Archive for the ‘conversational theology’ Category
‘The New Testament is pervaded by references to the Song of Songs, and all of them are based on the supposition that it is to be interpreted spiritually. Proportionally no book of the Old Testament is so frequently referred to, implicitly or explicitly, in the New Testament, as this one; and we cannot but be surprised at the superficiality or the prejudices of those who have asserted that the Song of Songs is never quoted in the New Testament.’
(Hengstenberg, Prologomena to the Song of Solomon, 297)
[Disclaimer: these posts are all about British Christian summer camps. I'm pretty sure that some of this is also relevant to the US system, but quite a lot of it probably isn't.]
I am by no means a neutral observer here. I became a Christian on a summer camp 19 years ago. For 16 years I returned to the same camps, first as a camper, then as assistant leader, cook, and leader. In 2006, when I was heading off to the US, I said a very weepy farewell to the leaders room. It was wonderful to go back year after year to the same place where I first heard the good news, to the place where I first learned how to read and later to teach the bible, to a place where I had seen countless examples of God’s grace and mercy. I miss camp very much, perhaps particularly this summer now that I am back in the UK. For various reasons it didn’t make sense to go this year, but maybe it will next year.
I first met Perks on camp in 1991, though we haven’t done camp together for a while. He has some great posts about:
what he loves about camp; how camp relates to church; and a subject which has always been dear to his heart, how to play sport on camp. My playing of sport on camp was pretty much limited to sitting somewhere very far in the deep field during leaders/campers crocker and hoping that the ball wouldn’t come anywhere near me. I think there was one year when Perks set me up to score the winning run, which was very pleasing.
I can’t remember how long I’ve known Jam, but we’ve certainly been doing camps together for a while. One of my great joys was hearing a sketch which I’d first seen performed as a late-night entertainment on camp, later being broadcast on Radio 4. He has a post on how to write funny stuff for camp.
I’ve never been on camp with Ruth Gledhill, but I did do camp for a number of years with Ed Drew, the leader of the camp featured in these articles from the Times about Christian summer camps by comparison with Richard Dawkins-sponsored atheist camp.
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Probably if you’re interested in NT text criticism, you already know this, but just in case you haven’t heard, Tyndale House launched a new version of Tregelles’s Greek New Testament this week. There is a transcription of the original and a corrected edition both available for free download at the website.
According to Dirk Jongkind, who oversaw the project, the main characteristics of the Tregelles text are:
- Tregelles’s Greek text belonged to the first generation of critical texts that departed from the Textus Receptus as printed in the previous 350 years.
- Tregelles produced a critical text with a complete apparatus for the whole of the New Testament, a one-man effort only repeated by Tischendorf.
- Tregelles emphasized the most ancient evidence.
- Variants are noted which are often not mentioned in the modern pocket editions.
- Tregelles produced his Greek New Testament in the conviction that theology should follow from the text, not vice versa.
- Tregelles was a major influence on Westcott and Hort.
- TNT contains a transcription of the Greek text exactly as printed.
- TNT2 is a corrected edition in which many of the print and accentual errors have been removed.
- Images of the printed edition are made accessible.
I can’t think of a better way of keeping your Hebrew going after college than to start teaching it to others. Find a few keen people in your congregation and follow this syllabus. It’ll be good for you and great for them.
I feel like I should be running an ‘Appointments and Resignations’ category on the blog at the moment.
The latest round includes:
The very good news of the appointments of Hector Morrison as Principal of HTC, and of my own supervisor, Jamie Grant, as his Vice-Principal. Hector, together with Andrew McGowan, has been involved in HTC from its first conception and I am sure he will lead it well through the next stage of its development.
The very sad news of the resignations of Thomas Renz and Ian Fry from Oak Hill. I am sure that both will be much missed and I am personally particularly indebted to Thomas who was my personal tutor, who supervised both my dissertations, and who encouraged me to pursue a PhD in Old Testament. Ian’s contribution to the college in establishing the Youth and Children’s Ministry Course is incalculable and it is very hard to imagine where a replacement will be found for him. Regular readers will not need reminding that Garry Williams is also leaving Oak Hill this summer and that David Field has already gone from the faculty.
The very, um, interesting(?) news of the appointment of Greg Beale as NT Professor at WTS.
In the kitchen this morning I met Onesimus who, in addition to having a fantastic name, is also doing some interesting research into the history of marriage in the church. Apparently, the notion that marriages should happen in churches, performed by ministers, is a mediaeval one. Thomas Aquinas made the case for marriage to be included in the list of sacraments and it was this which brought the ceremony into the church. Maybe everyone else already knew this but I was really surprised to hear that this was such a late development. What’s interesting, of course, is that although Protestant churches no longer accept marriage as a sacrament in the way that Aquinas did, we still continue the practice of church marriages.
At coffee after chapel I met someone who works at St Andrew the Great who was very enthusiastic about my work on the Song of Songs after hearing Mark Ashton preaching on the Song and referring to my MTh thesis, so that was nice. (There were also exceptionally good cakes after chapel today. Here, virtue is clearly not its own reward, we have cakes instead.)
And at tea I was talking to someone who is working on the links between Job and Psalms, but whose MLitt thesis had included a section on wisdom themes in the Song of Songs. Very interesting indeed.
I’m very grateful indeed to have been at Oak Hill at the right time to have been blessed by the teaching of David Field.
Over the last couple of years I’ve met a small handful of people who are unbaptised believers and regularly receive the supper. When I express shock and horror at this, they seem surprised. Why should this be a problem?
Well, readers, over to you. How would you answer that?
My new daily routine involves a lunchtime swim, usually with my friend Karyn. It’s a really fun way to take a break in the middle of the day, to forget all about the complexities of the Greek verbal system or the dullness of first century Hellenistic religion and philosophy. Today as we were making our way up the pool (Karyn rather more rapidly than I), she enquired whether this was a suitable location for conversational theology. Since we had just been discussing the role of the church in social action and the impact of eschatology on one’s view of this, my answer was a rather obvious, but no less emphatic, yes!
Which made me wonder where else one can do conversational theology?
On a train or on a plane;
In the car or at a bar;
Over dinner or even in a swimming pool.
After church or after work;
On the phone or in your home;
On the net or as you get your summer tan.
Where do you do it? Leave a comment and let others know.