Stephen Johnson ACU Apocalypse, Theology
Stephen Johnson Stephen.Johnson.ACU.Apocalypse.Theology
This old decaying world order is often in the fore and dominates our vision.
Recommended Citation Johnson, Stephen (2003) "Apocalypse, Theology, and the Performative Reading of Scripture," Leaven: Vol. 11: Iss. 4, Article 8
7.22.15 4 Although specifically addressing the preaching of apocalyptic texts, David Jacobsen has argued for an apocalyptic lens for reading scripture. He says reading texts in this way allows the text to have priority over the preacher so the aim of the preacher is not to "get the text" (i.e., figure it out like a riddle) but that "the text gets you." See Jacobsen's helpful description in Preaching in the New Creation: The Promise of New Testament Apocalyptic Texts (Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 1999), especially the first chapter, "A Road Map for an Odd World." 5 Most notably, Paul Scott Wilson has made considerable strides toward the recovery of preaching as a theological task
From the wilderness onward the One Piece Pattern was to REST, READ AND REHEARSE the Word of God. That outlawed vocal or instrumental rejoicing or rhetoric. A preacher is a kerusso or a HERALD: A herald carries the NEWS to the sender without opening it, changing it or charging for it on the receiving end.
A Church of Christ is defined as the SECT that is called the WAY or the ROAD: fools cannot even stumble into the very narrow road. The World or Ecumenical is the kingdom of Satan. Theology is used only of the study of Apollo, Abaddon or Apollon. He is the leader of the MUSICIANS or Locusts.
Opposite megas 2. generally, vast, high, ouranos, oros, purgos (theōn b. ho m., of Zeus [Father or KAIROS, demon son], Pi.O. 7.34) 3. of sounds, great, loud, Opposite. “oligos opp. mikros Mētēr m., of Cybele, “Mētēr theōn m.
mega eipein to speak big, and so provoke divine wrath,
cithari-zo , a-re, v n., = kitharizô, to play on or strike the cithara, Nep. Epam. 2, 1; Vulg. Apoc. 14, 2.
Pind. O. 7 That man is prosperous, who is encompassed by good reports. Grace, which causes life to flourish, looks with favor now on one man, now on another, with both the sweet-singing lyre and the full-voiced notes of flutes. And now, with the music of flute and lyre alike I have come to land with Diagoras, singing the sea-child of Aphrodite and bride of Helios
The triple-godesses as "trinity" included the three Graces: they were blue-eyed blond prostitute singers.
HODOS 3 . method, system, “hodō” methodically, systematically ,Pl.R.533b, Stoic.2.39, etc. ; so “kath' hodon” Pl.R.435a ; “tēn dia tou stoikheiou ho. ekhōn egraphen” Id.Tht.208b (cf. “diexodon” 208a). 4. of the Christian Faith and its followers, Act.Ap.9.2, 22.4, 24.14.
Plat. Theaet. 208b Socrates Yes, but with his opinion he has rational explanation; for he wrote with the method in terms of letters in his mind, and we agreed that that was rational explanation.
There is, then, my friend, a combination of right opinion with rational [logon] explanation, which cannot as yet properly be called knowledge?
THE ONLY PURPOSE
Method-os , hē, (meta, hodos) Pattern II. pursuit of knowledge, investigation, Pl.Sph.218d, 235c, al.; m. poieisthai to pursue one's inquiry, ib.243d; “en tē prōtē m.” Arist.Pol.1289a26: hence, treatise, Dam.Pr.451.
2. mode of prosecuting such inquiry, method, system, Pl.Phdr.270c, Arist.EN1129a6, Pol.1252a18, etc.; “hē dialektikē m.” Pl.R.533c,
THE ONLY ONES INVITED OR ALLOWED TO ATTEND THE SECT OF THE WAY OUTSIDE THE ECUMENICAL
Matt. 11:28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Matt. 11:29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart:and ye shall find rest unto your souls
Luke 9:26 For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my WORDS,
of him shall the Son of man be ashamed,
when he shall come in his own glory,
and in his Father’s, and of the holy angels.
With the exception of a tiny fraction of "churches"--which I don't know of--the prophesied c. AD 2000 assault against God and Scriipture has replaced the SKHOLE or SYNAGOGUE with "Worship Centers" with -- they think -- are professional grade musical and theatrical performers. Rubel Shelly along with the locals said it most vocally that the only purpose of "church" is to WORSHIP or a pagan-like "naval" to funnel up PRAISE.
Ana-pausis A.repose, rest, relaxation
REST FROM: ka^koō , A.maltreat, distress, in Hom. always of persons physically, injure, paralyse, “tas arkhas tōn neurōn”
REST FROM: Leitourg-ia III. public service of the gods, “hai pros tous theous l.” Arist.Pol.1330a13; “hai tōn theōn therapeiai kai l.” D.S.1.21, A.D.), etc.; the service or ministry of priests, LXX Nu.8.25, Ev.Luc.1.23.THE SINGLE PURPOSE FOR THE ASSEMBLY of DISCIPLES-STUDENTS
skholē , skholēn agein to be at leisure, enjoy ease, keep quiet, amphi heauton for one's own business, a work for leisure, i.e. requiring attention, 2. a group to whom lectures were given, school, esp. of students, study, attend lectures, devote oneself to a master,
Sabbath never meant "day of worship" but REST. That was the time when teacher and disciples had a REST day and they could REST, READ, and REHEARSE or memorize THE WORD.
THE METHOD IS DIALOG: NOT PREACHING OPPOSITE LECTIO-DIVINA
God cannot and will not use anything YOU PRODUCE poiein,
A. make, produce, first of something material, as manufactures, works of art, also tōn ta kerea . . hoi pēkhees poieuntai the horns of which are made into the sides of the lyre 4. after Hom., of Poets, compose, write, p. dithurambon, epea, Hdt.1.23, 4.14; “p. theogoniēn Hellēsi” Id.2.53; p. Phaidran, Saturous, Ar.Th.153, 157; p. kōmōdian, tragōdian, etc., Pl.Smp.223d; “palinōdian” Isoc.10.64, Pl.Phdr.243b, etc.; “poiēmata” Id.Phd.60d: abs., write poetry, write as a poet, “orthōs p.” Hdt.3.38
b. represent in poetry; c. describe in verse,
in Philosophy, practise dialectic, elicit conclusions by discussion, “ouk erizein alla d.” Pl.R.454a, cf. 511c, Tht.167e, etc. discourse, reasoning write in prose, Opposite.poiein, what you
2. create, bring into existence, compose, write, p. dithurambon, epea, Hdt.1.23, 4.14; “p. theogoniēn Hellēsi” Id.2.53; p. Phaidran, Saturous, Ar.Th.153, 157; p. kōmōdian, tragōdian, etc., Pl.Smp.223d; “palinōdian
The synagogue is connected to syllogism: the ekklesia are collected to READ or HEAR the WORD (only) and come to a collected or conclusion.
Christian Lectio contrary to the Lectio-Divina of the Feminists ruling over the effeminate training doctors of the law to take away the key to knowledge. it is called witchcraft or sorcery.
lectĭo , ōnis, f. lego. I. A gathering, collecting.
A. In gen. (post-Aug. and rare): “lectio lapidum,” Col. 2, 2, 12: “florum,” Arn. 5, 173.—*
B. In partic., a picking out, selecting: “judicum,” Cic. Phil. 5, 6, 16. —
II. A reading, perusal; a reading out, reading aloud. that which is read, reading, text, “juris lectiones,” passages of the laws
BURN NOTICE:John 7:18 He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory:
but he that seeketh his glory that sent him, the same is true,
and no unrighteousness is in him.
John 8:50 And I seek not mine own glory: there is one that seeketh and judgeth.
When God pours out His Wrath on false teachers He turns them into buffoons or Jesters. The watching world despises and rejects men who are HIRED to do what God was not able to do: speak in understandable languages. The problem with theologians they may have grasped that God does not allow the uncoverted to READ BLACK text on BROWN paper nor HEAR the word when the direct command is obeyed to PREACH the word by READING the Word. Doctors of the law take away the key to knowledge says Jesus: that is their purpose: they are PREDESTINED.
parasi_t-os , ho, A.one who eats at the table of another, and repays him with flattery and buffoonery, parasite, Epich.36, Arar.16, etc.; name of plays by Antiph., Alex., and Diph.; peri Parasitou, title of work by Luc.: c. gen., “kenēs p. trapezēs” AP11.346 (Autom.) : metaph., ikhthus ēn p. (v. opson) Luc.Lex.6.II. of priests who had their meals at the public expense, Clitodem.11, Polem.Hist.78.2. one who dines with a superior officer, Arist.Fr.551.
2Th. 2:8 And then shall that Wicked be revealed,
whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit [breath] of his mouth,
and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:
2Th. 2:9 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan
with all power and signs and lying wonders,
2Th. 2:10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish;
because they received not the love of the truth,
that they might be saved.
2Th. 2:11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion,
that they should believe a lie:
2Th. 2:12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth,
but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
Lying Wonders: -Teratourg-eô, A. WORK wonders, pseudôsti Sch.Pi.I.7(6).13.
Lying is -Pseudes 2. fiction (opposite logos, historic
2. fiction (Opposite logos, historic truth)
Aristot. Rh. 3.6.3  Use metaphors and epithets by way of illustration, taking care, however, to avoid what is too poetical. Aristot. Rh. 3.6.7 Poets also make use of this in inventing words, as a melody "without strings" or "without the lyre"; for they employ epithets from negations, a course which is approved in proportional metaphors, as for instance, to say that tNhe sound of the trumpet is a melody without the lyre.Note: Psallo is never translated "melody" in the Greek literature. If you want to sow discord instead of psallo and add TUNEFUL MELODY with an instrument the word is Melos. That's why Paul nor the Bible ever uses the word and why it is A LIE to make "melody or grace IN the heart mean melody WITH a harp. The word PSALLO would absolute outlaw using any instrument you cannot pluck WITH YOUR FINGERS and never with a plectrum.
From the Church in the wilderness onward and defined by the Campbells the command was to speak the Words of God externally and rehearse or meditate on them in the heart.
-[3. 8. 1 The form of diction should be neither metrical nor without rhythm. If it is metrical, it lacks persuasiveness, for it appears artificial, and at the same time it distracts the hearer's attention, since it sets him on the watch for the recurrence of such and such a cadence.
-Pindar, Pythian, Odes 4: Aphrodite [ZOE] of Cyprus brought the maddening bird to men for the first time, and she taught the son of Aeson skill in prayerful incantations, so that he could rob Medea of reverence for her parents. and a longing for Greece would lash her, her mind on fire, with the whip of Persuasion.
Week by week the preacher takes up residence before the word of God for the purpose of its proclamation
First, let us note that in Ephesians 4 Jesus Christ did not give any gift to a preacher as in making up your own rhetoric for hire. He ordained elders as the only Pastor Teachers: if APT their first job is to cast out the cunning craftsmen or sophists. Sophists are rhetoricians, singers or instrument players. Rather than God HIDING himself from the laity:
Plato, Sophist 239e Well, if you like, let us say no more of you and me; but until we find someone who can accomplish this, let us confess that the sophist has in most rascally fashion hidden himself in a place we cannot explore.
Panourg-os (properisp.), on, A. ready to do anything, wicked, knavish,
II. in a less positively bad sense, cunning, clever, smart, “p. kai deinos” D. 1.3, cf. Pl.Tht.177a, Arist.EN1144a28; “p. te kai sophos” Pl.R.409c; “kompsos kai p.” Plu. 2.28a: Sup., Plb.5.75.2. Adv. “-gōs, p. kai hupokritikōs legein ta epē” Ath.9.407a.
Sophos , ē, on, A. skilled in any handicraft or art, clever, harmatēlatas s. Pi.P.5.115, cf. N.7.17; “kubernētēs” A.Supp.770; “mantis” Id.Th.382; “oiōnothetas” S.OT484 (lyr.); of a sculptor, E.Fr.372; even of hedgers and ditchers, Margites Fr.2; but in this sense mostly of poets and musicians, Pi.O.1.9, P.1.42, 3.113; en kithara s. E.IT1238
etc.; also en oiōnois, kithara, E. IT662, 1238 (lyr.);
That is because God hides from the wise or sophists: Sophists are rhetoricians, singers or instrument players.
The reason any self-speaker or hypocritic artists is excluded says Paul is that THEY ARE LYING IN WAIT TO DECEIVE.
Only then can the pattern Christ the Rock ordained for the synagogue or SCHOOL OF THE WORD from the wilderness onward was to REST, Read and Rehearse the Word. That assembly was EXCLUSIVE of vocal or instrumental rejoicing or rhetoric.
The ekklesia consists of the LITTLE FLOCK invisible and inaudible: they assemble themselves thank yuou very much. When they assemble they are called a SYNAGOGUE. The pattern for the synagogue was to confess the SHEMA that there is One God the father. Then, the text was READ systematically especially the prophets by the Spirit OF Christ.
Stephen JohnsonThe preacher joins the long procession of those summoned to dwell in this particular locale. It is a procession that stretches far and wide and consists of all those preachers past and present, living and dead, who have been called to engage the text faithfully. In each time and place,
the relationship between preacher and text depends much upon how one understands the nature of that relationship
In the more recent history of biblical interpretation, the relationship between the preacher and the word of God is understood in terms of the historical distance between the two.
Preachers are taught that to arrive at the meaning of the text they must first read the text
as historically located correspondence wrapped in the cultural idioms of the ancient world and its situation.
In fact, one of the characteristic features of modem exegesis is to assume the great distance between the ancient world of the text and the contemporary world in which one lives.
Because the one-piece pattern for the assembly of Christ is to SPEAK that which is WRITTEN for our learning, to say that what God supplied for life and godliness has expired means that HE is not as powerful as a preacher as hireling having gain this SPIRITUAL gift of inspiration as SIMONY. That despises the Word which Christ in Jeremiah defines as BLASPHEMY.
The preacher must be equipped with considerable skill in order to traverse the vast distance between these two worlds.
SPEAK in the LOGOS sense is the OPPOSITE of OID or music. The WORD or Logos is the Regulative principle and EXCLUDES rhetoric, personal opinions, singing, playing or acting.
Heb. 5:12 For when for the time ye ought to be teachers,
ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God;
and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.
1Pet. 4:11 If any man SPEAK, let him speak as the oracles of God;
if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth:
that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ,
to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
Christ in Isaiah 8 says of those who do NOT speak that which is written THERE IS NO LIGHT IN THEM.
Stephen Johnson Arriving in the ancient world of biblical writers, the preacher must use the proper tools
in order to undertake the critical task of excavating the one true and original meaning of the text.
Upon mining this precious nugget of truth,
he preacher must then muster the determination to make it back to the contemporary world
with the precious cargo intact-a treacherous journey indeed
Deuteronomy 30:8 And thou shalt return and obey the voice of the LORD,
and do all his commandments which I command thee this day.
Deuteronomy 30:9 And the LORD thy God will make thee plenteous in every work of thine hand, in the fruit of thy body, and in the fruit of thy cattle, and in the fruit of thy land, for good: for the LORD will again rejoice over thee for good, as he rejoiced over thy fathers:
Deuteronomy 30:10 If thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to keep his commandments and his statutes which are written in this book of the law, and if thou turn unto the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul.
Deuteronomy 30:11 For this commandment which I command thee this day, it is not hidden from thee, neither is it far off.
Deuteronomy 30:12 It is not in heaven, that thou shouldest say,
Who shall go up for us to heaven,
and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it?
Righteousness by FAITH excludes any attempt to CONTACT or INFLUENCE God through music which originated with Satan to make people lie about Romans 10.
Rom 10:7 But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise,
Say not in thine heart, Who shall ASCEND into HEAVEN?
(that is, to bring Christ down from above:)
Deuteronomy 30:13 Neither is it beyond the sea, that thou shouldest say,
Who shall go over the sea for us,
and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it?
Do not commit the unpardonable sin by CLAIMING to have the musical power to LEAD people into the presence of God!Rom 10:6 Or, Who shall descend into the deep?
(that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.)
Deuteronomy 30:14 But the WORD is very nigh unto thee,
in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it.
sermo , .a speaking or talking with any one; talk, conversation, discourse:
2. Ordinary speech, speaking, talking, the language of conversation (Opposite. contentio): “sermo est oratio remissa et finitima cottidianae locutioni,
Of prose as opposed to poetry: “comoedia
Do not commit the unpardonable sin by CLAIMING to have the musical power to LEAD people into the presence of God!Rom 10:6 Or, Who shall descend into the deep?
(that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.)
Deuteronomy 30:15 See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil;
Deuteronomy 30:16 In that I command thee this day to love the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments and his statutes and his judgments, that thou mayest live and multiply: and the LORD thy God shall bless thee in the land whither thou goest to possess it.They rose up to PLAY using a word quite similar to David's PRAISE or making self vile word:
Stephen Johnson At this point, modem exegesis bears the distinct marks and assumptions of the modem worldview. The relationship between the text and the preacher is mediated by a critical scientific methodology so that both the text and the preacher are objectified. The great irony is that when the relationship between preacher and text is conceived in this way, the preacher is often led away from the text rather than into it.
exēg-ēsis , eōs, hē,II. explanation, interpretation, “peri tous nomous” Pl.Lg.631a; “enupniōn” D.S. 2.29; E. tōn Empedokleous, title of a work by Zeno Eleaticus; so in Gramm., Sch.Il.8.296.
poieō , A. make, produce, first of something material, as manufactures, works of art, et
on works of art, Polumēdēs epoiwēh' (= epoiēse ）“
also tōn ta kerea . . hoi pēkhees poieuntai the horns of which are made into the sides of the lyre, Hdt.4.192;
2. create, bring into existence, “genos anthrōpōn khruseon” Hes.Op.110, cf. Th.161, 579, etc.; “ho poiōn” the creator, Pl.Ti. 76c; “heteron Philippon poiēsete” D.4.11:—Med., beget, “huion” And.1.124; “ek tinos” Id.4.22; paidas poieisthai, = paidopoieisthai, X.Cyr.5.3.19, D.57.43; conceive, “p
d.s p. to problēma effect a solution of the problem, Apollon.Perg.Con.2.49,51; p. to epitagma
4. after Hom., of Poets, compose, write, p. dithurambon, epea, Hdt.1.23, 4.14; “p. theogoniēn Hellēsi” Id.2.53; p. Phaidran, Saturous, Ar.Th.153, 157; p. kōmōdian, tragōdian, etc., Pl.Smp.223d; “palinōdian” Isoc.10.64, Pl.Phdr.243b, etc.; “poiēmata” Id.Phd.60d: abs., write poetry, write as a poet,
b. represent in poetry, “Homēron Akhillea pepoiēkenai ameinō Odusseōs”
c. describe in verse, “theon en epesin” Pl.R.379a; epoiēsa muthous tous Aisōpou put them into verse, Id.Phd. 61b; “muthon” Lycurg.100.
d. invent, “kainous theous” Pl.Euthphr.3b;
2. procure, “p. adeian te kai kathodon tini” Th.8.76; “ho nomos p. tēn klēronomian tisi” Is.11.1; logos argurion tō legonti p. gets him money, D.10.76:—Med., procure for oneself, gain, “kleos autē poieit'” Od.2.126; “adeian”
3. of sacrifices, festivals, etc., celebrate, “p. hira” Hdt.9.19, cf. 2.49
Stephen Johnson How many of us have found that while our sermon preparation began with a close and careful reading of the text itself, soon enough we were sorting through the historical contingencies, postulations, and theories served up to us in a critical commentary? And how many sermons have we heard where these interesting postulations and theories are then served up to the congregation so that the text itself feels as though it is pushed to the background
The Spirit of CHRIST outlawed anything you can add: Isaiah 58 outlawss speaking your own words:
Acts 15:21 For Moses of old time
hath in every city
them that PREACH him,
being READ in the synagogues every sabbath day.
In many ways, those of us who engage the word of God for the people of God week by week instinctively discover that a journey between the ancient world of the text and the contemporary world in which we live does not fully or accurately account for the nature of the relationship between the text and preacher
What if the relationship between preacher and text were guided by certain theological assumptions rather than modem methodological ones? The relationship between preacher, text, and proclamation would be formed
out of a distinct sense of who God is by his word.
A careful reflection upon who God is by his word would form the foundation
for the preacher's encounter with the text week by week for its proclamation
THEOLOGY IS ANTI-LOGOS AND THEREFORE ANTI-CHRIST WHO MADE THE LOGOS AUDIBLE AND VISIBLE.
NOW WHEN IT DOESN'T MATTER THEY HAVE TAKEN CAPTIVE ALL OF THOSE INSTITUTIONS CLAIMING TO SELL THE GIFT OF GOD.
THEOLOGY IS ALWAYS THE MARK OF THE "GODS" USED IN SCRIPTURE TO IDENTIFY THE DEVIL OR HIS AGENTS.
Theolog-os A.one who discourses of the gods, of poets such as Hesiod and Orpheus [one of the sects silenced in Rome] Arist.Metaph.1000a9, cosmologists
“theologoi kai poiētai” [poet, singers you make yourself] of diviners and prophets, “th. kai manties” Philol.14; hoi Delphōn th
This speaks of the Mad of Corinth well documented.
Arist.Metaph.1000a9, The school of Hesiod, and all the cosmologists, considered only what was convincing to themselves, and gave no consideration to us. For they make the first principles Gods or generated from Gods, and say that whatever did not taste of the nectar and ambrosia became mortal—clearly using these terms in a sense significant to themselves; but as regards the actual applications of these causes their statements are beyond our comprehensionTheolog-eō ,
manti^s female witchcraft of Spiritual Formation. ho mantis mantin ekpraxas eme, of Apollo and Cassandra,
“ho Thrēxi m.” E.Hec.1267 (of Dionysus), That Thracian or Threskia as IMPURE religion. 2. metaph., presager, foreboder,
II. a kind of grasshopper, the praying mantis, Mantis religiosa, Theoc.10.18,
A.discourse on the gods and cosmology, Arist. Metaph.983b29; “peri tinōn”c.; Dia auton ton Phaethonta [Jupiter, son of Apollon] zōogonon theologousi call him Zeus z. Antig.Mir. 10b:—Pass., ta theologoumena discourses about the gods,, Suet. Aug.94; “treis hai Moirai theologountai” Theol.Ar.16.2. refer to a divine influence, tous tokous Sch.Ptol.Tetr.103.
zōogonos2 zōē zōēZoe is EVE or Evah in feminine or effeminate worship so they have to slander Paul. Evah means an abomination because she is the MEDIATRIX as the dirty Muses were called the SHEPHERDS. There is a mother behind every progressive.
tēn zoēn poieesthai or katastēsasthai apo or ek . . to get one's living by .
II. zōē,= “graus” 11, the scum on milk,
zôos alive, living, Homer, Hdt., etc.; zôon helein [heresy or sectarianism] tina to TAKE PRISONER,
THEOLOGY OF THE MOTHER GODDESS. First, hints Paul, she will have to force you to emasculate yourself to be able to serve as a priest-priestess:
mētēr , Dor. matēr , hē: “Gallai mētros oreiēs philothursoi dromades”
gallazō , A.practise cult of Cybele
Mētēr, = Dēmētēr, tē Mētri kai tē Kourē hortēn agousi Hdt.8.65; also of Rhea,
Pi.N.5.6; Aphrodite of the Loves, Id.Fr.122.4; phatis ō mater aiskhunas emas, of a rumour,
b. applied to souls seeking birth, Porph.Antr.18 ; cf. numpheuō.
II. Nymph or goddess of lower rank, “theai Numphai”
N. “kourai Dios aigiokhoio” Od.6.105 ; Adruades, Hamadruades, Druades
The Brides and Bridegrooms engage in the Hieros Gamos: much easier once we get the girls moving with the males on the stage: John calls them along with her craftsmen, singers, instrument players SORCERERS (named after the original Babylon Mother of harlots0.
History of Religious Sex: The religion of the Goddess, wherever it was practiced throughout history, has always been sex positive. The most famous of the ancient rituals is the Hieros Gamos, or Sacred marriage ritual. Records of this ceremony have been dated as far back as early Sumerian, about 5500 years ago. In this ritual the high priestess acting as avatar of The Goddess had sex with the ruler of the country to show the Goddess's acceptance him as ruler and caretaker of her people. Here is part of the ceremony as translated from an ancient Sumerian poem.
The High Priestess, acting for Inanna, is speaking to Dumuzi the new king: the Pagan "Christ."
IF A MOTHER GODDESS (always male we are told) has led you into Spiritual Formation then the PERSONA of rhetoric, singing and playing instruments and claiming to be a priest/priestess for a god is WHY up to 2/3 of the owners show up as empty pews.
One of the most famous prophets and seers of ancient time, Teiresias, was a man who was changed into a woman and served in the temples as a priestess for seven years to gain the feminine powers of insight and DIVINATION. During this time as a woman he gave birth to a daughter before being turned back into a man. It was Teiresias who gave us the "scale of one to ten." Myth has it that Zeus and Hera once argued who had the most pleasure in sex. Zeus said it was the woman, while Hera asserted it was the man. They agreed that Teiresias should judge who was right. He did not hesitate to tell the God and Goddess, "Measured on the scale of pleasure, in the act of sex man has one measure to woman's nine." Hera became incensed by this, stating that judges, like referees in sporting events are all blind, and made Teiresias blind.
The god Hermes [Mercury, Kairos] in order to become a god of magic went into the temple of his consort Aphrodite where he wore a woman's robes and artificial breasts. In the temple he learned all the secrets of the Goddess Aphrodite which were exclusively taught to her female priestesses.
The Vineyard (aka Fuller) and Wineskins sees music as bring on a sexual-like climax JUST BEFORE passing the plate.
What do we believe about the word of God, and how does that inform our relationship with the text for preaching
In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters. Then God said ... and there was ..." (Gen I: 1-5)2 Out of silence, God speaks, and something happens. Order is called out of chaos by the word of God
The world is created. Here is a foundational claim of our faith: the word of God makes a world, not just any world, but one fashioned in his image, out of God's very essence. We believe that words possess this kind of power-power to create and sustain God's new world. Embedded deep within this belief about God and his word are two foundational claims: the word of God is performative and the word of God is particular
The Word of God Is Performative By performative, we mean that words do not merely refer to something but enact something.
Language possesses this kind of performative power. We know this to be true. When two people stand and say words such as, "I take you as my lawfully wedded husband," an arrangement that did not exist before is called forth simply by the speaking of the words. Elie Wiesel writes of the day when Nazi troops arrived in the Hungarian town of Sighet, where he was a young Jewish boy
For us it was too late, in every sense. Sacrificed abandoned, and betrayed, delivered to the invader and left to face him alone, we were ignored by everyone but the enemy. He alone paid attention to us. And when he drove us to the ghetto, we went. I see images of exodus and uprooting, reminiscent of a past buried in memory; ravaged, dazed, disoriented faces
Everything changed overnight. A few words uttered by a man in a uniform, and the order of Creation collapsed. Everything was dismantled; ties were severed .... Homes became unrecognizable
I Words possess the power to create and evoke a new arrangement of things
The performative nature of language is seen, for example, in the Old Testament story of the blessing of Jacob by Isaac. Old in age, with eyes dim, Isaac desires to bless his first-born and favored son, Esau
Only Esau's younger twin, Jacob, deceives their father, and by his trickery, Jacob receives the words of his father's blessing: May God give you the dew of heaven, and of the fatness of the earth, and the plenty of grain and wine. Let peoples serve you, and nations bow down to you. Cursed be everyone who curses you, and blessed be everyone who blesses you! (Gen 27:28-29) Esau later comes for the blessing only to find his younger brother has beaten him to it. He explains the deception to his father who "trembles violently" and says, "I have blessed him?-yes, and blessed he shall be!" Esau pleads with his father to grant the blessing of his birthright-but to no avail. The word of blessing spoken upon Jacob is effective to make what has been spoken come to pass. Isaac cannot take back his word, for the spoken word possesses the power to enact that of which it speaks Interestingly, what Isaac calls forth by the word of his blessing is a reversal of fortune where the younger (weaker) is elevated above the older (stronger). By the word of his blessing, Isaac evokes what we might call an "alternative world" that stands over against the conventionalarrangement of things in the world as it is usually conceived
The notion of performative language that calls forth an alternative world is found throughout scripture
has been done, for our learing
The recounting of the Exodus story for the people gathered at Shechem in Joshua 24 or the vivid and imaginative language of the prophets to exiled Israel functions to evoke an alternative possibility in the midst of current experience. If time and space were to permit, we could trace the performative nature of Jesus' preaching and teaching. There is inherently within the nature of the word of God a performative function
The Word of God Is Particular Because we believe that the word of God is performative, we also understand it to be particular. In each of the examples offered above, words function to enact something in particular. The word of God moves toward a specific refiguring of the world, a world reflecting his very essence and nature. Because the word of God moves toward something specific, it employs particular language and imagery to prefigure that which it evokes. As scripture functions to create and sustain this alternative world, it employs its own distinct epistemology and ontology; it produces its own logic. The language, imagery, and symbolism embedded within scripture are particular
This is precisely the work of John of Patmos, an oft-overlooked biblical preacher. John, exiled on the island of Patmos, is in the Spirit when he begins his message to the churches. What does John's message do
Over against the dominant socio-political arrangement that constitutes "empire," John outlines the contents of another world
This alternative world stands in contrast to Rome and her ways. John employs language to describe this world, which appears to us strange and foreign. However, it is actually language belonging to the people of God, employed by the prophets to speak of the new reality God has promised to enact. John is not inventing new language and imagery. He is employing the distinct dialect of God's people, particular language, toward the new thing God is doing in the midst of the old
John names, with striking accuracy, a decaying world order that is passing away and envisions an emerging world order brought forth by the eternal purposes of God and declares, "The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his messiah and he will reign forever and ever" (Rev 11: 15)
John's use of text, both performative and particular, is captured in the word apocalypse. Preaching that constructs a new and alternative world in the midst of the old is apocalyptic
I would argue that this robust apocalyptic sense both performative and particular, best accounts for the encounter between the word and the preacherThe preacher reads texts apocalyptically.
The preacher is guided in his relationship with the text
by this sort of theological senses rather than a modem critical methodology.
Apocalyptic reading allows the preacher to participate with God in world-making announcing the arrival of a new and declaring lives held captive to the old world order free to roam about in new possibility
The exiled preacher, John of Patmos, has invited the church to enter into a world where peace is born not on the back of Rome's war horses, chariots, or economic prowess but by the self-giving, self-emptying life modeled for us in the dying of Jesus. As Jesus before him, John declares this new world in the midst of the old using particular speech in evoking this new world order. So God, who in the beginning spoke a word to create, by grace invites the preacher to participate with the Holy Spirit in the ongoing work of world-making by words
As the preacher reads the text in this apocalyptic way, he or she does so bi-focally-
to see things both near and far with accuracy.
In one lens, the text is allowed to name the old world for what it is in its brokenness
This old decaying world order is often in the fore and dominates our vision. We become so accustomed to its way that we assume it to be the norm. As the preacher engages with the text, her or his vision of the old world, though near,
is clarified so that the text is allowed to name the powers of the old world
for what they are false.
The notion of performative language that calls forth an alternative world is found throughout scripture
In another lens, the text imaginatively prefigures another reality. The new world created in the text is often on the horizon and hardly noticed because of the ways in which the old world crowds the preacher's vision. Within the text, the preacher has not only found an accurate vision of the world but an accurate vision of God. The text functions so that scripture becomes a living word present for the church.
As a result scripture and its proclamation are no longer held hostage by a methodology that requires the preacher to straddle antiquity and modernity.
When preacher and text are no longer objectified, the word of God is present for the church."
What I am suggesting is that the relationship between preacher and text is best guided by an apocalyptic theological sense. The preacher comes to the text each week
as an apocalyptic theologian guided by certain confessional understandings
about the nature of the word of God as performative and particular.
As apocalyptic theologian, the preacher participates in the ongoing work of God
to call forth the new creation in the midst of the old.
The question then becomes: what sort of reading strategies are informed by and move toward these apocalyptic ends
READING "IN THE WORLD OF" THE TEXT Paul Ricoeur proposes that imagination,
far from a fantastic escape from reality,
is the capacity to work through images, metaphors, and narratives
as a way of evoking and constructing an alternative world.
Ricoeur's hermeneutical philosophy aligns itself closely with performative and particular theological readings of texts. He describes three worlds in relation to the text:
1. The world "behind the text" consists of those historical elements that produced the text
2. The world "before the text" consists of the world that we inhabit in the present moment
3. The world "of the text" refers to the world figured within the text itself
If engagement with the text is primarily occupied in the world "behind the text,"
the text itself tends to become objectified
and distance created between the text and the preacher is often experienced by the listener
If one's engagement with the text is primarily occupied in the world "before the text," too often the text is relativized and sometimes even co-opted by the contemporary context. But when the engagement with the text is primarily in the world "of the text," the text is allowed to speak on its own terms to evoke a new world
Ricoeur is convinced that the primary work of interpretation is to live in the world of the text. 10 Ricceurs notion of reading "in the world of the text" is precisely the sort of reading our apocalyptic theological instincts would encourage
Engaging the Text with Spiritual Artistry Reading apocalyptically in the world of the text, the preacher will become a careful and patient observer of surroundings,
noticing the distinct world created by the particular language and imagery in the text.
The preacher who reads in the world of the text rather than behind it
might best be conceived as an artist rather than a scientist
This is not to suggest that some of the tools and benefits of scientific readings in the text are unimportant useless, and to be avoided. But science as a methodology implies, even requires, distance between the object and the observer.
The image of the artist, however, implies a subjective participation in the encounter with the text
As Mark Burrows suggests, rather than "critical exegesis," we might employ the language of "a constructive interpretive art, shaped by an aesthetic or a poetic approach to the biblical text."!' Conceived in this way, the preacher engages in "a spirituality of reading" that does not exclude critical reading but moves toward meaning after or beyond critical engagement with the text. 12 In describing his work with students, Walter Brueggemann says, "In general, my pedagogical approach is to engage in 'close reading,' to invite students to slow down and pay attention to the artistic detail of the text."13 If the preacher is to stand in the world of the text, it will require precisely this sort of posture in relation to the text
I ask students to begin their engagement with the text with this sort of close or deep reading by asking them to pray the text slowly and carefully in the manner of lectio divinia. I coach them to seize upon the language particular to the text in an exercise called "Exploding a Biblical Image." In this exercise, they seize upon the dominant imagery within the text itself. They enter into the language and imagery of the text so as to inhabit the world of the text. No longer objectified, the preacher now stands within the text, not over it
Employing Literary and Rhetorical Reading Strategies To read apocalyptically in the world of the text is not an undisciplined practice. In fact, there are helpful disciplines that serve reading in the world of the text. Rather than requiring the preacher to begin outside of the text, exploring the world behind it, the disciplines of literary and rhetorical criticisms lead the preacher to deal with the text itself and thereby be immersed in the world it creates.
Rhetorical criticism, as Brueggemann points out focuses on the artistic processes that operate in the text and generate an imagined world within the text. Such artistic attentiveness takes seriously the exact placement and performances of words and phrases, of sounds and repetitions that give rise to an altemative sense of reality that was not available without this particular configuration of words and images. In both literary and rhetorical readings of Scripture, the text itself becomes the object of attention and draws the preacher within the text
Reading the Text Theologically Is it possible for us to enter into the apocalyptic sense created by the larger biblical narrative and embedded with each story therein? Perhaps no recent scholar calls more for an explicitly theological reading of the text for preaching than Paul Scott Wilson. Wilson calls for preachers to engage the text for its "God sense"-allowing that sense to guide both exegesis and proclamation. He coaches preachers to identify the "trouble" and "grace" within the text and allow these two theological themes to shape the sermon
To read the text theologically, the preacher must have a well-formed theological sense. This cannot always be assumed, because in most preparation for ministry, a clear separation exists between the disciplines of biblical text and theology. What this calls for is a deliberate and purposeful collaboration so that the reading of texts is informed by one's theology even as the reading of text is informing one's theology
The relationship between the word of God and the preacher is of vital importance for proclamation
Rather than finding this relationship mediated by a modern critical methodology, the preacher is best guided by a robust apocalyptic sense to dwell "in the world of the text." These three moves-engaging the text with spiritual artistry, employing literary and rhetorical reading strategies, and developing a keen theological sense-guide a preacher to read "in the world of the text." If the preacher engages the text in this way, what sort of sermons might be formed? The possibilities are not only numerous but also represent the ever-present hope of the renewal of preaching in our own time and place
STEPHEN JOHNSON Dr. Johnson is an assistant professor of preaching at Abilene Christian University in Abilene, Texas. Currently, he is on sabbatical, studying and doing research at the Toronto School of Theology in Toronto, Ontario, Canada
5 Johnson: Apocalypse, Theology, and the Performative Reading of Scripture Published by Pepperdine Digital Commons, 2003 198 LEAVEN Fourth Quarter 2003 END NOTES I Walter Brueggemann argues the limitations of historical-critical readings, stating, "Students have been taught in a modernist society to raise historical questions to such an extent that the text is overlooked. A detailed lining out of the historical context usually receives a good deal more attention than the text itself." Walter Brueggemann, "That the World May be Redescribed," Interpretation 56 (October 2002): 359-60
2 All citations of scripture taken from the New Revised Standard Version
3 Elie Wiesel, Memoirs: All Rivers Run to the Sea (Toronto: A.A. Knopf Canada, 1995),64. Italics added
4 Although specifically addressing the preaching of apocalyptic texts, David Jacobsen has argued for an apocalyptic lens for reading scripture. He says reading texts in this way allows the text to have priority over the preacher so the aim of the preacher is not to "get the text" (i.e., figure it out like a riddle) but that "the text gets you." See Jacobsen's helpful description in Preaching in the New Creation: The Promise of New Testament Apocalyptic Texts (Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 1999), especially the first chapter, "A Road Map for an Odd World." 5 Most notably, Paul Scott Wilson has made considerable strides toward the recovery of preaching as a theological task
I write what you can understand
Surveying the attention and prescriptions for preaching over the past few decades, Wilson maintains that there yet persists a declining ability to communicate faith. The problem, he says, is a theological one necessitating a theological answer. The roots of such a theological dilemma "lie deep in the soil of the biblical text and meanings preachers find there." Paul Scott Wilson, "Preaching as a Theological Venture," Papers Presented to the Academy of Homiletics (December, 2002): 64
6 For a recent and thorough discussion, see Charles L. Campbell, The World Before the Powers: An Ethic of Preaching (Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 2002)
7 New Testament scholar Richard Hays has stated that "despite the important contributions of historical criticism, churches have not always been treated well by those guilds." He points out,
"Problems arise when we try to separate the Bible
from the church's ancient traditions of theological interpretation."
See David W. Reid, "Interpreting a Scholar: Richard Hays' Moral Vision," Divinity Magazine 2 (Fall 2002): 14-16
8 This point is argued quite well by Mark Love, "Funding the Sermon with Theological Imagination," in Preaching Romans. Rochester Lectures on Preaching, vol. 4, ed. D. Fleer and D. Bland (Abilene, Texas: ACU Press, 2002), 127-48
9 Perceptive readers will observe the obvious connections between Ricoeulr 's thought and the work of Walter Brueggemann
As a philosopher, Ricoeur possesses certain theological concerns. In many ways, Brueggemann is extending the work of Ricoeur and attempting to follow the trajectory laid out therein. This is most obvious in Chapter 5 of Bruggemann 's book
Cadences of Home: Preaching Among Exiles (Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 1997)
10 Paul Ricoeur, Interpretation Theory: Discourse and the Surplus of Meaning (Fort Worth: Texas Christian University Press
11 Mark S. Burrows, "To Taste with the Heart: Allegory, Poetics, and the Deep Reading of Scripture," Interpretation 56 (April 2002): 168
12 Burrows suggests that we learn from the allegorical readings of scripture practiced by medieval monks, acknowledging that although we can not return to precritical state, we can come upon a "second naivete." 13 Brueggemann, "That the World May be Redescribed,' 360
15 See Paul Scott Wilson, God Sense: Reading the Bible for Preaching (Nashville: Abingdon, 2001) and The Four Pages of the Sermon: A Guide to Biblical Preaching (Nashville: Abingdon, 1999)
6 Leaven, Vol. 11 , Iss. 4, Art. 8 http://digitalcommons.pepperdine.edu/leaven/vol11/iss4/8