“The great spiritual theologians such a Evagrius of Pontus, Gregory of Nyssa and Maximus the Confessor are ignored by most theologians and pastors. Have we utterly lost them, and many others, because of the rise in modern times of a secular mind that makes them appear old-fashioned? Has the progressive emergence of world culture made them seem provincial? Actually, it is not modern developments that have led us to discard a great deal of our heritage, but church teachings themselves.. It was my theological, not my secular, education that limited me so. I was taught a great deal about the sources used by writers of the Bible, for example—so much that I was afraid to rely on any verse because if I looked around, I expected to find some scholar or other who would say that it was a later addition, with the implication that it could not be relied upon. Both biblical study and theology were cluttered with so many options and so many issues that conversation in the seminary and other academic gatherings resembled the plight of people after the disaster of the tower of Babel rather than the deep communion brought by the Holy Spirit at Pentecost.”
Diogenes Allen, Spiritual Theology: The Theology of Yesterday for Spiritual Help Today (Lanham, MD: Cowley Publications, 1997), 4.
I was rummaging (metaphorically) through my archives, and discovered some papers I wrote back in seminary. It is both humbling and fascinating to see what was of interest to me at that time. Continue reading
My review of Amanda Beckenstein Mbuvi’s Belonging in Genesis has been published in the Review of Biblical Literature. Continue reading
Refugees and plastic bags… Continue reading
“Ethics-related economics in the sense supported by Sen instead follows Aristotle (thus placing the discussion back in the Persian period!) in the concern for subordinating economics to the pursuit of the good of humankind. The difference lies in the purpose and aims of the discipline, especially in terms of what is defined as ‘good’: the increase of the ‘good of humanity’ or the increase of ‘overall wealth’. Both of these perspectives can have some bearing on my project. Ethics-related economics provides help in opening up the perspectives in the biblical texts, which are unquestionably concerned with ethics, especially when ethics is defined along the lines of ‘moral imagination’ or narrative ethics. When broadened to consider economics as an attempt to increase the ‘good of humanity’ along the lines of Aristotle, then the general purpose of economics is under debate. This is also the question that I submit is central for the focus on theological-communal economics in the book(s) of Ezra-Nehemiah, as well as in other Persian period biblical texts. They place the emphasis of their use of economic thinking and terminology in the framework of what is ‘good’ for the community. In terms of theology proper, the biblical texts consider specific economic roles for God. In terms of human economic practice and economic structures, Nehemiah describes various roles for economics that have negative of positive effects on the community, thus the question of what is ‘good’ for Judean society. What orthodox economics seem to assume is that ‘everything has its price’ and can, therefore, be commoditized in one way or another. It remains a question, however, to what extent such a view is reductionist of human society.” (19-20, italics original, bold added)
Peter Altmann, Economics in Persian-Period Biblical Texts: Their Interactions with Economic Developments in the Persian Period and Earlier Biblical Traditions (FAT 109; Tübigen: Mohr Siebeck, 2016).
This is the audio (31:10, 28.5 MB) of a sermon delivered at First Presbyterian Church of Norristown, PA, entitled, “A Newer, Truer Hope.” Continue reading
It’s been a few weeks, so a few of these are old news–but hopefully interesting nonetheless. Continue reading
Election aftermath–thoughts on race, class, and what Trump’s election really means: Continue reading
Over the last year, many people have asked us whether we would be returning to Europe in the near future. The door now appears to be open for us to return to LCC International University in Klaipėda, Lithuania. After many months of prayer, careful consideration, and consultation with friends and family, Corrie and I have decided to return to LCC for the Fall 2017 semester. Continue reading