And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brothers outside. Then Shem and Japheth took a garment, laid it upon both their shoulders, and walked backward and covered the nakedness of their father; their faces were turned away, and they did not see their father’s nakedness. When Noah Continue reading The Curse of Ham: An Admonitory Case-Study in Misreading Scripture
A generation goes, and a generation comes, but the earth remains forever. Eccl 1:4 RSV
Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable… Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals. Martin Luther King, Jr.
I was born in February of 1957, when the union still had only forty-eight states, three years after the US Supreme Court handed down the historic Brown v. Board of Education (347 U.S. 483), and just a few months before the first nine black students enrolled in Little Rock Arkansas schools implementing the ruling. Local sit-in campaigns began at a Woolworth Continue reading Tireless Exertions
The concept of “Christian values” is playing a prominent role in the public arena today, but my Facebook® feed lately suggests very little agreement among those who call themselves Christian concerning the identification of these values or the definition of them individually. No one should wonder that people outside the church view it with suspicion Continue reading Hermeneutics, Consistency, and “Christian Values”
Saying, “Peace, peace,” when there is no peace – Jer 8:11
Jesus began the Sermon on the Mount with nine “Beatitudes” that readers often unfortunately reduce to platitudes. The seventh, “Blessed are the peacemakers,” for example, can sound like a call to passivity and placidity: “Blessed are those who accept life with serenity, remaining calm, preserving calm, spreading calm.” Both the context and Continue reading “Blessed are the peacemakers” – Matt 5:9
Eph 4:26 (Ps 4:5 )
My parents had a mixed marriage of sorts. My mother had Quaker and strict Methodist heritage; my father was (still is, he would say) a United States Marine. Mother taught me that I should avoid conflict, bear insult and injury with quiet grace, and, above all else, maintain control of my temper. In her view, anger was always and only as dangerous and Continue reading “Be Angry and Sin Not”
And God said to Noah, “The end of all flesh is coming before me because the earth is full of violence (hamas) because of them. Now I am about to destroy them along with the earth. (Gen 6:13, my trans.)
The Priestly authors of portions of the Genesis narratives of the beginnings of the human race did not clearly elucidate their understanding of humanity’s responsibility for “subduing” the earth, but they did include statements that rule out any notion that this responsibility could include exploitation. In the Genesis 1 creation account, for example, Continue reading Hamas!
“Who will give us meat to eat? We remember the fish that we ate in Egypt for free, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic…Now we languish; there is nothing in sight except manna.” (Num 11:4b-6)
Beginning in Exodus 19 and continuing through all of Leviticus and on to Numbers 10 (all or significant parts of three of the five books of the Torah), the Bible records the Continue reading Crossword Two Down – A Seven Letter Word for “Nostalgia”
The story of the early church as told in the book of Acts testifies to the tenacity of tribalism as a major force in human society. A prominent strand of biblical tradition traceable to the call of Abraham and his descendants to serve as the means for God to bring blessing to all the families of the earth (Gen 12:1-3), through the prophetic call for Israel to shine as light Continue reading “Unto the ends of the earth”
In the previous entry in this blog, I argued that the most profitable approach to reading prophetic literature involves a variety of “pattern recognition.” Yesterday, the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday, I took the opportunity to re-read Dr. King’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail,” his famed “I Have a Dream” speech, and the concluding chapter of his