Extracurricular Activities–August 10, 2013
Ever Wondered What A Day-in-the-Life Of A Biblical Scholar Looks Like? Ben Witherington Shares His Own
On numerous occasions I’ve been asked to describe a normal day in my life. Usually the question arises due to people wondering how I get so much writing done. Some of the answer to that question comes from the graciousness of my institution not to overload me with committee work and extraneous tasks that do not play to my strengths— teaching, preaching, writing, and mentoring doctoral students (or masters level students). There is also the fact that I do not teach at a seminary which has a zillion extension campuses. I only teach in Wilmore or online. Those logistics create more time for research and writing. But here is a summary of an average day.
(Editor's PS—His thoughts on sin ruining routine is worth the price of the read!)
That someone like RJS, a fellow blogger here at Jesus Creed, can discuss Bible and science on most Tuesdays and Thursdays, which often enough returns to Genesis 1–2, routinely and still generate conversation after conversation of interest reveals the significance of this topic among many Christians, especially evangelicals. As indicated, the conversation ends up discussion Genesis 1–2, the creation of Adam and Eve, the historical Adam and Eve, and how theology flows out of a historical Adam/Eve or if it can flow from a less than historical Adam/Eve.
Why do all discussions of science and faith come back to Adam (and Eve)? Do you think those who say there “must” be a historical Adam and Eve are putting themselves into losing posture? Do you think those who say Adam and Eve “couldn’t have been” the original humans deny the essence of the Christian message?
As you may have heard, the PCUSA asked them to change the line about Jesus bearing the Father’s wrath. The line that bothers me just a little is the one that says, “Till he returns, or calls us home.” I think that can be sung correctly, though I suspect that many think that means their everlasting home is somewhere else than planet Earth. I believe we must do all we can to fight the scourge of residual Platonism in our churches, so my altered hymnal would read, “Till he returns, and restores our home.” But even without the fix I’ll still joyfully sing the song, and hum that line.
The PCUSA new hymnal committee (not their official name) asked the Gettys to change the line, “Till on that cross, as Jesus died, the wrath of God was satisfied,” to “Till on the that cross, as Jesus died, the love of God was magnified.” Some online commenters have wondered what the Gettys have against the love of God. Isn’t that a beautiful replacement?
You might not expect an Emmy-nominated tastemaker to tell The New York Times, "I want to believe there's a heaven. But I can't not believe there's a hell." Yet that's exactly how Vince Gilligan, the creator of Breaking Bad, summed up his personal philosophy in 2011. The quote should not surprise anyone familiar with the show, which makes its final, infernal push Sunday night...Our current "golden age of television" tends to depict conventional morality as quaint but outdated (Mad Men), if it is not simply irrelevant and forgotten (Girls, Game of Thrones). Gilligan's belief in fixed consequences—existential, moral, spiritual—is what distinguishes his show. As Michelle Kuo and Albert Wu noted in the Los Angeles Review of Books, "In the world of Breaking Bad, reality cannot be constructed by man. Rather, metaphysical truth exists—good and evil, moral and immoral, action and consequence. … This is the stuff of the Old Testament."
As part of the “Press Publish” series on academic blogging, I am conducting short interviews with prominent academic bloggers in biblical studies from around the world....Today we hear from Dr. Michael Bird, Lecturer in Theology at Ridley Melbourne College of Mission and Ministry. He is the author of several books includingJesus and the Origins of the Gentile Mission (2006), The Saving Righteousness of God (2007), A Bird’s-Eye View of Paul (2008), Colossians and Philemon (2009),Crossing Over Sea and Land: Jewish Missionary Activity in the Second Temple Period (2009), and Are You the One Who is to Come? The Historical Jesus and the Messianic Question (2009). He co-blogs with Dr. Joel Willitts at Euangelion.
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.
If you have any comments on these stories, we welcome you to share them here. We hope you enjoy!
–The Editors of Koinonia Blog
Sign up complete.