The Weekly Roundup – 10.11.19
“So, reader be warned. Cultivating sensitivity to Christian anti-Judaism involves re-learning or at least re-thinking a body of material that “everybody knows.” Un-learning and re-learning, in my experience, is always challenging, often annoying, sometimes infuriating.”
– Heather Thiessen.
- @AlchemistNon has constructed a moral argument against Calvinism. For those unfamiliar with the theological system, Calvinism is a system of belief that posits the absolute sovereignty of God over all things to the effect that he has chosen, before the creation of the cosmos, those whom he would save and those whom he would damn for eternity. In this piece by @AlchemistNon we see an attack on a particular version of Calvinism that posits some children are non-elect and therefore end up in hell if they die. The author argues that this goes against our basic moral intuitions. A short but great read.
- Rebekah K. of The Curious Atheist posts on creationism’s greatest weakness. Her journey away from creationism is similar to my own. For example, she writes that in order to get a proper understanding of evolutionary theory she “needed to look outside the Christian circles.” I found this step indispensable in my move away from creationism since invariably creationists, when discussing evolution, do so with a massive bias and rarely any desire to present opposing views accurately or charitably. But this isn’t creationism’s greatest weakness, at least not according to Rebekah. To find out what she thinks that is, you need to read the piece!
- We are all familiar with the prophetic utterances in the Gospels like what we find in Matthew 24:34: “Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all these things have taken place.” “These things” refers to both the destruction of the temple and the coming of the Son of man, an eschatological event in which he sends out his angels to gather the elect. But this didn’t happen in 70 CE. So what gives? Christian preterists have provided a slew of possible answers but Alex of Scribes of the Kingdom points out some flaws in their reasoning. A well written post on a fascinating subject!
- Heather Thiessen has a review of Amy-Jill Levine’s The Misunderstood Jew: The Church and the Scandal of the Jewish Jesus. As she points out, there is a dearth of knowledge about the ancient Jewish context wherein Jesus found himself. Consequently, we read the New Testament texts through modern lenses, blissfully unaware that we are doing so anachronistically. Levine’s work tries to correct that problem on a basic level.
- Over at TheTorah.com, Gili Kugler has a post on on the fate of the rebellious generation of Numbers versus their fate in Deuteronomy. In the former, the generation dies off in the wilderness, before they get to the Promised Land. In the latter, they are still alive as they are on the cusp of entering it. An interesting analysis!