But remember always…in the play of happiness, don’t you use all for yourself only, but down yourself just one step, at your side and help the weak ones that cry for help, help the prosecuted and the victim, because that are your better friends.
I suggest, in short, that the return of YHWH to Zion, and the Temple theology which it brings into focus, are the deepest keys and clues to gospel christology. Forget the ‘titles’ of Jesus, at least for a moment; forget the pseudo-orthodox attempts to make Jesus of Nazareth conscious of being the second person of the Trinity; forget the arid reductionism that is the mirror image of that unthinking would-be orthodoxy. Focus, instead, on a young Jewish prophet telling a story about YHWH returning to Zion as judge and redeemer, and then embodying it by riding into the city in tears, symbolizing the Temple’s destruction and celebrating the final exodus. I propose, as a matter of history, that Jesus of Nazareth was conscious of a vocation: a vocation, given him by the one he knew as ‘father’, to enact in himself what, in Israel’s scriptures, God had promised to accomplish all by himself. He would be the pillar of cloud and fire for the people of the new exodus. He would embody in himself the returning and redeeming action of the covenant God.
To the agonized phenomenalist, agreeing in principle [that Jesus was in his own right a thinking, reflecting, creative and original theologian] but worried that we can never know for sure that we are dealing with Jesus and not with the evangelists’ theologies, I recommend a good brisk walk, a Brandenburg Concerto, and NTPG Part II.
Jesus was issuing a public invitation, like someone setting up a new political party and summoning all & sundry to sign up & help create a new world.
Here’s the thing: we already knew that [the Bible is authoritative], in some cases we knew it a millennium before you Americans did, and why do you presume to teach us a proper doctrine of biblical authority and biblical interpretation when you come from the same country as Joel Osteen, Joyce Meyer, Open Theism, and the Left Behind Series? Yours is a country where evangelicals use Scripture to argue against environmentalism, against gun control, against universal healthcare, and to argue for giving tax breaks to rich people—beliefs that are not only parochial, but are weird and whacky to global Christians. So, when it comes to lecturing us in biblical interpretation, part of me wants to say, “Physician, heal thyself!
If we may be freed by self-critical scholarly objectivity no longer to have to assume that the authority of the Bible resides in its saying things that we agree with, we may be free as well to hear more clearly what it really says instead of giving it credit for saying what we already think.
It appears the evil one was the über Arian—he made the mistake of thinking he could chain Jesus to darkness and death, both of which cannot exist in the presence of light and life.
God’s transcendent power is not so much displayed in the vastness of the heavens, or the luster of the stars, or the orderly arrangement of the universe or his perpetual oversight of it, as in his condescension to our weak nature.