N.T. Wright is often credited as being a diligent exegete of Scripture. Even Wright defends himself to the same end. In this section I address Wright’s views concerning the subjects of exegesis and church history. In particular, I address his implicit accusation against me, whereby he infers that I merely parrot the theology of 16th century reformers in my book; this he does while defending himself as being a vigilant exegete. However, his observations do not square well with the fact that my own work is heavy in exegesis, but extremely light in supporting citations from theologians from church history. This negligible use of early Reformers was intentional, and was designed to avoid the very criticism that Wright rendered anyway. For more information on the publication and release of Indeed, Has Paul Really Said? go here.
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
In part 2 of the Appendix I address Mr. Wright’s expressed concern over my focus on his book What Saint Paul Really Said. In conjunction with this, he noted other works that he has written since then (two of the three I have perused and incorporated into this appendix).
In this section I address the question of continuity between Wright’s earlier and later writings, noting that Wright himself still stands by what he wrote in What Saint Paul Really Said. No matter what, those who choose to release their writings for public consumption have a responsibility to affirm or deny those writings should their views, over time, remain the same or change, respectively. For more information on the publication and release of Indeed, Has Paul Really Said? go here.
Saturday, May 01, 2010
One of the reasons why ancient Israel became engulfed in the judgment of God is because it established a debauched confederacy with wicked nations. In an attempt to secure better national security, Israel locked arms with Egypt and Assyria, the results of which were catastrophic:
Hosea 7:8: 8 Ephraim mixes himself with the nations; Ephraim has become a cake not turned.
Like a “cake not turned,” Israel (Ephraim) became like an inedible pastry – burnt on one side, uncooked on the other. By “mixing” themselves with lesser nations, Israel polluted her high standing as the chosen nation of God. When nations (or churches, by extension) establish compromising relationships such as this, they thereby shackle themselves to the degrading influences of others. In a sense, the lowest common denominator within any syncretisitc assembly becomes the new norm, thus eliminating any hope for excellence as a sovereign entity. When applying Hosea 7:8 to the modern era, we can say:
The science is settled - The United Nations is Useless.
Well, useless if you are a nation seeking justice and the liberty of individuals throughout the world. However, if you are a rogue dictatorship seeking to downgrade the power and democracy of other nations, then the United Nations is just right for you. Case in point:
[Fox News, 4/30/10] Without fanfare, the United Nations this week elected Iran to its Commission on the Status of Women, handing a four-year seat on the influential human rights body to a theocratic state in which stoning is enshrined in law and lashings are required for women judged "immodest.
Buried 2,000 words deep in a U.N. press release distributed Wednesday on the filling of "vacancies in subsidiary bodies," was the stark announcement: Iran, along with representatives from 10 other nations, was "elected by acclamation," meaning that no open vote was requested or required by any member states — including the United States.
The idea of having Iran sitting on the Commission on the Status of Women would approximate the wisdom of placing a pedophile in charge of a daycare. One doesn’t have to look very hard to see the inequity of such a choice, especially when one considers the degrading standards that must be endured by women who live under the Iranian regime:
- Rape Victims – Rape victims must have 4 eyewitnesses to prove that they were in fact raped. This impossible standard is rarely fulfilled, and thus rape victims are often falsely accused of voluntary adultery. [Note: Surah 2:282 – declares that a woman’s testimony is worth ½ of a man’s, thus her own testimony is automatically degraded without question.]
- Prostitution by Temporary Marriage – As a way of legitimizing prostitution, Iranian men are allowed to marry and divorce women for whatever duration they need for their sexual satisfaction. Prostitution is itself horrific – this religious version of it is actually worse.
- Polygamy – Is justified in the Q’ran in view of the limited value of women who are seen as chattel (Surah 4:3).
- Divorce - Standards for Divorce are very permissive with respect to the man. A woman cannot divorce her husband, but if the husband wants to divorce his wife, all that he must do is declare – “I divorce you, I divorce you, I divorce you.” By this threefold repetition of his, the marriage is considered legitimately dissolved.
- Wife Beating - Wife Beating is instructed in Surah 4:34 – This is considered justified since “…they [women] spend out of their property [i.e., women spend the man’s money].” As twisted as it all is, men are given the right to treat their wives like property such that they can be beaten like an animal.
By extension, let me say that because of these Q’ranic standards, no Islamic nation should be within a million miles of a commission on the fair treatment of Women – or any other commission dealing with human rights in any form.
We can only wonder how this newly formed commission would react to a woman being brutally slain, in public view, for her peaceful participation in a demonstration - as in the case of Neda Soltan. Shortly after her death, Iranian authorities tried to coerce Neda’s surviving family into confessing that she was actually killed by her fellow protestors, but this charge was later disproved by video revealing the capture of Neda’s murderer: an Iranian militiaman riding a motorcycle. After her death, she was denied a proper funeral by government officials and, sadly, when the family sought time to grieve and remember Neda, supporters of the Iranian regime desecrated her grave. While this is a more recent account of Iran’s abuse against its citizens, there are countless other stories of murder and abuse committed against Iranian women as well.
Once again - to the extent that our nation “mixes” itself with dictatorships like Iran, via the U.N., we too become impotent, directionless - even worthless like a cake not turned.