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Showing posts from April, 2012

Towards a Re-Reading of Romans 1-3

Last week I spent a good amount of time working on a re-reading of Romans 1-3. I've been reading Douglas Campbell's critique of the standard interpretation of Romans 1-4 and with those criticisms in mind I decided to tackle the first three chapters of Romans afresh. I came out of the time with a significantly different approach to these opening chapters than I had in the past. I was debating whether or not I should post some of my insights here, but after continuing to read Campbell's book and noticing some key affinities between my new view and that of Stanley Stowers I decided I'd go ahead and post them. These are not final thoughts on the text, I will certainly revisit it further this summer after I read Campbell's analysis, but I do feel that I have made a definite shift in my understanding of Romans has happened so I thought I'd share it here. This is a start towards a re-reading of Romans 1-3.

The key, in my opinion, to Romans 1-3, comes from one observat…

Song of Songs 1:2-4: Desire

2Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth! For your love is better than wine, 3your anointing oils are fragrant, your name is perfume poured out; therefore the maidens love you. 4Draw me after you, let us make haste. The king has brought me into his chambers. We will exult and rejoice in you; we will extol your love more than wine; rightly do they love you. (NRSV) This is the first of my posts on specific passages of the Song. What you will primarily find is a discussion of metaphor and other literary elements. My goal is to bring out the force of the poetry (much like my posts on Galatians were attempting to bring out the force of Paul's arguments), to help it evoke in us the feeling that I believe the author intended, and in the process form our imagination (in my case reform) and the way we think about sex. I hope that we can replace our culture's dominant dialogue with the Scriptural dialogue.

After that initial discussion, each post will conclude with a reflection on …

The Deliverance of God: Skipping a Few and the Road Ahead

I decided that I am going to skip blogging on chapters four through ten. It's certainly not because they're not interesting or important. Several chapters, like the discussion of sociological research on religious conversion, were absolutely fascinating. I'm making the decision purely on the basis of limited time. The issues I've already discussed on this blog are adequate for having serious concerns about the justification theory of salvation. The chapters I'm skipping either develop further concerns, seek to map out how we got this theory, or discuss methodology. I want to deal from this point on with his interaction with the Pauline texts.

Now that I have a good feel for his methodology and have read a little of his critique of the tradition exegesis of Romans 1-4, I think that I will attempt an independent interpretation of Romans 1-4 - actually I did 1-3 at the library today. Look for that soon (as well as a post on the first section of Song of Songs). After …