Friday, July 16, 2010

Living Mark

The next picture in the prologue portrayed for the reader is the actual coming of John in the wilderness/desert. His role is messenger and his voice is to prepare the way of the Lord, as was mentioned previously. Just as quickly as the narrator moved readers back in God’s story, we are now again in the moving forward mode.

John is baptizing and proclaiming that in the light of what God is doing, Jewish people are to repent in order for the release from sin to take place. This is the time in the wilderness/desert. The location, where John is proclaiming and baptizing is shockingly, out and away from ordinary daily life, hence he’s in the wilderness/desert, and separate from others, and Jerusalem and its ideologies. Repentance without sacrifice in Israel was unheard of, yet John goes against the status quo, and this is truly a sign of hope and fulfillment to all who were present. Apparently, John’s message – repent – and prophetic activity, at least in the eyes of the narrator, stirred up a fair amount of intrigue and interest. Jews flowed out into the wilderness, confessed, and were baptized.

A further element of this interest, and no doubt important to the narrator, was to recount to readers John’s appearance and his diet. These set out to confirm and highlight John’s prophetic role and may even further underline his Elijah connections in the statement, more specifically, of his proclamation. John affirms that the one coming after him has a strength and worth far greater than his own. John’s baptism was a water rite, but the coming one – the stronger one – will saturate Israel with the Holy Spirit in preparation for the incoming eschatological drama. The movement here appears to be from ceremonial washing, which even John indicates is not sufficient, to being a new people of God in light of the fulfillment of the coming One and the front-loaded OT allusions connected to Spirit activities, when God brought an end to the exile and inaugurated the new exodus in the Kingdom of God.




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Living Spiritual Rhythms For Today


Joy Eggerichs said...

Val directed me to your Zig Zag question because of a discussion we were having. I would love your thoughts on this question: Do you think bloggers and writers are becoming the new "preachers?" As Christians, we see that scripture talks about the responsibility on "teachers and preachers." I think we must strive to not misinterpret scripture. I don't think bloggers and writers are claiming to be preachers and teachers, but they give "opinion" based interpretations of scripture. Are we setting ourselves up for really great "sounding" theology...but not "sound" theology?

Greg said...

Thanks. We just had a lecture today on new tech and new selves, then a fascinating meal discussion on FB and identity, and what this means for Christians.

Good question. I think it's true that lots of bloggers are becoming the new preachers, with or without intending to. I agree that we must strive not to misinterpret scripture, or in some cases to even recognize that it must be interpreted, but bloggers have little accountability in the virtual world of tech.

A theology without an actual context, as you put it so well, may be great "sounding" theology, but not "sound" theology. For a theology to be sound it requires a number of elements, not least a living in community with God and with each other.

Joy Eggerichs said...

Thank you for the feedback. I would have loved to be part of that discussion. If I put this up for discussion on my blog do you mind if I quote you?

I like what you said about accountability. It has taken on a completely new format with technology. It seems to be something that is now easier to avoid all together or take on in a limited and even pseudo manner.

Joy Eggerichs said...

my apologies! I realize I am commenting on the wrong post!

Greg said...

You are very welcome to quote me. One of the things that came out of the lunch discussion was the pretentious pseudo security that tech venues offer. Actuality and being a truer self require risk and risk can lead to openness and exposure, which in turn contribute to real security.

Greg said...

I had a look at your blog and see that you are thinking about 1 Corinthians 7. Good! This is a really important text that is much misunderstood. If you would like a shorter version of my MA thesis on this chapter, which goes against some of the traditional views (I think Paul is addressing those already married in vs 1-7 and whether or not to get married only in vs 25ff) that was published in a theological journal some years back, send me your e-mail address and I will gladly send it your way. My PhD was on an entirely different topic, but I always loved the NT work and especially the research on 1 Cor 7.

I wonder what your thoughts would be about my newest book, Living Spiritual Rhythms For Today??

Joy Eggerichs said...

Please send--would be honored to read!

Joshua said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Greg said...

Yes, it was me who started Mark. Mark is just so different than the others.