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Extracurricular Activities 8.23.14 — 2nd-Temple Divine Names, Mistreating Creation, & Feeling African-American Pain
I found this very interesting passage in Martin Kähler’s The So-Called Historical Jesus and the Historic Biblical Christ. Kähler offers his solution to the knotty problem of the historical origins of both the Bible and Jesus. Kähler places supreme value on the history of the effects of Jesus and the Bible as evidence for its reliability and credibility:
Several comments prompted by my earlier postings have raised questions about how the Hebrew divine name (YHWH) was rendered in written form and how God was referred to orally in the time of Jesus. In addition to interest in these questions for their own sake, there is also the related question of how these matters may relate to the designation of Jesus as “Kyrios” in the NT.
So, there are three distinguishable issues involved. (1) How was the name YHWH treated in ancient Jewish manuscripts, both Hebrew and Greek ones? (2) How did ancient Jews refer to YHWH orally (i.e., did they use verbal/oral substitute words)? (3) How might data relating to the preceding questions relate to the use of “Kyrios” to designate Jesus in the NT?
What It Means to “Have Dominion” Over Creation
One reason Christians have been particularly weak in dealing with ecological issues and the deterioration of the natural environment is a misunderstanding of what it means to “have dominion” over creation.
Dominion does not mean destruction, but responsibility. It is important to avoid flawed convictions about the right and power of humankind in relation to the rest of the natural world. Francis Schaeffer elaborates:
A growing number of evangelicals view failures of faithfulness as lapses in liturgical formation—or claim that participating in liturgical worship is key to transforming our character...
I applaud a great deal here, so much so that I consider myself a dedicated member of this broader endeavor. Yet three assumptions made by champions of the evangelical liturgy cause have left me with major concerns—especially as I reflect on the students in my former community. Their formation clearly failed despite the liturgical ethos of their institution. What lessons can evangelicals learn from struggles that persist despite liturgical involvement?
The slain corpse of Michael Brown’s body has decimated the myth that racism is no longer festering in our hearts. In the aftermath of his demise, there have been riots in his hometown and on social media. In the Christian community, the commentary has likewise been combustible, as one side has appealed to the “facts” of the case—Michael Brown had just stolen some cigars, and could very well have been the aggressor—while the other side has spoken out of a deep well of hurt, dug for over four hundred years with the shovel of racism and institutionalized segregation, where the value of a black life was on par with that of a horse. It’s more than understandable when African Americans begin to wonder, what exactly is the value of a black life?
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