Comments: columns of opinion

Prayers for Mrs. Bishop (and for Father Giles and his daughter---and also for Mrs. B's assailant)

Lord have mercy!

Posted by JCF at Saturday, 16 June 2007 at 10:14pm BST

Another good article that has gone up this weekend is Simon Barrow on Ekklesia called "Religion, anti-religion and the perils of being right"

My prayers for all the victims of all crimes, especially in societies where funding tyranny and repression is prioritised over creating sustainable and safe futures for existing and future generations, both within their own communities and abroad.

Johnson uses a poignant phrase "...a deliberate and willful darkening of the mind that results from the refusal to acknowledge God’s presence and power at work in human stories."

One thing that has struck me in the last few years is how some characters in the bible are seen as "holy" and therefore above reproach, whilst others are seen as only human and therefore their wisdom is discounted.

For example, in my recent studies of Joshua it becomes clear that God never intended to redeem only the Jews or to have only covenants with the Jews. e.g. Joshua 8:33-35, which includes "All Israel, aliens and citizens alike, with their elders, officials and judges, were standing on both sides of the ark of the covenant of the LORD, facing those who carried it — the priests, who were Levites...Joshua read all the words... There was not a word of all that Moses had commanded that Joshua did not read to the whole assembly of Israel, including the women and children, and the aliens who lived among them." Note that in this passage, all of Israel includes both aliens and jews, women and children, priests and males.

We also see other passages in the bible where if humans enter into contracts and cooperate with Jews, they are also covered by God's promises e.g. the Gibeonites in Joshua 9 and the Recabites in Jeremiah 35. Similarly in Nehemiah 5, the prophet hears the complaints of the aliens, and realises that they have legitimate grievances against the Jews. Nehemiah calls upon the Jews to repent and treat their neighbours to the same standards that they should be treating their own.

Jesus did not rewrite God's intentions, rather he dramatically re-emphasised them.

Posted by Cheryl Clough at Sunday, 17 June 2007 at 12:33am BST
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