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Extracurricular Activities 12.20.14 — Race, Sexism, and "Exodus"
On December 16, 2014, I was part of a conversation on racial harmony gathered by Bryan Loritts at the former Lorraine Motel, now the National Civil Rights Museum, in Memphis, Tennessee. In preparing for this event, I jotted down notes on an array of related issues. As I looked over these notes on the way home, and reflected on some takeaways from the gathering, it occurred to me that some of them might be useful as talking points for those who are leading discussions or perhaps preaching or teaching on related matters.
So what follows are seed-thoughts that I hope will sprout into fruitful biblical reflection that bears fruit in Christ-exalting obedience.
Michael J. Kruger (former PhD student) contributes a significant study on the question of how early we have lists of NT writings treated as scripture: “Origin’s List of New Testament Books in Homilliae in Josuam 7.1: A Fresh Look,” in Mark, Manuscripts, and Monotheism, ed. Chris Keith & Dieter Roth (London: Bloomsbury T&T Clark, 2014), 99-117.
There are two sides of opinion on the question of when we find our earliest lists of NT writings. The one view (championed by Sundberg and Hahneman) is that these appear initially in the fourth century CE. The other view (defended by others, including Kruger) is that we have evidence of such lists from the early third century (and these may have had earlier precedents).
As a 22-year old PhD student, I was ill equipped to deal with the sexism within our profession. I had been brought up in a household where men cooked, where girls played with Meccano, and women’s academic success was not only accepted but expected. Looking back, I suppose the warning signs were already there in my undergraduate degree. Only one of my lecturers was female, and she was safely pigeon-holed as a ‘feminist theologian.’ But the undergraduate cohort was half women, we did just as well as men in our exams, and I was blissfully ignorant of the trials to come.
Was Jesus born to save us from this world or bring peace to the earth? Luke’s counter-cultural Christmas story answers this question.
I just saw Exodus: Gods and Kings, preparing myself for 2'20" of absolute nonsense, judging by most of the reviews I’ve read.
But I honestly don’t know what all the fuss was about. I found the movie to be amazingly accurate, or at least plausible and possibly accurate.
The critics are wrong.
The best single line analysis of the movie and its failure to garner either critical acclaim or more viewers was offered by Eric D. Snider of GeekNation: “This big dud isn’t blasphemous enough to be outrageous, emotional enough to be inspiring, or interesting enough to be good.”
Well, I partly agree with the first two points of criticism, but I did find the movie interesting. Indeed, I even liked much of the movie, and I would not argue that mature and thoughtful Christians should not see it, even if the concerns about it are major. And make no mistake, the concerns are major.
Extra-Curricular Activities is a weekly roundup of stories on biblical interpretation, theology, and issues where faith and culture meet. We found each story interesting, thought-provoking, challenging, or useful in some way – but we don't necessarily agree with or endorse every point in every story.
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