Allan Bevere

Author's details

Name: Allan Bevere
Date registered: March 3, 2012
URL: http://www.allanbevere.com/

Latest posts

  1. Allan R. Bevere: Ten Rejected Sects of Christianity — August 30, 2014
  2. Allan R. Bevere: Saturday at the Cinema: How to Write a Theological Sentence — August 30, 2014
  3. Allan R. Bevere: Some Randomly Not Necessarily Connected Thoughts — August 30, 2014
  4. Allan R. Bevere: Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction: Jesus, What Big Teeth You Have! — August 29, 2014
  5. Allan R. Bevere: Luke Timothy Johnson on Martin Luther on James and Paul — August 29, 2014

Most commented posts

  1. Allan R. Bevere: Online Communion and Disembodied Gnosticism — 3 comments
  2. Allan R. Bevere: Yes, It Is Unavoidable… in the Head and in the Cafe — 2 comments
  3. Allan R. Bevere: A Last Supper with Helpings of Betrayal and Denial — 1 comment
  4. Allan R. Bevere: You Don’t Get Strung Up on a Cross for Running Around Telling Everyone to Love One Other — 1 comment
  5. Allan R. Bevere: It’s Four Years Later– Will It Be the Same Old Thing? — 1 comment

Author's posts listings

Aug 30 2014

Allan R. Bevere: Ten Rejected Sects of Christianity

Original post at http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/allanbevere/ROss/~3/KTPaUoJe6zA/ten-rejected-sects-of-christianity.html


Peter_Paul_Rubens_-_Cain_slaying_Abel,_1608-1609
While there are a number of different sects of Christianity today, from Roman Catholic to Seventh-day Adventist, there are even more that were put down by mainstream Christianity. Many of them can be classified as Gnostic, which is normally characterized by the rejection of the material world and embrace of the spiritual world, often in direct conflict with the established religions of the time.

The ten are listed with commentary here.

Permanent link to this article: http://methoblog.com/3_0/2014/08/ten-rejected-sects-of-christianity/

Aug 30 2014

Allan R. Bevere: Saturday at the Cinema: How to Write a Theological Sentence

Original post at http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/allanbevere/ROss/~3/iOjLEFdYfHI/saturday-at-cinema-how-to-write.html



Dr. Stanley Hauerwas, How to Write a Theological Sentence from School of Theology on Vimeo.

Permanent link to this article: http://methoblog.com/3_0/2014/08/saturday-at-the-cinema-how-to-write-a-theological-sentence/

Aug 30 2014

Allan R. Bevere: Some Randomly Not Necessarily Connected Thoughts

Original post at http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/allanbevere/ROss/~3/i3xwWFxqlgw/some-randomly-not-necessarily-connected.html


August is almost over and we are now in another Labor Day weekend, the official end of summer. I find the end of summer to be somewhat depressing. I love summer! However, I do find autumn to be a pleasant time of year. The changing seasons are a reminder to me that time marches on and we can no more lengthen time than we can summer. In the Book of Daniel we read, "God changes times and seasons, deposes kings and sets up kings; he gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding: (2:21). As time marches on we must not mourn its passing; rather we need to rejoice in knowing that God is in all our time. We must look upon the past with gratitude, enjoy the present moment, and anticipate the future.

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Today is National Marshmallow Toasting Day. I have to confess that I'm not big fan of marshmallows or meringue. Both taste like nothing more than whipped and inflated sugar. Nevertheless, if you are a fan of inflated sugar toasted to a gold brown, perhaps you should toast one tonight in honor of this day.
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A few weeks ago I preached a sermon entitled, "The Woe-Are-We Church." With the decline of the church in the West it is all too easy for us to bemoan our situation-- "woe-are-we." But the truth of the matter is the Church of Jesus Christ has faced challenges in every age of its existence-- just read the Book of Acts. Moreover, when I think of the challenges the church contronts in other parts of the world, it's real difficult to spend too much time moaning about what is happening to the church in America. We become a woe-are-we church when we forget who is the Lord of the church who promised that the gates of hell would not prevail against it (Matthew 16:18).
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Yabibal Teklu writes, "African Christians have never lived without persecution. Yet in the midst of the suffering, the African church has expanded." His article is worth your time. You can read it here.
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A nine-year-old girl has accidentally killed a gun instructor at a shooting range with an Uzi. Whatever your view of gun ownership, the fact that this was even possible is just not right. As is often said, "something is wrong with this picture." I remember when my mother used to tell me not to run with a knife in the house." Now we have to say, "Don't point that semi-automatic weapon at your instructor." There are some questionable moral assumptions that made this accident possible.
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As I was just speaking of autumn one of the things I like making the most is soup. I especially enjoy just pulling things out of the refrigerator and the pantry and throwing in whatever I find into the pot to see what turns out. I also like to make enough to freeze. Since the cold weather is coming, I will have to get cooking and simmering.
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If you are a Google Chrome user like me, you might be interested in these five tricks in how to get more out of your web browser.
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Is it possible to see too much Jesus in the Old Testament? Some think so, but I think reading the First Testament christologically is an appropriate and warranted hermeneutic. Of course the Old Testament texts need to be read in their context, but it is clear from the letters of Paul that he is employing a "Jesus lens" in reference to his reading of the Hebrew Scriptures. In fact, it is Paul's experience of the risen Jesus that convinces him that he had been reading the text incorrectly. Yes, we must refrain from the kind of readings that suggest the Old Testament writers and editors actually had Jesus in mind when they wrote, but that there is a fuller meaning to these writings that can only come into focus with the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. It is important to recognize this, especially for preaching.
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Here are twenty-eight things that today's children don't understand. I especially like #2-- passing notes in class.
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Have you ever wondered how the ages of the earth and the universe are calculated? The answer is here.
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Quotes of the Week (Possibly, but Not Necessarily Said This Week):

"Men will wrangle for religion; write for it, fight for it, die for it; anything but live for it." --C. C. Colton

"There's a fine line between fishing and just standing on the shore like an idiot." --Steven Wright

"The only way to make hunting a sport is to give the animals guns so they can shoot back." --Lewis Grizzard

"Circumstances Can Change, but I'm Still Probably Not Running In 2016." --Mitt Romney when asked if he might run for POTUS in 2016.

"The world is on fire and neither Democrats or Republicans have a clue" --Marc Ambinder
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Interesting and Somewhat Useless Trivia (from Completely Useless Facts):

Dr. Seuss pronounced his name "soyce."

If you travel across Russia, you will cross seven time zones.

Sherlock Holmes NEVER said "Elementary, my dear Watson"

Apples, potatoes, and onions all taste the same when eaten with your nose plugged.
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Big Word of the Day:

Ignominious: adj. Deserving or causing public disgrace or shame; humiliating: :An ignominious defeat."
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I Love Irony. It's So Ironic:

The founder of Match.com lost his girlfriend to a man she met on Match.com

Charlie Chaplin once entered a Charlie Chaplin lookalike contest and didn't even make the finals.
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This Week in History:

August 29, 1958: Michael Jackson is born.

Permanent link to this article: http://methoblog.com/3_0/2014/08/some-randomly-not-necessarily-connected-thoughts-33/

Aug 29 2014

Allan R. Bevere: Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction: Jesus, What Big Teeth You Have!

Original post at http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/allanbevere/ROss/~3/62xRliyjO54/truth-is-strange-than-fiction-jesus.html


christ of patience x-rayReal Chompers! Jesus Statue Has Human Teeth

By Tia Ghose, Staff Writer
August 18, 2014 08:03am ET

A Jesus statue that has lived an unassuming life in a small town in Mexico for the last 300 years has been hiding a strange secret: real human teeth.

Exactly how the statue of Jesus awaiting punishment prior to his crucifixion got its set of choppers is a mystery.

But the statue may be an example of a tradition in which human body parts were donated to churches for religious purposes, said Fanny Unikel Santoncini, a restorer at the Escuela Nacional de Restauración, Conservación y Museografía at the Instituto Nacional de Antropología E Historia (INAH) in Mexico, who first discovered the statue's teeth.
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The story is here.

Permanent link to this article: http://methoblog.com/3_0/2014/08/truth-is-strange-than-fiction-jesus-what-big-teeth-you-have/

Aug 29 2014

Allan R. Bevere: Luke Timothy Johnson on Martin Luther on James and Paul

Original post at http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/allanbevere/ROss/~3/3s2N1zLcR7A/luke-timothy-johnson-on-martin-luther.html


[James] throws things together so chaotically that it seems to me he must have been some good, pious man who took a few sayings from the disciples of the apostles and thus tossed them off onto the paper. James is a right strawy epistle.--Martin Luther

But these observations still miss the mark, for they allow the presumption to stand that James and Paul were addressing the same topic. They were not. In Paul, the contrast between faith and works was one between the faith in and of Jesus, as a soteriological principle, and the observations of the commandments of Torah, with its promise of life. The contrast in James is one that was common among Hellenistic moral philosophers between speech and action.... James decries a merely verbal profession of faith that fails to be lived out in appropriate behavior.--Luke Timothy Johnson
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Quoted in Ben Witherington III, The Indelible Image: The Theological and Ethical Thought World of the New Testament, Volume One, p. 277.

Permanent link to this article: http://methoblog.com/3_0/2014/08/luke-timothy-johnson-on-martin-luther-on-james-and-paul/

Aug 29 2014

Allan R. Bevere: Letting God Off the Hook: Adam Hamilton on Violence in the Old Testament (Part 3)

Original post at http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/allanbevere/ROss/~3/HjU1aUFZznQ/letting-god-off-hook-adam-hamilton-on_29.html


This is the final post by Dan Hawk on violence in the Old Testament. I thank Dan for his willingness to contribute his thought-provoking essays to this very important discussion. Part 1 of his series is here; part 2 can be found here.
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God in Gray: A Response to "God's Violence in the Old Testament," Part 3.
by Dr. L. Daniel Hawk

I thank my friend Allan for giving me a slot for a third post and thank everyone who's visited this discussion. It struck me that interested readers might appreciate a few thoughts on how the issue of divine violence can be approached differently. I conclude therefore with a few talking points on the matter of theologizing about violence in particular and the Old Testament in general.

1. Theological inquiry must be grounded in the canonical text rather than historical reconstruction. Attempts to do theology based on historical reconstruction culminated in the Biblical Theology movement that flourished in the mid-20th century before imploding under its own weight. While incorporating the fruit of historical inquiry, contemporary North American biblical theologians (among them Brevard Childs, Walter Brueggemann, Terence Fretheim, and John Goldingay) have re-centered theological reflection on the biblical text, rather than what historians say happened or what they claim biblical writers thought. That however has not stopped interpreters like Hamilton from making theological claims on the basis of historical scenarios. To be clear: The biblical text is revelatory. The historian's reconstruction of Israel's past…not necessarily.


2. Theological inquiry of the canonical text and of the canon as a whole must address the evasive, multiform, paradoxical character of the Bible's witness to God as fundamental to its warp and woof. The Old Testament confronts readers with reports, depictions, and claims about God that cannot be reconciled or harmonized, and are not meant to be.

3. The Bible as a whole narrates God's work to renew a world ruined by human sin. It witnesses to a Creator who enters the world and identifies with humanity. The Incarnation was not a new move on God’s part but the culmination of what God had been doing since befriending a single family almost two thousand years earlier. God's problem is that, when stepping into the world, God steps into an unholy mess. God is caught up in the maelstrom of violence that saturates the human condition. The God who commands "thou shalt not kill" cannot avoid commanding and endorsing killing on a massive scale in order to accomplish redemptive ends. Basically, when God steps into humanity, God gets slimed…gets covered with human stuff. For this reason alone, God's story cannot be told apart from paradox.

4. This does not mean that there is no coherent thread within the canon. Theological and Christological interpretation are invaluable for discerning it. The message of scripture as a whole, as it is proclaimed by Christian communities, comprises the framework for theological reflection on the diverse, conflicting threads of the canon. The sense of the whole is articulated by what has been traditionally called the Rule of Faith or, in terms of the Wesleyan tradition, the analogy of faith.

5. The canon presents God at work in multiple locations and multiple ways within human society-- at the center, on the periphery, and at all points between. In the New Testament, God speaks from outside the power-structures, stands over against them, and calls them to judgment. In the Old Testament, God not only speaks from outside the system but also from the center and the circles that radiate from it. God works through and within the monarchy, priesthood, and civic institutions as well as outside them. These diverse locations reveal that God is not absent from any sphere of human life, and in this way the canon opens points of contact for Christians who believe God is at work within the systems of the world, those who believe that Christians must remain separate from them, and all spaces between.

6. Understood in this way, the canon can be viewed as a divine gift that enables Christians of different locations, perspectives, and experiences to join together in conversation and discernment. The moral dilemmas we face are of such complexity that we cannot adequately deal them apart from prayerful humility toward the text and those who hold profoundly different ideas about what the Church is and what God is doing in the world.

7. On the issue of violence, some hermeneutical approaches must be rejected as not faithful and fitting to the biblical witness. These include interpretations that view violent narratives as templates to be imitated or taken up to endorse a partisan or nationalist agenda. The Church has done this kind of thing for so long and in so many ways that justifying violence has become our default mode of thinking and response. We must do better. It will take a lot of work to change our dispositions, so that peace becomes our first and best reaction to every manifestation of violence. The Bible, read well and read together, can help us do this.
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Dr. L. Daniel Hawk is Professor of Old Testament and Hebrew at Ashland Theological Seminary. He has his Ph.D. from Emory University. Dan is an ordained Elder in the United Methodist Church (East Ohio Conference) and has researched and written extensively on the Book of Joshua. His books include a commentary on Joshua in the Berit Olam series, Joshua in 3-D: A Commentary on Biblical Conquest and Manifest Destiny, and Every Promise Fulfilled: Contesting Plots in Joshua.

Permanent link to this article: http://methoblog.com/3_0/2014/08/letting-god-off-the-hook-adam-hamilton-on-violence-in-the-old-testament-part-3/

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