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Showing posts from August, 2011

Oscar Cullmann on Early Christian Worship

An extended quote from Cullmann's, Early Christian Worship, 1953 (originally Urchristentum und Gottesdienst, 1950):

"Two main features of the purpose of all early Christian gatherings for worship must still be stressed. First, the Lord's Supper is the natural climax towards which the service thus understood moves and without which it is not thinkable, since here Christ unites himself with his community as crucified and risen and makes it in this way one with himself, actually builds it up as his body (1 Cor. 10.l7). Corresponding to this all the other parts of the service have the risen Lord of the Church as their object. For this reason the day of the Lord's resurrection is the Christian festive day...

"The second main Christian feature of the early service is shown to us in the fact that the risen and present Lord of the Church who stands in the centre of the Christian gathering, points at one and the same time backwards to the crucified and risen historical Je…

The ESV Book of Common Prayer for Mobile

At the bottom of the blog, you will find a link to the Book of Common Prayer daily office lectionary from the ESV's website (multiple other reading plans are available). I often read the daily readings on my iPod touch since I can access it wherever there is wifi. The ESV also has made available an audio version of each reading. Today, when I logged in I noticed that they have changed the mobile format. One of the great changes that was made is the ability to listen to all of the readings one after the other. Previously, it was necessary to click each reading separately (1-3 Psalms, OT, NT, & Gospel) in order to listen to them. This morning I listened to all of the readings in 11+ minutes with only one click. Great addition. Thanks, ESV.

The Hermeneutical Role of Biblical Theology

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Here are some comments by Graeme Goldsworthy in his book Gospel-Centered Hermeneutics: Foundations and Principles of Evangelical Biblical Interpretation. The comments come from his chapter "The Gospel and the Theological Dimension (II): Biblical and Systematic Theology."

"The biblical theological dimension in hermeneutics is thus the major way of addressing the question of the gap between the text and the reader. It allows the reader to find where he or she actually fits into the totality of biblical revelation. If done with care, it will then provide the valid links between the meaning of a text in its own context and its application to the modern reader. The offending gap is the theological distance of texts from the modern reader. But, if the gap is uniformly closed by the reader to give an undifferentiated immediacy to all texts, the result is hermeneutical chaos. Some forms of pietism and 'Spirit-driven' subjective theology result in such an approach, which …

Quintilian and the Liberal Arts

Dorothy Sayers essay "The Lost Tools of Learning" (see the link under "Liberal Arts Resources" on the right), gives a thoughtful critique of the academic learning of her day. She echoes some thoughts found in Quintilian's preface to his Institutio Oratoria. In explaining why he is finally writing his view of oratory, Quintilian (b. c. 35 CE; d. before 100) says that he had declined his friends' requests to write because he "was well aware that some of the most distinguished Greek and Roman writers had bequeathed to posterity a number of works dealing with the subject" (1.1). However, Quintilian says that he came to the conclusion that these other authors expected their readers to know all other branches of learning before reading their work.

Quintilian disagrees with this approach and claims that the early stages of education, while not being as flashy, are invaluable. He states:

"For almost all others who have written on the art of oratory…

The Imitation of Christ

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The Imitation of Christ by Thomas 'a Kempis is a Christian classic. In the preface to "The Christian Classics" series published in 1940 (reprinted as the Preface of the 2005 Ignatius Press edition), R.A. Knox noted that few books in the history of the world are known by one name as is the Imitation. Knox also states: "The whole work was meant to be, surely, what it is--a sustained irritant which will preserve us, if it is read faithfully, from sinking back into relaxation: from self-conceit, self-pity, self-love."

I have begun rereading the Imitation in this beautiful edition, and I didn't get very far before I needed to pause.

Here is one brief quote of 'a Kempis from 1.1.5: "There is one proverb of which we cannot remind ourselves too often, Eye looks on unsatisfied; ear listens, ill content. Make up your mind to detach your thoughts from the love of things seen, and let them find their centre in things invisible."

Theology, University, Humanities

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I recently saw this book listed in the Wipf & Stock new releases email. The book is a series of essays on the relationship of theology and the humanities in the university. The editors of the volume, Christopher Craig Brittain and Francesca Murphy both have ties to the University of Aberdeen. Brittain currently is a lecturer in theology there, while Murphy has only recently left her post as Reader in Theology at Aberdeen to take the post at Notre Dame. (The subtitle Initium Sapientiae Timor Domini 'Fear of the Lord is the beginning of Wisdom' is the moto of the University of Aberdeen). These essays with their Aberdeen connection and also the topic of the place of theology in the humanities and the university are of interest to me. I hope to soon read this volume.

The description of the the book is as follows:
"This book discusses the relationship between theology and the humanities and their shared significance within contemporary universities. Taking up this comple…