March 21 2011
 Introduction.
 Ben Pflederer (Ecclesiastes)
 Mark Well (Haggai)
does each compare with the corresponding GBC chapters?
 Pretty Please! By Thursday NOON On time to me and
your respondent!
 SONG OF SONGS Lakendra Scott
Erin Higgins
 GALATIANS Adesewa Adelekun
Respondent: Anna Leigh Keith
 JOB Erin Higgins
Respondent: Wendy Aluoch
 a) Introduction: Identifying the Life-Context in which the Biblical
Book Is Interpreted.
 How does your life-context compare with (differ from) the life
context of the GBC commentary on the same book?
 b) Analyzing the Life Context, its Problems and the Theological
Issues it Raises Regarding the Relationship between the People of
God and World. The Contextual and Theological Questions that focus
 = your analysis of this life situation
 1) Nature of the problem
 2) Root problem
 3) the kind of teaching needed from the Scriptural text
 How does your analysis of your life-context compare with (differ
from) the life context of the GBC commentary on the same book?
-PART I A of Paper- 2) Further ANALYZING THE PROBLEM that
Christian Believers need to address Dialectic text/context
 Learning from the Biblical Book about Your context
 a) from the perspective of the given biblical book, is my original
identification of the primary aspect of the believers’ life where
this problem is correct? Or does it need adjustment?
 b) from the perspective of the given biblical book: How are the
contextual questions/problems found in this life-context
sharpened or even changed? Is the identification of the ROOT
problem appropriate?
 Learning from Your context about the Biblical Book
 c) from the perspective of this life-context, how is the reading of
the biblical text focused on specific aspects of the text? What are
the features/aspects of the biblical text that become particularly
Christian Believers need to address (2)
 d) Is this an issue: Concerning inculturation approach?
Concerning social and justice problems (liberation approach)?
Concerning the relationship between Christians and other
groups in society, including other religions (inter(con)textual
approach)? Concerning the sanctification/sacralization of the
world (sacramental/liturgical/religious experience
 e) Consequently, what is (are) the main theme(s) of the
biblical text upon which the interpretation needs to be focused?
 f ) What is the primary root-problem A lack of (wrong) A)
-PART I B of Paper- Tentatively
Formulating the Teaching
 What is the teaching from this biblical book that
WOULD address this problem?
 a) The main teaching of this Scriptural text needed to
address this problem
 b) View of the Theme
 c) Role of Scripture
 Part II A 5% Analysis of the Text I: an Overall Presentation of
the Biblical Book; locate the most significant passages or features to
address the above problem
Part II B 40% Analysis of the Text II:
1) an analysis of each significant passage; highlighting its most
meaningful features (using one or more scholarly
interpretations or commentaries on this text)
2) comments (based on scholarly studies) on the way each
significant passage addresses or fails to address the issues
concerning the relationship between people of God and the world
outlined above.
How are these refining the tentative formulation of the teaching?
 Respondent: Iris Ankrom
 Respondent: Matt Calderwood
 Lakendra Scott
 Adesewa Adelekun
 Arlonzo Williams
 Anna Leigh Keith
Ben Pflederer: Ecclessiastes
 Key Theme: Purpose of life or lack thereof
 Including one’s relationship to God.
 Two variants to keep in mind
 Purpose of life: where is it centered?
 In autonomous mode of existence
 In relational mode of existence
 In hetoronomous mode of existence
Ecclesiastes, CDC Crenshaw
 responds to a collapsed moral order by denying that human existence has any
meaning. “Vanity of vanities, says Qoheleth, all is vanity,” there is a time for
 A thematic statement about life’s futility begins and ends the reflections, and
poems that follow and precede create a chiastic structure. By (the unknown)
Qoheleth “a teacher of wisdom” reaching out to ordinary people
 a Hellenistic period (c250 BCE) characterized by multitiered government,
economic entrepreneurial ventures, and rapidly changing fortune. (Solomonic
authorship is fictional to legitimize unorthodox views)
 death cancels everything; wisdom cannot achieve its goal; the deity is
unknowable; the world is amoral; and pleasure commends itself.
 His apparent coolness toward a distant deity vexed some readers –hence the
epilogue’s orthodox advice: fear God and keep the Ten Commandments.
 Early church fathers valued the book for its depiction of existence without
Autonomy-Relationality-Heteronomy: 3 modes
of existence
 We Necessarily Have 3
modes of Existence
 Our individual life:
 Our life in relation with
others in social networks
& community:
 Our religious, mystical, “in
love,” proprioceptive
experience(s) (ranging
from infant-mother to
mystical experience)
 Coakley, Sarah. “Kenosis and subversion,” pp. 82-111 in Daphne
Hampson, ed. Swallowing a Fishbone? Feminist Theologians Debate
Christianity. London: SPCK, 1996.
 Grenholm, Cristina, Motherhood and Love: Finding Space for Thought
Beyond the Gendered Stereotypes of Theology. Grand Rapids, Mi:
Eerdsman, 2011
 Hampson, Daphne. “On Autonomy and Heteronomy” pp. 1-16 in
Daphne Hampson, ed. Swallowing a Fishbone? Feminist Theologians
Debate Christianity. London: SPCK, 1996.
Three modes of existence; each can be the center
that gives PURPOSE TO LIFE
Autonomy-Centered = Individual-Centered Life = “I” am in
control … And if not I do not have any purpose to my existence
Relational Life and Heteronomous Life are shaped and defined by
Relationality-Centered = Community/Society Centered Life = “the
community” is in control … And if not we do not have any purpose
to our existence
Individual Life and Heteronomous Life are shaped and defined by
Heteronomy-Centered = Religious Experience Centered Life =
acknowledging that neither “I” nor “we” are in control
(vunerable)… purpose of life is a mystery; apophatic; abandoning
oneself to a mysterious “God”
Individual Life and Relational Life are shaped and defined by Religious
Experience (including Absence of & Negative Religious Experience)
God, Christian Views of: A
Historical Overview CDC (Capetz)
 In Christian belief, “God” is the (common) name for the
sole reality deserving of human worship.
 Many names in the Bible and languages used by church
 one real deity =monotheism following Judaism
 Vs polytheistic religion
 God = the ultimate power that created the world, sustains
and rules over it
 God’s special concern is humankind, created in God’s own
 God is the judge of human failings as well as the redeemer
realigning persons to the divine purposes for them.
 all of God’s creatures exist ultimately for the sake of
glorifying their maker.
God, Christian Views of: A
Historical Overview CDC (Capetz)
 appropriation of Greek philosophy
 Against Christian dualists (Gnostics – Good God vs Evil
God) and pagans reaffirmation of monotheism as
rationally superior and God as a transcendent
metaphysical reality
In tension with biblical anthropomorphism
Impassivity vs compassion
Timeless vs intervening in an evolving history
Absolute simplicity vs complexity of a complex person
 Before the Enlightenment, nevertheless God is known
through revelation first of all (in Scriptures) and only
secondarily through reason.
God, Christian Views of: A
Historical Overview CDC (Capetz)
 With modern natural science , loss of the philosophical
assumption that all rational persons naturally believe in the
existence of one God
 So agnosticism and atheism
Theodicy issue (Leibniz, 1710) = God + justice:
 how can God be just if God is omnipotent and totally good
and yet allows humankind, whom God has created in God’s
image, to suffer?
 Answer Thomas Aquinas (Tillich, etc.): God is beyond the
spatiotemporal world and cannot be judged by spaciotemporal categories
 Job, Paul (Rom 11:33-35) = acknowledging the “mystery” of
God (beyond reason!): abandons conventional notions of
God, Christian Views of: A
Historical Overview CDC (Capetz)
 So theologians explore alternative ways of making Christian religious
convictions intelligible to the wider culture.
 belief in God is important for sustaining moral agency and
existential meaning even if it bears little relation to scientific
explanations of the non-human world. = limited to the autonomous
mode of existence relation to God (heteronomy)
 historical-critical study of biblical and other religious traditions
underscores the essential role of human creativity in generating ideas
about God throughout history. New awareness that traditional beliefs
about God are subject to critique and revision in the light of new
questions arising in different cultural and religious contexts. =
emphasizing the relational/cultural mode of existence as related
to God (heteronomy)
 Process theology emphasizes God’s goodness, luring the world toward
God without coercion.
Completely giving up on Greek categories defining God as the omnipotent, omniscient,
and good = projection of the absolute
HAGGAI Mark Wells
 Respondent:
 Respondent:
Annie Wong
Basye Holland
 Wendy Aluoch
 Taylor Schomp
 Chance Dillon
 Anna McReynold
 Erin Higgins
Haggai Mark Wells (CDC) BETH
 a Minor Prophet, blames drought and deprivation on the people’s failure to
rebuild the Temple after their return from exile, urges the reconstruction of
God’s house, the seat of YHWH’s life-giving presence (1:4–11), and
anticipates both renewed prosperity (2:6–9) and the restoration of Davidic
(messianic) kingship (2:23).
During the reign of the Persian king Darius I in 520 BCE, when Zerubbabel
was governor and Joshua was high priest (Ezra 5:1–2).
Like other prophets, Haggai addresses the connection between sin and
judgment: a responsive turning to God elicits God’s turning to the
community with blessing (2:16–19) rather than curse.
For Haggai, the restoration of the Temple echo beyond Israel (2:19) to
affect world events, (2:21–22). Judah will be independent once again, ruled
by Zerubbabel, the “signet,” the medium through which God’s authority
will be exercised.
Early church fathers emphasized typological connections with
Zerubbabel, e.g. pointing to Christ and his signet, reflecting Christ’s
authority and power as king.
Haggai Mark Wells and Marriage
 Marriage in Eastern Orthodoxy. = sacrament of holy
matrimony: reflect Christ’s union of love with his church
= a “temple”
Marriage in Western Church : Church ceremony only
since the 11th century; follow cultural patterns
free consent, sexual fidelity, and indissolubility
Sacrament In Catholic Church = making manifest the
presence of God
Not In The Protestant Churches Best expressed in
terms of “covenant”
 Autonomy : one to one relationship
 Relational: one-to-one relationship FOR THE SAKE
 Heteronomy: marriage as sacrament; one-to-one
relationship = temple of God and for the sake of
Marriage = honeymoon
1 to 1 relationship
Marriage 1 to 1 relation
Marriage as community building
Marriage as part of, focusing upong
relational mode of existence
Marriage = a 1 to 1 relationship
part of community relationship
Marriage… first heteronomous
Replace “missional” by “Marriage”