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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Myers, C, et al (1996). "Say to This Mountain": Mark's Story of Discipleship. Maryknoll: Orbis Books. 

Hermeneutic circle
1) Our initial apprehension of the text in terms of our own concerns;
2) critical study of teh text in terms of its socio-historical and narrative context
3) reflection upon the reader's socio -historical and life context
4) a transformed engagement with the world. xiii

Gospel was a term associated with Roman propaganda. News of a military victory on the far-flung frontiers of the Pax Romana, or of the accession to power of a new emperor, was trumpeted as 'glad tidings' throughout the empire. Caesar was eulogized as a 'divine man' on cults and in emperor cults .... Mark was engaging the struggle for hearts and minds through the popular media of the mediterranean world pp6

Daniel - a Jewish apocalyptic tract taht exhorted resistence to hellenistic imperialism two centuries before Mark. Daniel portrays oppressive rulres as 'beasts' and speaks of angels conteding with the princes of kingdoms pp8

Miracle no in the act - Mark goes to great lengths to discourage us from seeing Jesus as a mere popular magicia. Not only dos Jesus discourage people from fixating upon his acts of healing or exorcism, he actualy exhorts his disciples to look into teh deeper meaning. 14

To interpret excorism solely as curing is to miss profound political impact. In contrast to Hellenistic literature, in which miracle-workers normally function to maintain the status quo, gospel healings challenge the ordering of power. Because Jesus seeks teh root causes of why people are marginalised, there is no case of heaing and excorism in Mark that does not also raise a larger question of social oppression. 14

Our modern world view assumes taht teh gospel healing stories relate 'supernatural' cures of medical disorders. In the ancient Mediterranean world, howebver, illness was perceived primarily as a 'socialy disvaued state' an aberrant or defective condition that threatened communal integrity. 16

Judean state consisted of two mutually reinforcing codes: purity and debt. The purity code adjudicated by priests, established what was clean and unclean in order to maintain group and class boundaries... debt code under the jurisdiction of the scribal class, regulated individual and social responsibilities, criminal behaviour and economic status. Its rule 10 comandments determined sins of commission and omission. pp17

JC subverts political authority and threatens those whose social status is wrapped up in the status quo of debt and purity 17

"Christianity does not recognise self love as legitimate form of love. Christaina love moves in two directions, toward God and toward its neighbour; and in self-love it finds its chief adversary which must be fought conquered" (Anders Nygren)

Created to love as God loves, we are invited to love every being, including self. Sin is understood to include negation of self, damaged personhood, brokenness. Christian love may thus be defined to include the true self-love that heals and empowers us to love deeply, thus healing others and society. 106

Prayer for Mark is that personal and communal struggle against this temptation to despair. It is wrestling with the demons within us that tempts us to abandon the way of Jesus 115

Parable of the sower - the promise of 'eternal life' is made to those trying to respond to teh vision of economic justice 128

Leadership in the sovereignty of God is not appointed executively; it is achieved only through an apprenticeship of the cross 133

Am I walking toward Jerusalem, in the sense that I am less interested in power now than when I began my discipleship journey?

Am I willing to 'lose my life' in the sense that Jesus meant it - truly living for values beyond and greater than myself?

Do I engage in futile competition with other disciples of Jesus?

Am I convinced taht God's reign ultimately depends on God and not on me? 137

Gethsemane Jesus demonstrates true prayer ... all things are possible for God, but the first concern of prayer is not to remedy personal distress but rather seek the one whose will is the healing of our broken history . 189

Marks incomplete conclusion - The story is ours to conclude. How will it be written in teh narrative of our own lives? Mark's story of resurrection invites each of us to journey to Galilee in teh geography of our own faith. Were do we see signs of new life in ourselves and our world? How can we nurture and celebrate those signs of life? 210


Thursday, June 03, 2010

Rohr, R. and Ebert, A. (2009) The enneagram a Christian perspective. Crossroad publishing. 

The enneagram arises out of a perspective of human psychic strivings whose roots go back at least as far as the early monsticism of the desert fathers, perhaps even back to pre-Chritin times (Pythagoras). Later, it was presumably passed on orally through the Islamic wisdom tradition of Sufism. Thus, although it seems to be genuinely Christian, it draws from pre-Christian sources and has had an influence on non-Christian mystical traditions. Xii

Attributed to evagrius ponticus (desert father) when he died his partisans had to flee to Armenia where they influenced the Sufis.


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