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September 2014 Biblical Studies Carnival

Posted now at Cataclysmic.

“We’re So Conservative…”

Michael Bird may not know it, but he’s hit a bit too close to the truth for a lot of us former Southern Baptists:

Instead of thinking of “conservative” evangelicalism as defined objectively by holding to the historical faith of the church defined by the creeds and confessions, I think some bastions of American evangelicalism define “conservatism” comparatively by a relative position to everyone else on the map. So when certain people or groups edge to the right to claim the label, “I’m more conservative than thou,” then every else responds by leap frogging over them in a race to the right. You end up with a denomination or seminary becoming far right just because they don’t want to be the least conservative group on the block. It also means you can end up being called a liberal just by standing still and refusing to follow the rightward drift.

Of course, those who just stood still may then be tempted to do the same leapfrogging dance in a leftward direction, just to prove they’re not like those other blighters. But that’s a topic for a different post.

The Whirlwind Creation Museum

Somebody needs to build this. I would pay to see it.

Welcome to the Whirlwind Creation Museum. Other so-called creation museums place their emphasis on a narrow, literalistic, modernist reading of the early chapters of Genesis. They imagine that these chapters simply “tell it like it is” — this is how God did it. Period. We, however, focus on a more panoramic and comprehensive text about how God created and rules over the universe, our world and its inhabitants: Job, chapters 38-42. This passage reminds us that we weren’t there, and none of us actually has any idea what God has wrought or how it all fits together. Job teaches us that herein lies wisdom.

It is my pleasure to give you an overview of the museum today, so that I might then set you free to explore the vast wonders of creation on your own — wonders that go beyond our human ability to describe and explain.

You see, we think the most basic truth about creation is its ultimate incomprehensibility.

Though we humans have the privilege to use our minds and imaginations to explore and discover and theorize and understand God’s creation, we will never come to the end of it. Its sheer scope and its innumerable mysteries resist our attempts to grasp it all. Its contradictions and conundrums stretch the limits of our logic. Before this great universe, we are very small. We do not think this should discourage us, however. Instead, we devote ourselves to learning, appreciating, contemplating, and proclaiming the splendor of God’s handiwork. In the end we yield our quest for all knowledge to the spirit of trust and worship.

The August 2014 Biblical Studies Carnival

…is now posted for your reading pleasure at Rob Bradshaw’s Biblical Studies Blog.

Something You Can Do for Liberia’s Ebola Crisis

Care for One Hundred is a response to the Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa, especially Liberia. On August 13, 2014, the World Health Organization identified Liberia as the new epicenter of the crisis. That means that Liberia is the nation where the most new cases of Ebola are showing up.

Given the depressed Liberian economy, most Liberians subsist on one meal a day. We have calculated that for less than $0.35 a day we can provide one good meal of rice and beans. Provisions also will include oil and seasoning. For $1,000 USD we can Care for One Hundred for one month.

Nailed It

Scot McKnight:

Inerrancy is a disruptive child in the theological classroom. He or she gets all the attention of teacher and students. A biblical view of inerrancy demotes it under the word true, all as part of God’s choice to communicate efficiently and sufficiently. When the word “true” governs the game it’s a brand new, healthy game. Good teachers know how to handle disruptive children.

I am increasingly gratified not to run in circles where “inerrancy” is a thing. It does me proud to know that, if I put the word on a quiz, at least some of my (church-going, traditional) Mercer students won’t know what it means. Frankly, I’m tired of the fight to define inerrancy—which has little or anything to do with the struggle to follow Christ into all the truth God has revealed to us in Holy Scripture.

If you’re not entirely bored with the subject (yet), you might like reading “Why I Am Not an Inerrantist—Even though I Am (or Vice Versa).”

Pete Enns Is a Genius

He may or may not be an evil genius (I’ve never met him). He is a genius at helping you see things from a different point of view:

In a recent statement from his Creation Museum office, Ken Ham blasted God for “not taking the Bible seriously and undermining its authority.”

“Only someone with liberal leanings would write a Bible like this,” Ham exploded. “Placing next to each other in the Old Testament two blatantly contradictory histories of Israel [1 Samuel-2 Kingsand 1 and 2 Chronicles] is nothing less than an all-out attack on the integrity of God’s inerrant word.”

“Think about it. The transition of power from David to Solmon can’t be filled with political conspiracy and be smooth as silk, yet there we have it, clear as day.” [1 Kings 1-2; 1 Chronicles 23:1]

“We can harmonize some of this, but not all. And that’s a problem. Only a God willing to compromise on God’s word would write something like this.”

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