Is Scripture ‘finished’ being written?
Christians believe it is. How so? Catholics and Protestants don’t agree on which books are to be included, and various leaders in church history have thought it best to leave certain books out, such as Revelation or James.
One way to begin discussing the question is to think about the Jewish Scriptures, the Old Testament or the Tanakh. Broadly speaking, this grouping of Scriptures are records of, and reflections on, at least four key, formative, identity-establishing events: a) Creation, b) Election, c) Exodus and d) Exile. You cannot be Jewish and not identify with those events, and thus the Jewish Scriptures would not be complete without records and reflection on all of them.
In the same way, the Christian Scriptures incorporate all of these events into a further climactic Christ Event (which is shorthand for a series of events: Birth, Life, Death, Resurrection, Ascension). In addition, you have the launch of the Church, partnering with God’s redemptive mission in anticipation of the fulfillment or ‘consummation’ of the coming of God’s Kingdom “on earth as it is in heaven.” Thus the Christian Scriptures, like Christian identity, are not complete without addressing Creation, Election, Exodus, Exile, Christ, Church and Consummation. Whereas hope of a coming Messiah is implicit in the Jewish Scriptures, the hope of a consummated Kingdom is explicit in the Christian Scriptures.
So then, just as the Jewish Scriptures are a complete and coherent witness to the identify forming events of Judaism, so also the Christian Scriptures (with or without the Apocryphal books that divide Catholics and Protestants) are a complete and coherent witness to the identity forming events of Christian faith and hope.
Admittedly a bit dated, but a 1998 paper by the Joint Methodist-Presbyterian Public Questions Committee suggested that for those “whose emotional or physical make-up means that it is unlikely they would ever be able to enter a mutually acceptable and honest physical relationship with another person’, prostitutes should be provided, and that “to deny such people any opportunity to express their sexuality physically seems almost inhuman.”
I’m particularly interested in the last bit. It’s not hard to see that the statement locates physical sexual expression at or near the core of what it means to be human. In the sexualised West, it’s perhaps not surprising to see such an assumption. Transpose this specific statement (“It’s [almost] inhuman to deny people the opportunity to express their sexuality physically.”), into general key: “It’s [almost] inhuman to deny people the opportunity to express any/all forms and expressions of all desires & identities.”
The ‘proper’ basis for the personal identity of any given human is a hard thing to derive… if you’re limited to the tools of, say, science. Science wonderfully (and tragically in the case of murder, hate, discrimination, etc.) describes what humans ‘do’ (human doings), but not what/who humans ‘are’ (human beings).
I’d want to affirm that ‘doing’ (as well as ‘knowing’ and ‘feeling’) is a necessary component of what a human ‘being’ is, but not the whole composition. Any identity based on only feelings, actions and intelligence alone is incomplete and leaves out something. Continue reading “sex & identity”
…of “all of [them] on the Facebook Team” to wish me a happy (30th) birthday (on the ’30th’ of January). Continue reading “how nice…”
Consciousness is at least sentience, but not less.
We can imagine a spectrum of least sentient to most sentient. The nearest animals to humans, in this case, would (obviously!) have the closest kind of sentience to humans. But (however this ’emerged’ or came to be) humans are ultra-sentient. We have more than sensation (sentience); we also have a perceiving, yearning kind of consciousness. We are self aware of our own self awareness. Continue reading “sentience and consciousness”
Epistemology is (loosely defined) as the study of knowledge.
As the ending of this very sentence will show, it is circular to assume ( that is, before investigation or a priori ) that you know what it means to know something (i.e. that you know what knowledge is!). Continue reading “knowing about knowing”
(Click the post title to see the 19.5 week scan!) :) Continue reading “here’s looking at (our) kid”
Have a read.
It’s not just those fundamentalist, conservative, annoying Christians who are concerned about our western over-sexed culture…
I’ve posted before on this topic, and thought I’d share a bit more about it. Hopefully, these thoughts will be helpful in aiding fruitful discussion…
I’ve observed a distinction between 3 things that I feel are necessary to distinguish between in order to most helpfully discuss the topic of sexuality. Actually, these three things can, I suggest, be distinguished helpfully when discussing other topics as well… See what you think…
Continue reading “sexual identity – again…”
There are a few, perhaps, who would answer this question with a casual (or insistent) “None. Get over it”, but most, I suspect, would agree: porn (obviously only for societies that have it) is a problem.
Some better questions would be ‘what kind of problem is it?’, ‘where does it come from?’ and ‘how do people deal with it?’
Jason Byassee has written an interesting article over at ‘First Things’ website. He refers to a book by Pamela Paul, ‘Pornified: How Pornography Is Transforming Our Lives, Our Relationships, and Our Families’, whose Times article titled ‘The Porn Factor’ begins with this synopsis of a ‘Friends’ episode: Continue reading “what’s the problem with porn?”