28 September 2009

The gift of perspective

I am speaking at chapel this Thursday. This is peace and justice week at SSU and my talk should have this focus. So I've been meditating on justice for the last week or so thinking especially about themes in Deuteronomy. My conclusions though are looking to be almost too typical for me.

Deuteronomy's vision for justice is actually pointing back to creation - the shalom of Eden. This is in part what jubilee and sabbath rest are all about. The step to Jesus programmatic inauguration of jubilee (in Luke), and new creation (in John) is obvious. So I end up where I always seem to: with eschatology (no pun intended). My students will not be surprised.

I can't decide if this is a good thing or not. I do wonder if perhaps I should come to different conclusions about things sometimes. But if these things are really there in the text - and I am confident they are - then someone should talk about it.

Perhaps perspective is actually part of the gift. We each have a different perspective or orientation. We will care about different things. Mine is not the only one, and the point at the moment is not which perspective is the most correct (I have no idea how we would determine that). Though this is not to suggest that we cannot or should not be think carefully about the merits of particular points of view (of ourselves or others).

The point is that I need to see things from other's perspective perhaps my perspective may be helpful for others too. The fact that I am bound to see things and organize what I read in particular ways may actually be part of the gift.

24 September 2009

Ancient Hebrew Cosmology Diagram

I made this diagram for my creation lecture. It is adapted from Nahum Sarna's, Understanding Genesis. The round circle in the middle is the navel of the earth.