Sunday, December 09, 2007

What's new

Before I begin my next bit of armchair theology, I suppose I ought to provide a few updates, just so there's not a lot of discontinuity between this year's post and last year's post.

First, I'm slowly working my way through Rene Girard for Dummies by S. Mark Heim, a fascinating book that is probably better known by the title Saved from Sacrifice: A Theology of the Cross. Heim begins with some of the things that start to disturb us when our liberal humanist sensibilities collide with the biblical text: things like the conquest of Canaan, and the book of Job, and the binding of Isaac.

One particularly disturbing doctrine highlighted by Heim is the doctrine of Penal Substitutionary Atonement: the idea that while all humans deserve the wrath of God, Jesus saves us from that wrath by invoking the rules of the old sacrificial system, offering himself in our place as a perfect sacrifice to appease God's thirst for justice. Heim presents Girard's thought as a sort of antidote to PSA, a different way of understanding both the Bible and the saving power of the cross.

In the next few posts, I'll pick out some interesting bits of this book and share them with you. But you'll have to be patient ... like I said, I'm moving rather slowly, because I now have not just one, but two, count them, TWO children living at my house!

In addition to the time and attention required by a new daughter, I'm also spending some extra time taking care of her mother, because for some reason -- maybe she thinks it's funny -- she just keeps trying to die on us. Yes, she's home now, and doing very well, but to be perfectly honest, I wish she would QUIT SCARING ME, thank you very much.

Also, on a totally unrelated note, I hate doctors.

So next time, we'll have big fun talking about Heim, and we'll all learn why I'm right about God and Scoots is wrong. Until then ...


Richard Beck said...

Congratulations on being a new father! When the death anxiety get's high give me a call;-)

Anonymous said...

Hi, Im from Melbourne Australia.

Girard leaves me cold--here is why:


Plus references on the unspeakably dreadlful SCAPEGOAT politics & "culture" created by godless exoteric religionists and scientism.



Paul said...

Congratulations on your daughter and I hope your wife makes a full/consistent recovery.

The more experience you have of doctors, the less you like them. In having to deal with them continually for fifteen years, I've met a few I really liked - but definitely in the minority. It looks to me as though the profession encourages egoism in a way that few other occupations do.

I already know that you're right and Scoots is wrong, lol. After all, he never posts to my blog - therefore, may divine wrath be upon his head! Or something less, maybe just a little computer trouble or something.

scoots said...

Hey, be careful with the "computer trouble" curses, Paul. I'm in the middle of writing my final papers! (Of course, right now I'm reading blogs instead of writing them, but that's beside the point.)

Glad to know I'm not forgotten even when I haven't stopped by the blog in a couple of weeks--except for the part where Matt never told me he was having another kid...

But I did get the picture email. Congratulations! I hope I can make it out sometime over Christmas break, if the new mom is well enough and things aren't too stressful for y'all, and if my dad will let me use the car. Or maybe y'all will be in Dallas at some point? Anyway, I'll email or call or something.

Paul said...

Scoots: OK, no computer curse then...

What about that fish net thing with the ping pong balls falling out on your head like used to happen with Captain Kangaroo? But I guess that would be before your time. Still, it was a pretty good sight gag.

Matthew better come back or we may spin his thread out of control...

Agent B said...

Big congrats on fatherhood.

Hope your wife is doing better. And I share your disdain for doctors.