1. Mason Slater on his blog is featuring a YouTube clip in which Peter Enns is interviewing N.T. Wright on the question of whether the Bible should be interpreted literally. What stood out to me in Wright’s response was his characterization of Genesis 1 as a story about the earth being a temple for God. In the ancient Near East, a temple would be built over a period of time, and that culminated in the image of the deity being brought into the temple. In Genesis 1, the cosmos is being fashioned over a period of time, and that culminates in the image of God—-man and woman—-inhabiting it.
I’ve heard the argument that Genesis 1 is related to the concept of temple, but I did not really understand it until I watched that clip of N.T. Wright. But I wonder if that argument is relevant to the question of whether or not we should interpret Genesis 1 literally. Is Wright saying that Genesis 1 is not a literal, historical account of creation but a metaphor, as the cosmos is being compared to the temple? Is his point that we should go with the meaning of the story—-that God made the cosmos to be a temple for himself and his image—-rather than assuming that the story itself is what really happened? Does he believe that P did not regard his creation account as what really happened, but was simply telling a story to convey a theological point? If so, my question is this: Couldn’t P have thought that he was writing what actually happened and that the cosmos was a temple for God and God’s image?
2. In a comment under her post, Silence is not the answer, Sarah Moon links to an article by Peggy McIntosh that defines and illustrates white privilege. Reading that article reminded me of a couple of things.
First of all, when I was a student at Harvard Divinity School, I had to attend discussion sessions on the issue of white privilege. The facilitator concluded one session by saying that, if we don’t ordinarily think about our race or gender or sexual orientation, then we are most likely a part of the privileged class. I admit that, ordinarily, I don’t think about my race. I don’t have to be worried about being stopped by a cop because of the color of my skin, or being looked at suspiciously when I go into a public place. But people who look different are regularly reminded that they look different, and that they are a minority.
Second, I thought about David Nilsen’s last three posts about his daughter from Guatemala, and how people who ask about her or talk to her highlight how she is different, whereas David wants for her not to have to feel out-of-place (see here, here, and here).
3. My church is starting a new Bible study tonight. For six weeks, we will be going through Margaret Feinberg’s Scouting the Divine: My Search for God in Wine, Wool, and Wild Honey. I’ll blog through this study, the same way that I blogged through my church’s study of Tim Keller’s Prodigal God. To be honest, I’m having a difficult time getting into Feinberg’s book and the workbook that goes with it, both of which are packed with detail. (The workbook is practically a book in itself!) But I won’t be surprised if this study turns out to be a blessing, and blogging through it will hopefully help me to internalize some things that I learn, as did my blogging through Tim Keller’s Prodigal God.