rapists into lovers?

Just reading those intro chapters of Genesis, and I noticed what seems quite a contrast between the human vocation statements in the two creation stories.

  • Gen 1:28 says humans are to ‘fill‘ (מָלֵא mala – be full; fill) and ‘subdue‘ (כָּבַשׁ kabash – be raped; subjugate; be humiliated; etc.) the earth…
  • Then Gen 2:15 says they are to ‘tend‘ (עָבַד abad – work, serve) and ‘keep‘ (שָׁמַר shamar – keep, watch, preserve) it.

Quite striking! The first has images of conquest; of a top-down power play… The second has images of care-giving; of a bottom-up servant-hood…

I wonder if this would be the starting place for a biblical theme of violence?  Perhaps, just as there is a tension between priestly (pro-temple) accounts and prophetic (pro-justice) accounts in the OT, this also evidences a tension between understandings concerning violence and war…

…and just as Jesus agreed with the prophets (over against the ‘religious’ priests), he also agreed with those who were the servants and preservers of creation (over against the violent ones who would kill for religious liberty)!

Thoughts and insights welcome.

india: different

So I should probably post about my recent trip to India.

I could give a ‘what we got up to’ report of the work our team did (some still over – some still yet to go) on the new Freeset T-shirts building.  But we didn’t only go as labourers – we went to observe as well.  Kerry took us on a couple of ‘walks’ to see the areas around Freeset, and also we saw other bits of Kolkata as well.  I suppose I’m more inclined to reflect on what I observed and the thoughts it brought to mind – many of which will still tick over in my head for some time to come. Continue reading “india: different”