From Wineskins to Jubilee to Narrative Theology
- Narrative Theology: Rubel Shelly and John York see The Exodus people as our SPIRITUAL FATHERS. They have reincarnated the "because of transgression, Israelite Fall From Grace" into a pattern for Christian worship and community. Narrative Theology says that the "Bible" has no meaning except as filtered through your personal lens of culture and history. This leaves you free to construct your own story of the Exodus.
It might be helpful to look at some of the "hot links" about Narrative Theology and briefly review some of the published resources feeding the new hermeneutic.
While all actual events have a parable or maskil power which can be understood by "seeking" God through His Word, the actual Exodus was an example of a terminal sin when God "turned Israel over to worship the starry host." Amos in 5 and 6 show how the musical worship Israel "prayed for" in the wilderness was granted to them in Israel. The kings of the Monarchy was also God "turning them over" further to allow the kings to lead them into captivity and destrution.
We will look at some books which seem to be the source of a new way of reading Exodus which gives this "lost beyond redemption" pattern a second incarnation as a "pattern for Christian worship and community." We believe that this is taking the "parable content" too far.Any misquotes or miss attributions or misunderstandings is unintended. If you have problems drop us a note and we will correct the paper. Our goal is to try to "break apart" or "parse" modern published sermons to see how Post-Modernism makes the Bible into a magical book which can be re-inspired in our own image. Unfortunately, it presents a God wo is less rational than modern theologians.
INTRODUCTION to: The full sermon is located at this Woodmont Hills link: Paul's Retrospective on Exodus (1 Cor. 10:1-13)
We should never lose sight of the fact that after we have trimmed to Bible to fit us, it is still going to be there like it has always been saying what the original writers meant for that time and place. Therefore, a better approach might be to determine what the Exodus meant to the Israelites and the entire lost history of their nation.
Only then are we able to see what it means to us. If an example of a people being abandoned to the musical worship of Molech, Chiun, Saturn or other labels for Satan can be reconstructed into a pattern for the same worship offered acceptably to Yahweh we have fractured the parable and made the Bible into utter nonsense.
For now, we need to look at several ways of understanding the Bible. John Locke noted that Catholics who have "authority" to modify Biblical teaching, and Protestants who use the Bible for faith and practice are actually TWO DIFFERENT RELIGIONS.
Therefore, there are "communities" and there are "churches" and there are simple Christian "assemblies" which need no ritual. And there are "gods many and lords many" and Christ's many and it is simply not possible to keep up with and fellowship groups who serve views of God and the Bible contradictory to the "letter." Therefore, our goal is to lay out some facts so that you can determine whether you want to move from "assembly" to an all-encompassing "community" system modeled after the Wilderness Wandering and being turned over to worship Molech.
In writing His gospel account, John was not bound to repeat the story in all of its detail: as a divinely commissioned person in his own right, he translated those prophecies and known facts about God's promise into the Jesus Christ He had known. If we take the same "liberties" we will come up with another "prophecy" and therefore another "Jesus." John was an eyewitness and inspired: we are not.
The historical events of Israel revealed by inspiration has narrative value, in the first instance, to the inspired writers. Once, often-parabolic events had already been explained as fulfilled in Christ and the church, that authority to do our own "walk around" ceased or inspiration means nothing.
Therefore, as an inspired person John had rights to use the past to explain the present and future that we do not have--unless we are inspired.
We have the right to "get into" the story to experience what others have experienced, but once WE begin to retranslate or radically modify the original story to fit OUR experience then we are more important that the inspired writer.
Jesus identified the "from the foundation of the world" story as a "parable" even as Job does. However, "parable" doesn't mean that creation didn't happen and therefore we have a right to make a cottage industry out of the meaning of 'days'. God has always "narrated" the creation story and applied its principles to the flood, the Red Sea and the "recreation" of Israel in Jeremiah 4. Therefore, once God has explained the "spiritual" meaning of physical creation we have no authority to "explain God's explanation" to mean something beyond.
Parable to Job meant a highly-enriched form of speech: the fact happened but the meaning is within the text and should be left there. We, then, need to look at the text for meaning and not into our mirror. If we "rewrite" the story we are like one who gets into the 'egg cell' and cuts and splices the DNA of a human genome." The "creature" which is born will not look like the Father.
"Liberal literary criticism allows each community the right to re-write Scripture. The canon (not necessarily of biblical texts, but at least in the meanings of those texts) is not closed. [We believe that this is the meaning of being Post-Modern or Post-Denominational]
"It is difficult to know whether Fish intended this as a by-product, but the idea of authority resting in the interpretive community gave rise to narrative theology -- a theology which simply affirms a given community's right to come up with its own interpretation, or to "write" its own new biblical text. Narrative theology gave rise to various narrative communities-- hence, the arrival of liberation and feminist theologies.
"Narrative theology does not recognize any absolute truth or meaning in a text. Because Buber is the founder, most narrative theology, especially in Jewish circles, is related to Auschwitz."
"And, what is the purpose of reading texts, for narrative theologians? Why, of course, to affirm the self. Hazards in the Mainline.
Liberation Theology: A movement that attempts to unite theology with social and religious concerns about oppression. It finds expressions among blacks, feminists, Asians, Hispanics, and Native Americans, but it is most closely identified with the shift toward Marxism among Roman Catholic theologians and priests in Latin America.
Most traditional doctrines of Christianity are de-emphasized or reinterpreted. Jesus and the Bible are defined and interpreted in light of a class struggle,
with the gospel seen as a radical call to activism (or even revolution) promoting political and social answers usually in the form of classic Communism.
This is why to use the Biblical text (as it has been delivered) to establish faith and practice is the only way to arrive at the same bible, same God, same Christ and therefore same church.
This is why it is important to understand that people come at the Bible from different directions. For instance, if Dr. Shelly sees the facts of the Exodus story to make the Exodus a pattern for worship and community we can say that this is not our view. Therefore, we are looking at two different bibles and the quest for unity is meaningless and furthermore should not be sought after.
Speaking of Justifying the Mennonite tradition based on Narrative Theology:
"First, by posing the realm of God against the kingdoms of the world through the Christus Victor atonement motif, Weaver establishes a hermeneutical grid for reading the scriptures in general and the gospels in particular
which turns the Bible into a critique of common sense and constitutes its readers as agents of social and political struggle against the status quo. (That means "Change Agents" and that means "Jubilee")
"Rather than foster cooperation with the institutions of civil governance (as does popular Christianity) such an interpretation of the Bible empowers radical Christians to challenge the state by encouraging them to think of themselves less as citizens and subjects of the present world of nations and more as strangers and pilgrims from the future world of God.
"...This story comes to those of us whom it constitutes through layers of cultural and historical sediment, and that our reading of the story originates in our contemporary circumstances and formative traditions. Thus the "normative" story's origins are less in the past than in the present, and must be justified in terms of the present. Source
If Scripture cannot be read without the layers of cultural and historical sediment, then my story is as good as your story. Therefore, there is no right or wrong story! We are then free to go our own way and should not attempt to wreck those who hold to "yesterday's" views of the Bible.
However, in the terms of one speaker, this means that "God cannot communicate in human languages." The clear implication is: "But I can." Or, "you can." But, "for a price; always for a price."
If Scripture sees the Exodus as the conditionally-terminal fall from Grace among the Jews, and I can turn it into an approved example for community and worship then our layers of culture forces us to contradict the word "as it is written" prior to Narrative Theology. Doesn't this make the Bible God now move in different ways so that even the black words on white paper suddenly transmute into different words?
This is why trying to explain God and worship by using the Scriptures is increasingly held to be "legalistic" or even proof of being neurotic, psychotic or "demon possessed." The terms "Pharisee, Legalistic, Sectarian" is just now popular in my e-mail.
Is Christ as the Rock and Water in the Exodus event just Jewish Legend? John York and Rubel Shelly claim to have "taken liberties" with the Exodus event and teach their "flock" to use this practice. I might come up with a different story for me. I might choose to believe that the Spirit of Christ is the same Spirit seen as Water, Manna or Water.
York and Shelly will say that John wrote a much more liberated gospel than Luke and the implication is that John was free to interpret in His own way. We believe that John would not agree:
Rubel Shelly: As I read John, he is far less concerned with Luke's "orderly account" (1:3) or Matthew's prophecy-fulfillment motif (1:22, et al.) than simply to reflect on the spiritual impact of God's presence in human form on Planet Earth.
Aren't Paul's epistles correctives after the church had misunderstood Christian doctrine? Then wouldn't you say that issuing an end of the period corrective is based on an eyewitness account rather than interpreting the historical events as understood in John's old age? Does John take liberties or does he give us additional material presented by the "inbreathing" of the Spirit of Christ (1 Peter 1:11)?
If John delivered his account by taking liberties then how would the Holy Spirit have written the Gospel Account of John? How do we know that Jesus wasn't just constructing His story of the Dying and resurrecting Dionysus (the Jews thought that He might be) or taking on the Role of the Suffering Servant?
If we can take liberties with Exodus to see the "loss of covenant" motif and turn it into a pattern of worship and community and make Moses our spiritual father then we look forward to the Narrative Theology treatment of John who presented the "gospel" motif for believers as the spiritual antitype of the failure type of Mount Sinai. John presents the "rejecting" reality as the Israelites used this failed theology to claim that the golden calf was their god who brought them out of Israel. Of course, new wine from new wineskins and the musical idolatry brought from Egypt may have been their "inspiration" when saying to God: "We don't want to hear your voice."
The proof-text of Matthew's hermeneutic is 1:22, etal:
Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Matthew 1:22
Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. Matthew 1:23
Did Matthew report on the fulfillment of prophecy or did he pull a theological dodge of just elaborating the prophecies (motif) for some personal goal? Did this common man really believe that he was taking liberties to construct a "prophecy-fulfillment motif."
Did Matthew elaborate the prophecies to connect the events with what was prophesied, or did the Spirit of Christ prophesy so that the real event would be a supernatural sign? Narrative theology would say that the story was "enmeshed in history" (Shelly/Harris) or hopelessly bogged down "in sediment." Therefore, did Matthew "take the liberties" to make the Virgin Birth become a suitable narrative for the Jewish population? Wouldn't that fit nicely with the pagan "gods" circulating in Jerusalem?
You can hear the inspired transaction but you, dear friend, cannot walk around in the supernatural world of God.
Rubel Shelly: He (John) takes the sort of liberty you and I have encouraged this church to take with the slavery, redemption, wilderness trek, and other aspects of Exodus.
Does John really take liberties and preach Narrative Theology or does John begin long before Matthew and Luke to reveal what He believed to be the actual--Non-Jewish Legend--facts that the Spirit of Christ or the Word was and is God:
IN the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. John 1:1
The same was in the beginning with God. John 1:2
All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. John 1:3
In him was life; and the life was the light of men. John 1:4
And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. John 1:5
Then was Jesus hallucinating when He said that the "flesh" counted for nothing but that His "Word was Spirit and Life" (John 6:63). If as God-Incarnate He cannot make a "once for all statement of fact" then how can we put our faith in Him?
Is John taking liberties by using the Greek Logos theology of Hermes (hermeneutics) the inventor of musical instruments and father of thieves liars? Does he just force-fit Jesus into the spiritual Messiah to explain why Jesus wasn't the literal David Messiah of literal warfare. And is it ok to lie "that ye might believe?"
Jesus made His believability hinge on His speaking exactly what He heard from the Father; Jesus commanded the Apostles to do that; Paul claimed that He knew only Christ as revealed to Him; Paul commanded the church to speak the same things. That does not mean "unity in diversity" but it means that if we speak the Word as if we believe that it is the Mind or Spirit of God then we won't get into the nonesense of doing book reports about an uninformed Jew's version of the Exodus event. Jews often tell me that I cannot even understand the NT without Jewish blood!
The Post-Biblical Jews clearly understood that this was a motif of madness and blindness until Messiah would come (didn't think it was Jesus). Then, they understood the failure at Mount Sinai and the nature of the Law and their kings.
I have surveyed a few books which fuels Narrative Theology
If we leave the inspired Prophets to define the Exodus event we will see it as much like the "empty and void" condition when God began to create order, the Flood as destructive but purifying, the Red Sea as survivors from the void and empty state, and Israel's recreation from a vain and empty state (Jer. 4). We will see a half dozen tellings by the prophets to prove that Israel's "fall" was based on musical idolatry.
"As a methodology, Midrash tends to minimize the authority of the wording of the text. It places the focus on the reader, and on the personal struggle of the reader to reach an acceptable moral application of the text. While it is always governed to some degree by the wording of the text, it allows the reader to project his or her inner struggle into the text. This allows for some very powerful and moving interpretations which, to the ordinary user of language, can seem to have very little connection with the text. The great weakness of this method is that it always threatens to replace the text with an outpouring of personal reflection. At its best it requires the presence of mystical insight not given to all readers."
One important source is:
We might expect Feiler to therefore give a non-rabbinic view of the Exodus. The Web Rabbi understand this as a "pardigm of failure."
"Feiler, a fifth-generation American Jew from the South, had felt no particular attachment to the Holy Land. Yet during his journey, Feiler's previously abstract faith grew more grounded. ("I began to feel a certain pull from the landscape.... It was a feeling of gravity. A feeling that I wanted to take off all my clothes and lie facedown in the soil.")
One profound statement is: "Abraham was not originally the man he became."
"I have to agree with some of the other reviewers that Walking The Bible is NOT great prose; for example, Feiler likes his junk-food metaphors such as when the desert landscape is described as resembling "trail mix" one place and Cracker Jacks in another. And the story IS too drawn out. And there isn't even all that much actual walking; Feiler rides camels up Mt Sinai and Mt. Aaron and drives to the top of Mt. Nebo.
"Another ... reviewer wonders why famous Israeli archeologist Avner Goren would bother to spend so many months traveling with Feiler. Without Goren's knowledge, field experience and contacts Feiler wouldn't have had much of a story to tell. Well, as they say, "follow the money". According to an interview with Feiler I saw in a newspaper in Virginia last week, Feiler paid Goren to travel with him as his guide for most of the trip.
"I thought about reading this one until I caught part of an interview with the author. He was talking about the origins of agriculture in the middle east and his complete ignorance of the subject was painfully obvious to anyone who has even dipped into the topic. Ignorance did not stop him from spewing misinformation with confidence and fluency. I'd be surprised to learn that he knew any more about the other topics in this book than he does about how farming began, and I certainly don't have the time to waste finding out.
Christology As Narrative Quest by Michael L. Cook asks:
"How central is narrative to human experience? to Christology? What is the significance of Mark's turn to narrative in the development of the Christian Scriptures and of the return to narrative in liberation theology as exemplified in the Mexican American experience.
Narrative is simply telling the story as it happened. John did not "turn" from some kind of outlined theology to Narrative in order to take liberties with the inspired record.
By analogy, a narrative copy of the Bill of Rights would not make the numbered rights an American Legend so that someone could take it and "loosely reinterpreted" it in Narrative form.
In the Mexican Jubilee one father got a supernatural message that the Virgin of Guadalupe (Mary the Mother of God or ZOE) was supposed to come and kill all satanic pagans and Masons. You can read about her and the Jubilee movement begun by Catholics for evangelism for converting North America into a copy of South and Central America with "church" as a commune (community) effort to "facilitate" the lives of people.
"Mark and Guadalupe, both communicating through the power of narrative, frame the Creed, which is a symbolic evocation of John's narrative, and the Summa, which even in its systematization assumes the foundational narratives. Thus, the Fathers of the Church and Thomas Aquinas, no less than the Gospel authors and Juan Diego's heirs, are seen to be on a "narrative-quest."
Did Mark really have to stop in the middle and turn to Narrative Theology in order to communicate? Doesn't Jesus and Paul slip from story to technical lists?
That is, Narrative Theology which more and more teachers and writers use to "interpret" the Gospel Account of John,
"Frames the creed" by a SYMBOLIC appeal to John's NARRATIVE.
There is a defacto permission that in creating your own "walk in the wilderness" you will see the musical idolatry as an approved example for restoring Levitical Musicians and priests in the new Narrative Theology Creed. If Exodus is a "pattern for community and worship" I would feel that I had been punished by going into captivity for 40 years.
In the claim that the musical clergy can "lead you into the presence of God" there is a clear confession to having restored the Priesthood. However, the factual narrative says that Christ entered the holy place once for all for our sins. Neither you nor Sister Singer can fit into the Most Holy place with the worshiper and God: if you try God will surely trim you down to size as He has to all who claim superiority and, like the king of Babylon and his harp and harpist, end up on a bed of maggots.
Now, we can come boldly before the throne of Grace where only one "priest" and God can come at one time.
If the Levitical musicians dared to take their musical instruments and "stand in the holy place" they would have been instlantly slain.
Therefore, all of the pieces are in place: the Exodus event as our Spiritual Fathers and a pattern for worship and community (commune) is the same Catholic presumptious sin of claiming to be the "Christ" for our church. This is a use of narrative theology (gleaned from books as sermon fodder rather than the Bible) as a direct repudiation of Jesus Christ as the "another prophet" who would be the spiritual antitype of the carnal, faithless Moses who died for his own sins.
The Walk to Emmaus or the Cursillo Movement is the Catholic - Anglican "evangelization movement" to convert unsuspecting prospects to "walk around like Jesus." This involves the Sabbath Eucharistic movement and the Apostolate effort to create more "lay apostles." Of course, Catholics were more Sabbath-Mass people than Sunday Lord's Memorial Supper people.
The Catholic Jubilee movement was "for the atonement" of those who come to the designated place to be "redeemed." Therefore, in Narrative Theology or Liberation Theology:
"Presently a movement is in progress to nominate Blessed Juan Diego as Patron of Lay Apostles." God's plan for salvation needs the cooperation of us all. In the Guadalupe event God chose to give the miraculous image of Holy Mary, his Mother, to a humble, lonely widower.
The Handmaid of the Lord, the Spouse of the Holy Spirit, who first brought forth the Savior for us, will play her part in bringing his Good News to all.
The handmaid of the Lord, the Spouse of the Holy Spirit who brought forth the Savior (and minor Jehovah's) was Mary also know as Eve and as ZOE. Female musical performers. Sophia was the "serpent" and Sophia-Zoe is defined like Lucifer and was called "the beast." She led the "minor jehovahs" into forming musical teams. All myth? Could be, but as one modern scholar noted about instruments: "There is no other tradition." But then Joseph Campbell noted that when modern religions begin to "crack away" they often turn back to archaic forms where "new wineskins" was always a potent affect image.
The musical worship teams is a presumption. They claim the power to "lead the worshipers into the presence of God." Some even claim, ala Tower of Babel, that when they sing and dance God uses them as a platform upon which He lands. That was the fact in ancient paganism where the musical performers were the harem of the gods.
Women's singing was a vital part of all pagan worship. In very early times women became priestly singers of the gods in the temple.
"Women and girls from the different ranks of society were proud to enter the service of the gods as singers and musicians. The understanding of this service was universal: these singers constituted the 'harem of the gods'." (End of Quasten)
The "authority" Paul outlawed for the women in his epistles was "sexual authority" which is clearly intended when the clergy uses beauty and talent to seduce the seekers.
The ecumenical movement needs new apostles to aid God in the "now but not yet kingdom."
"Thy Kingdom come," the daily petition of the Our Father, has always needed for its fulfillment the work and collaboration of the laity. To all Christians is given the commission to make Christ and his teaching known, loved, and lived. "The Spirit breathes where he wills" (John 3:8), and the people of God have always had the charisms to help spread God's kingdom on earth.
The Vineyard or New Wineskin heresy teaches that that designated change agents have to facilitate the coming of the kingdom (when they can kill the enemies) by providing a "new wineskin" which is like rubber and can fit everyone's beliefs in an ecumenical "last days" church.
In the present historical revisionism of the story of the Exodus we believe to be inspired, the idolaters who died for their sins in the wilderness have now had their second incarnation as our "spiritual fathers." Even bad stories can be "narrated" into good stories. For instance,
"Karl Barth declares that communism is not "madness and crime" and that the monstrous deeds of communism are to be judged more leniently than Nazism because the communists are working constructively on the solution of "the social problem".
For Feiler, a Jew, the Exodus walk can take a spiritual turn but for Christians who get their story from Exodus rather than a "get me naked" supernatural experieence in the desert, the story is the story of an ongoing FALL from which Israel, as a nation, will never get up.
"What Feiler wants you to take with a straight face is: "Abraham was not originally the man he became. He was not an Isaelite, he was not a Jew. He was not even a believer in God--at least initially. He was a traveler, called by some voice not entirely clear that said: Go, head to this land, walk along this route, and trust what you will find."
Just off the boat, some of the people began to restore the idolatry which doomed the earth before the flood. Some were still faithful and we have no reason to believe that Abraham was ever involved with the temple or "tower" worship with wine, women an song. A dead king and his harpist and harp can still be seen where they rotted on a bed of maggots. Abraham would have remained faithful to the teachings of Noah and was not an ignorant shepherd: indeed he seems to have been wealthy.
Perhaps this is why some "narrators" can repudiate the Exodus event recorded as a destructive, terminal experience for a people and give it a second life as a PATTERN for worship and community even though they will discuss the failures always covered by grace.
"Barth is not in this a teacher of morality but of immorality. He is not a teacher of wisdom but of folly. It amazes us that any man expects the good to come from the evil as a natural fruit of the evil -- in this case, "social justice" as the product of violation of the law of God! This doctrine of Barth appears to be a variation of the Marxian doctrine
"that when the communist (community) society is established brotherly love finally will exist everywhere and the state (coercion) will wither away; but in the meanwhile coercion (synonymous with complete violation of the Second Table of the Law) will be the means by which the good end may be attained!
We need to get value from recorded events which did not include us. However, most narrative theology assumes that the story is myth or legend and therefore we have the liberty to actually make ourselves a Moses or a Christ for our time (Henry Blackaby converting the Southern Baptists). If the final scene turns into a tragedy then as a "Virtual Video Game" we can rewrite it according to our own "liberties.
This new but ancient theology basically says that the narrative is an oral tradition or myths or legend collected by The Jews. However, this record can BECOME INSPIRED only in the faith of the believer. If Jesus the "water" supplying Israel in the Wilderness is LEGEND then Jesus as Word was LEGEND in the creation event.
Another book is:
Telling God's Story : Bible, Church and Narrative Theology by Gerard Loughlin
"Acknowledging the indeterminacy of and textuality of human existence, "Telling God's Story" presents the Christian life as as a truly post modern venture: the groundless enactment of God's future now.
In this view, human existence has no determining principle such as a real God but a LEGEND god and the Bible is not a "determined" text for faith and practice in the church. Therefore, Narrative Theology allows those who have been "baptized with the Holy Spirit" as claimed can read the resources and build their own foundation on a GROUNDLESS set of legends. When you die, if you can resurrect yourself then you may have the authority to write or rewrite the Bible in your own image.
Letters from Perverse University by L. James Harvey
"A biting, humorous, satirical salvo in the contemporary Culture War.
"Does Satan exist? If so, how does he operate? Are good and evil forces in a struggle for the soul of America? Letters from Perverse University answers these questions! Dr. James Harvey provides a satirical treatment of contemporary American society that is humorous, and biting, yet profound and informative. The author deals with issues such as homosexuality, abortion, gambling, adultery, criminal justice, evolution, national debt, and a host of other topics. No one escapes the sharp pen of Dr. Harvey including Bill Clinton, professional athletes, the Kennedys, TV evangelists, K-Street bandits, the Supreme Court, and the ACLU.
"Letters from Perverse University is composed of 68 letters and six memos from a Professor of Deception and Senior Vice President of Tempters at Perverse University in Hell to some of his former students who have been sent to America to tempt America away from its basic Judeo/Christian values and to destroy it.
Jesus treated the agents of Satan in an ongoing sense as an actual fact. That means that "children of Satan their father" still prowl the world looking for souls to devour. The best way to do that is to make the Bible a resource from which we build our own story and by having Sister Singers standing in the Holy Place as a supernatural sign that he is firmly in control for a short time.
That will be the supernatural sign to flee from Jerusalem which is identified as Sodom.
We believe that these events are actually inspired and true but in the Hebrew sense of "parable" they are more than just historical. The creation is a fact but told so that it imparts spiritual meaning without us having to experience a holocaust or slavery. When God flies on the wings of the wind we look for deeper meaning. However, when we are told that Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt and we know historically that they were in Egypt the story has meaning as historical, objective truth.
The Bible is God's story which flows from Him to us. We cannot find our own "jack and Jill" story in the Creation, in the flood, in the Exodus or the Work of Christ. The reach is too far. And the danger is that going into an attempt to make ourselves into a God or Moses or David or Christ we are warned by the book reviews above that there is no objective foundational truth.
The confession to "taking liberties" seems to confirm that in this sermon, allusions to narrative seems to say that there is no objective foundation which worries about being altered.
If Paul's commands are intended to be the will of God then branding them as "material" out of which we have the liberty to transplant ourselves upon the cross is a very dangerous belief system.
Rubel Shelly: One of the things I look forward to in preaching the Gospel of John is getting to "walk around in" the life of Jesus -- much as Exodus has had us "walking around in" the shoes of our spiritual ancestors of 1500 years before Jesus' time.
We would all like to walk around in many shoes. However, I am not sure that we can be "me" and try too hard to fit into the shoes of a Moses, John or Jesus.
Would that someone would tell Feiler that the Exodus event and especially the musical idolatry at Mount Sinai lost Israel the Covenant of Grace and imposed the Book of The Law to legally govern a lawless people. These laws "were not good" in the sense that a speed law is not good: we are tempted to violate it because we do not love other drivers. The Exodus story is told over and over including that of Stephen's in Acts 7. The Jewish clergy believed that they were the Exodus Spiritual Fathers. When Stephen told them that this was a "pattern" of evil, the clergy murdered him.
Scholarly Jews understand the full implications of the Wildeerness experience but looking backward through a telescope we tend to miss all of the bumps and grinds of the event.
The sinners were all allowed to die in the wilderness and the Levites stood guard like Flaming Cherubim to keep the people, now called strangers, away from the symbolic presence of God at the Tabernacle. They could never in their entire history "come boldly before the throne of Grace."
Perhaps this is why dominion theology insists on performing preachers and Sister Singers standing in the holy place which, in churches and cathedrals, is the area for liturgy. Haven't the Sister Singers already Stood in the holy place, ejecting the Lord's Table from focus and many claim that: "we are priests serving as mediators between man and God." Because Christ has fulfilled the priestly duties, the singers and theatrical performers literall claim: "We are God." When you see this sign, flee for your life.
However, the Legalistic period is an ideal pattern for "a king set over us" and for warning the "laity" away from the holy place because, you know, "the gods can be dangerous if you don't know how to handle them."
Outside of Liberation Theology (communism) or now Narrative Theology, the inspired narrative is that Abraham and not Moses and the Levitical clergy is our spiritual father.
Next, we will review John York and Rubel Shelly's retrospective of the Exodus Series.