22 June 2009

Deuteronomy and Sabbath

Deuteronomic polity insists that there is one way to break the seemingly irreversible cycle of debt, poverty, and enslavement, and to forge a new beginning, free of old sin and failures. The sabbatical principle builds into the relentless movement of human life occasions to stop and recover. On the sabbath occasions of life, whether seventh day, the seventh month, the seventh year, or the fiftieth year the word of God announces "Stop and Recover!"
Stop and recover freedom for slaves
Stop and recover fertility for the land
Stop and recover food for the poor
Stop and recover property to its original owner....
In sum sabbath occasions envisions the regular restoration of the world and its manifold relationship to their created order and character. At its core, the holy rhythm that inseparably joins Israel' life and liturgy also summons the community of faith to reclaim and restore God's cosmic purposes through its ministry in the world.

from: Balentine "The Torah's Vision of Worship"

Kingdom evangelization

Jesus' kingdom evangelization, in its present dimension as the in-breaking action of God through human lives and societies, takes the shape of prophetic denunciation of personal and public sin; of confrontation of powers and institutions; of unmasking ideologies and traditions; of challenge to unbelief, prejudice, and hostility; and of challenge also to triumphalistic belief. Finally, it takes the form of repentance, conversion, and radical discipleship.

This was Jesus' confrontational evangelization. It calls for a verdict. It demands an options. "Repent ... and believe ... the kingdom if comming."

Arias, Mortimer. "Announcing the Reign of God." p 53.

Fertility and Justice

Reading Brueggemann's "The Land: Place as Gift, Promise, and Challenge in Biblical Faith."

Lots of interesting - but often overdone - ideas; typical Brueggemann.

In his final chapter his premise is that there is a link between economics and sexuality; between the way we treat women and the way we treat the land. I'm not yet sure what I make of it.

He does make one very interesting observation: both promiscuity and domination both reduce women to a comodity; they both dehumanize and objectify.