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First Sunday in Advent November 25, 2007

Posted by Andy in lectionary, theology.
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Here come the Advent Sunday readings, taken from Nestle-Aland and the Anglicised NRSV respectively.

A lot of this seems to be about living in this dark age, and longing for home. Paul is living on the border of his country, expecting arrival any minute. Nothing here seems worth anything so do not give in to desires: “earth has nothing I desire besides you” (Psalm 73). So we put on the Christ who is present and soldier on until day time. Isaiah is celebrating the return to a Jerusalem transfigured by God’s word, and the psalmist joins him in longing for the true homeland. For once, it is Christ that paints the bleakest picture. No homeland or daybreak here, just a thief in the night, a disturbing presence that will wake you and rob you of all you thought was worth something.

Right, that’s made the waters murky enough for now. Let’s hope for some clarity later on in the week!

2nd Sunday before Advent November 13, 2007

Posted by Andy in lectionary, theology.
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Here come the readings for the 2nd Sunday before Advent.

There are a lot of things to be said about this text, and I hope to be able to say a number of them this week. My first thoughts are that the difference between this and the tenor of Amos – look at the shocking things of the world and examine your own heart – is striking. Whilst it looks like Jesus may be correcting Amos, I think we could see that they are complementary. Amos warns us against complacency (as does the Thessalonians text, in its way) and religious self-centredness; Jesus tells us not to fear.

Both tell us not to fear. It is only someone completely free from fear that can repent of their sins. The alternative to a forgiving God is too awful to contemplate.

Other than that, I notice there is lots about the name of God in here. Something to think more about later maybe. I might even manage a translation of some of this Greek. The Luke text is surprisingly easy, but I was struggling with bits of the Thessalonians bit.

e-sermon: 3rd Sunday before Advent November 11, 2007

Posted by Andy in lectionary, theology.
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It is perhaps fitting that the first e-sermon of my “ad absurdum” blog is on a textbook example of the philosophical move reductio ad absurdum – where someone attempts to convince another that their belief is ridiculous by bringing out all its contradictions and exoticisms. This is precisely the move of the sadducees in today’s gospel. (more…)

3rd Sunday before Advent November 4, 2007

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Here come this week’s readings:

3rd Sunday before Advent

It’s a quarrel this week from 2nd temple Judaism. Looking at my own confusion, it looks like we haven’t come that far since then. I’ll try to make some sense of it this week. Anyone wants to make a start, the comments box is open!

Birthday November 1, 2007

Posted by Andy in Augustine, theology.
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Today is my birthday. I am celebrating by reading book 11 of Augustine’s City of God, and going to a reading group to read out Greek texts (Theophilus of Antioch and perhaps the Shepherd of Hermas) loud and discuss them with reference to the Trinitarian roots of Sofia and Logos, as found in the Old Testament and discussed in the Arian controversy.

I’m such a nerd…