in sinks

Its good to know my cat isn't the only one who has a sink fixation. Seriously, if I'm in the bathroom she's either in the sink or the tub.
In other cat news I took Simul to the vet today, she was a hell raiser, took out half the veterinarian staff and got her ears cleaned in the process.
Oh, and the whole Vicar thing is going well so far. Right now I'm contemplating the role of the police in an inner-city context. More on that later.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

A british take on Edward Kennedy

Chasing phantom “I am”s

I have recently been reading the Gospel of John and finding the phrase “I am” all over the place, as one should when reading John. Now I like the phrase “I am” that Jesus uses, because among other things it lets me go off on a riff/set piece about the Divine Name when preaching. So I look for this phrase.
Now in Greek the phrase is “Ego Imi.” The versions of this phrase that stick in my mind the most is Jesus’ “I am the bread of life” and his threefold use of this phrase at his betrayal in chapter 18.
As I was reading the passion account I noticed firstly Peter’s direct parallel to Jesus’ threefold use of this phrase at his betrayal, as he said, “Ouk Imi.” Then I noticed Jesus’ response to Pilate “Basileus imi”--you say “I am a king.”
Then I saw the phrase “I am thirsty.”
“Of course, even at Christ’s death he is proclaiming his divinity/lordship in the Gospel of John!” I said to myself. But when I looked up the phrase in Greek.
Jesus in fact says, “Dipso.”
All this to simply say its important to not get overly carried away with English translations of things. I remember a professor of mine telling me a story about going to a service where a pastor preached a whole sermon on a word that wasn't there in the Greek.
Sometimes our own theological/cultural lenses get in the way of the actual text. And sometimes we just want to be able to go off on one more “I am” riff in a sermon sometimes around Easter.