Jason Hood Posts
December 11, 2012 by Jason Hood
Not much to say about this one yet as we are in the middle of it. But here are a few favorite quotes from the opening chapters. The first, simply because I wish I had half as much sass:
“I say,” put in Shasta in rather a shocked voice, “oughtn’t you to say ‘May he live forever’?”
“Why?” asked the Horse. “I’m a free Narnian. And why should I talk slaves’ talk and fools’ talk? I don’t want him to live forever, and I know that he’s not going to live forever whether I want him to or not.”
And this line–unfortunately entirely too applicable in our contemporary world, full of lunacy like this–sums up a major point in Lewis’s Abolition of Man in a nutshell:
Aravis immediately began [telling her story], sitting quite still and using a rather different tone and style from her usual one. For in Calormen, story-telling (whether the stories are true or made up) is a thing you’re taught, just as English boys and girls are taught essay writing. The difference is that people want to hear the stories, whereas I never heard of anyone who wanted to read the essays.
November 28, 2012 by Jason Hood
[[And no fair using books.Google.com or Amazon search functions. Just give it a guess. Emphasis below is added.]]
Expository preaching need not mention Golgotha, Bethlehem, or the Mount of Olives to remain Christ-centered. . . .
Even if a preacher does not specifically mention an aspect of Christ’s earthly ministry in a sermon, it can still be Christ-centered. As long as a preacher explains the ways in which God uses a text to reveal his plan, purposes, and/or reasons for redemption, the sermon leads listeners away from human-centered religiosity. Exposition is Christ-centered when it discloses God’s essential nature as our Provider, Deliverer, and Sustainer whether or not Jesus is mentioned by name.
November 26, 2012 by Jason Hood
I write this on a patio at a church where I work, with beautiful leaves and a lovely Memphis November day, marred only by the sight of the shopping mall across the street saturated with less-than-festive holiday shopping. Holiday shopping has to be some sort of proof–whether causal or typological or proleptic or what have you–of hell and our need for its existence.
Here’s Bob Gundry’s take:
The NT doesn’t put forward eternal punishment of the wicked as a doctrine to be defended because it casts suspicion on God’s justice and love. To the contrary, the NT puts forward eternal punishment as right, even obviously right. It wouldn’t be right of God not to punish the wicked, so that the doctrine supports rather than subverts his justice and love. (from Themelios 36 )
In other words, while we may need to recalibrate our articulation of divine judgment, there’s no need to apologize for it. The NT never does.0 Comments
November 5, 2012 by Jason Hood
In Genesis 18:18-19, God describes his purpose in choosing Abraham and his family:
” . . . all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him, for I have chosen him, that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing righteousness and justice, so that the Lord may bring to Abraham what he has promised him.”
Something similar happens with David in 2 Sam 8:15, where his status as an elected man who “does justice and righteousness” establishes him as the fount of blessing to the nations.
Despite a modicum of success in their lives (see especially Genesis 26:1-5) and in the lives of their successors (Joseph and Solomon, to name two), Israel continued to wait for the heir of the promises to Abe and Dave, who would truly lead her people in justice and righteousness for the sake of the nations.0 Comments
November 1, 2012 by Jason Hood
One of the themes of my current research is the role humanity plays in the Kingdom of God. It’s a theme that first arises in Genesis 1 and appears throughout the Bible. (You can see an older post on this theme here.)
As Chris Wright notes, “Only when we link the kingship of David and his successors to the kingship of God can we make sense of texts that envision the reign of David over the nations or even over the earth.” (Mission of God, 345). Wright particularly cites the Psalms as the source of this emphasis.
In the introduction to his commentary on Psalms, James Mays explains the significance of this theme for the Psalter’s approach to Messianic Psalms. Psalm 2 has a central role to play in the Psalter’s overall message. This Psalm shows that the establishment of God’s anointed human king is
the response by the kingdom of God to the kings and rulers of earth. The king represents the kingdom of heaven on earth and will extend the reign of God over the unruly, rebellious kings of the world.
Despite the devastating failure of this mission, highlighted especially at the conclusion of Book III in Psalm 89, the Psalms continue to develop the theme, and in such a way that these psalms function as messianic prophecy.
[I]n Psalm 110, the promise that the king will represent the kingdom of God the nations of earth is renewed.
In these psalms . . . the entire history of kingship in Judah has been collapsed into the question of God’s steadfast love to David as the secret of God’s coming rule in the world.
Mays goes on to cite the way in which the assocation of Psalms with David adds one more important Christological piece. Citing Psalm 22 in particular, these psalms produce a surprising shift in the view of the Messiah; he is not just the king who bears God’s kingdom, he is
one of the lowly, beset by all of the predicaments that belong to common humanity, vulnerable and needy. . . . The prayers even imply that it is in the travail of his human nature that this David mysteriously will carry out his vocation . . .
October 31, 2012 by Jason Hood
David really wants to build Yahweh a house. Yahweh shows up, tells him no in surprisingly firm-to-harsh language, and insists that he will build David’s house. Summarizing her work in The Deuteronomistic History and the Name Theology (de Gruyter, 2002), 69-75, Sandra Richter explores the countercultural way in which Yahweh rebuffs David’s attempt to build the temple:
Significant to the exchange between Yahweh and David is the fact that in the world of the ancient Near East, kingship and temple building were inextricably linked. As the servant of the gods and the conduit through which the gods interacted with the nation, prominent among a king’s royal duties was the building and maintenance of the patron deity’s temple.
Thus, it was customary for the newly crowned king, especially a usurper (which David was), to celebrate his ascension by building or refurbishing a temple for the deity who had assisted him in the successful acquisition of the throne. According to Thorkild Jacobsen, one motivation behind such temple-building was to ensure the presence (and patronage) of the deity. For the new king, the divine presence meant the security of his throne . . .
With this lens, we see that David’s passion for temple-building was probably something less than selfless piety, and Yahweh’s harsh response to David begins to make sense. David is being rebuked for attempting to manipulate Yahweh and for patterning his kingship according to the model of neighboring nations. But note that even in the midst of this rebuke, Yahweh does answer David’s real concern—the security of his throne.
Epic of Eden, 252 n. 14
October 30, 2012 by Jason Hood
While B. B. Warfield was relatively open to science and evolution, he and others at Old Princeton were deeply suspicious of historical reconstructions of texts, which were endlessly dissected based on tenuous reconstructions on the basis of presuppositions about religious history en vogue in 19th century Germany. The same world that produced multiple editions of Q (keep in mind no one has ever seen one edition, let alone two or more) produced endless opportunities for scholarly creativity.
During the same era, Charles Briggs was an opponent of conservative scholarship and principles, especially inerrancy and Warfield. Defrocked by the Presbyterians in 1893, he cuts the figure of a martyr for the sake of historical critical methodology. Of course, we have to take “martyr” with a grain of salt; Briggs was given honorary doctorates by Oxford, Glasgow, and Edinburgh, and the Episcopalians welcomed him with open arms.
But regardless of acclaim–and notwithstanding the fact that Briggs was in some instances asking important questions that conservatives needed to address–there are grave costs to bear for one’s commitment to scholarship with shoddy presuppositions. One might even call them burial expenses.
Earlier this month while researching the Enthronement/Royal Psalms, I happened across the following sentence in an essay by Leo Perdue.
Efforts to reconstruct possible historical situations reflected in ‘Enthronement Hymns’ have generally met with little acceptance.
A great deal of literature could have been cited, but the footnote for that sentence consists only of Briggs’s Psalms (International Critical Commentary, 1906).
We can grant the Qoheleth-esque point that all our work fades away. Many of Warfield’s points haven’t stood the test of time. But here we have not a severed finger or discarded organ, but the corpse of an entire commentary: Briggs’s “state-of-the-art-in-1900″ scholarship has entered its reward, a cave as wide as history, with the word “dustbin” carved over the entrance.0 Comments
October 26, 2012 by Jason Hood
The perimeters of the collection thus are obedience (Psalm 1) and praise (Psalm 150).
In this way, the Psalter makes an assertion about the shape of life lived in Israel’s covenant by means of the canonical shape of the collection of the Psalms. Like the Psalter, life derived from and ceded back to Yahweh begins in obedience and ends in praise.
From outside of these faith claims, it may be argued that life in fact never is lived this way and never turns out this way. Inside the claims of this faith, however, Israel is relentless in its insistence that life works this way.
Life works this way inside the covenant because  God’s demands are non-negotiable and  because God’s fidelity is found reliable.
Walter Brueggemann, “Bounded by Obedience and Praise: The Psalms as Canon”0 Comments
October 24, 2012 by Jason Hood
There’s an interesting article by Charles Halton in the recent (2012) Scandinavian Journal for the Old Testament. Here’s the abstract:
Traditionally, biblical commentators either tone down the sexual tension within Ruth 3 or celebrate it with sensationalistic exuberance. However, theologians have not attempted to integrate the provocative nature of the passage into a theological understanding of the book or the character of Ruth. This essay outlines the reasons why Naomi’s plan is rightly interpreted as an attempt at sexual entrapment. Ruth follows this plan until the very last minute when she reveals herself and her intentions to Boaz. Both of these actions―showing fidelity to both Naomi and Boaz―exposed Ruth to potential harm and as such serves as a picture what ḥesed entails.
October 23, 2012 by Jason Hood
Samuel is a “new Moses”: God calls his name twice as he did with Moses, and Samuel says, “Here I am” just like Moses (Exod 3:4). The text, I think, is urging readers to see him in the light of Moses and the promise of a “prophet like Moses” in Deuteronomy 18.
Perhaps it’s no accident, then, that an Exodus-style deliverance is on offer for Israel; God in the ark defeats Dagon and the Philistines all by itself, with language that echoes the Exodus:
The story of the ark is like the story of the Exodus in a number of ways. But there is also an important difference. In the exodus, Israel was in captivity in Egypt. Back in Deuteronomy 28:64-68, Moses warns Israel that they will be driven from the land if they do not obey the Lord. . . . Yet Israel is not being driven from the land. Instead, the ark, the symbol of the Lord’s presence in Israel, leaves. The Lord Himself takes on the curse of the covenant: He goes into exile in place of His sinful people. And while He is in exile, he defeats Israel’s enemies.
This is a picture of the gospel: As Jesus defeated Satan and sin by His humiliation, so Yahweh defeats Dagon and Philistia by suffering ‘defeat’ and exile. But Yahweh proves that the defeat of God is greater than the victory of men.
Peter Leithart, A House for My Name, 130.
Yahweh goes into Exile and Yahweh takes the Exodus back to the promised land. He does so by doing “plagues”–this time without any Moses at all. But after this Exodus, Samuel as the “new Moses” certainly takes up Moses’s mantle and leads the people around tabernacle worship.
But Samuel also points to the greater Moses. He is prophet, priest, and ruler (not quite king, but a ruler nonetheless by virtue of being a judge; 1 Samuel 7:15-17).When the people of Israel reject Samuel and the God who appointed him to lead his people and go all in for Saul, they trade the prophet-priest-ruler trifecta for a very poor substitute. Saul is ultimately “king only,” failing in the priestly and prophetic aspects of his role. The rejection of Jesus leads Israel again to the same fate: “we have no king but Caesar.”1 Comment