Rabbi Lawrence Hoffman offers a very helpful reflection on Leviticus and its place in contemporary Judaism:
Moses’ opening instruction provides a broader picture: “When you offer a sacrifice from yourselves to God….” The peculiar placement of mikem (“from yourselves”) implies more than the rote offering of animals. Sacrifice can be anything, as long as you really own it, says Ibn Ezra; better still, it must be something “from within yourself.”
The point is this: we study the sacrifices not because we expect to offer up animals again, but because sacrifice is only tangentially about animals in the first place. On a deeper level, it is about the human passion to give up even what we hold dearest, if our doing so will further life’s larger purposes. It is about self-sacrifice or it is about nothing.
…is now posted at Jennifer Guo’s blog, Two Ways to Live. Go see! Go see!
Patrick Mitchell lays out a case for why we need a “weird” Christianity to protect it from any form of cultural captivity.
It’s no coincidence that both Barth and Schweitzer spent much time considering Jesus. The Jesus of the Gospels just isn’t dull, predictable, undemanding, easily accommodated into our lives and having little to say about the broken world in which we live.
Once we lose touch with the weirdness of Christian faith, it is inevitable that we end up with a form of Christianity that is virtually indistinguishable from the wider culture.
So what are some signs that we have lost touch with the strange Otherness of Christianity?
Here are some suggestions in no particular order – feel welcome to add your own:
Perhaps something for my Sunday school class to ponder as we continue to study the Sermon on the Mount. Definitely something I hope my CHR 150 students wrestle with throughout the semester.
First-time Carnival host Vincent Artale has posted the latest collection of biblical-scholarly goodness for your reading pleasure. Well done, sir!
Here’s a brief summary not so much of the substance of the disagreements between these two great religious scholars, but how those disagreements were depicted in the Mishnah. The point of the video is to find some wisdom about how people can disagree today without becoming disagreeable.
Courtesy of Patton Dodd.
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is known for making aggressive New Year’s Resolutions, and apparently keeping them. For 2015, he plans to become a bookworm, reading a book every other week. His plan may include the Bible:
My challenge for 2015 is to read a new book every other week — with an emphasis on learning about different cultures, beliefs, histories and technologies. . . . Rachel Brown, Bill Munns, Marlo Kanipe and others suggested I read the Bible.
Maybe the Bible won’t make the cut — it’s pretty tough to read it in two weeks even when you aren’t running one of the nation’s largest companies — but it definitely fits the bill for “learning about different cultures, beliefs, histories. . . .” So as as thanks (/punishment) for founding Facebook, I’d like to offer him — and any other new Bible readers out there — some Bible-reading tips.