24 September 2010

Sep 24

Reference links:
Old Testament

A large part of today's reading is about idols. The author talks about the stupidity and arrogance of those who worship idols saying,
The person who made the idol never stops to reflect, “Why, it’s just a block of wood!
I burned half of it for heat
and used it to bake my bread and roast my meat.
How can the rest of it be a god?
Should I bow down to worship a piece of wood?”
As I have probably said before, by doing this, the author shows a basic misunderstanding of idols and their purpose. In pretty much every case I have heard of, people did not believe that the idols themselves were gods. They believed that the idols were representations of their gods. Representations with power, but, none the less, representations and not the gods themselves. Other than the fact that the idols were meant to be an image of the god they represented, this is really no different than the ark or even the whole temple or the cross for Christians. These too are treated in such as way that could be considered worship of the object itself by those outside of the community of worship.

One sentiment from today's reading that I feel is not applied widely enough:
Yet he cannot bring himself to ask,
“Is this idol that I’m holding in my hand a lie?”
We should all bring ourselves to wonder if that which we hold dear is nothing more than a lie. This is a question that people are generally afraid to ask (and, I would propose, the religious are often most afraid to ask). And if I didn't have a policy of not talking about current events, I might wonder how many present day Christians treat the Bible as an idol...

New Testament

Given that this letter does largely rehash ideas we have seen before, I cannot help but focus on all of the ways it does not sound like Paul's voice. The discussion of Paul's authority lacks his usual defensiveness. The statements are vague and general (as compared to vague and specific, which seemed to be more common).

I am trying to decide whether or not I like this author's writing style. On the one hand, he leans towards longer, more complex sentences. On the other hand, so do I, so I am somewhat use to that rhythm. =)

Psalms and Proverbs

Nothing of particular note.