James's Weblog

Long live democracy!

Tue, 13/02/2007 - 06:56 -- James Oakley

Exodus 23:1-3: You shall not spread a false report. You shall not join hands with a wicked man to be a malicious witness. You shall not fall in with the many to do evil, nor shall you bear witness in a lawsuit, siding with the many, so as to pervert justice, nor shall you be partial to a poor man in his lawsuit.

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Mark 7: God changes his mind?

Mon, 12/02/2007 - 20:27 -- James Oakley

I’ve got so tired of hearing people, who find irresistible appeal in Open Theism, citing Mark 7:24-30 that it’s time to say something. The appeal is made without consideration to: (i) the Chalcedonian need not to confuse Christ’s two natures, and (ii) the dynamics of human relationships that are playing out. The claim is: Here is an example of God changing his mind.

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Joshua's Birthday

Mon, 29/01/2007 - 20:58 -- James Oakley

We praise God for the birth of Joshua Caleb Oakley on Friday 26th January at 4am, weighing in at 6lb 12oz. Liz and Joshua came home Saturday evening and the whole family are doing well.

(Cue a couple of weeks of blog silence…)

Photo 1

Photo 2

Photo 3

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Kenneth E Bailey on 1 Corinthians 14:33-35

Thu, 25/01/2007 - 16:01 -- James Oakley

Bailey’s article can be found here: http://www.theologymatters.com/TMIssues/JanFeb00.pdf. Significant because of the respect Bailey is increasingly commanding in Britain. Bailey has worked for 40 years in the Middle East, mainly in Syria. He has extensively studied contemporary Middle Eastern culture with a view to shedding light on the cultural background to the teaching of the New Testament.

Also N T Wright claims his own indebtedness to Bailey for the interpretation he adopts in his paper (see previous post).

NT Wright on 1 Tim 2

Thu, 25/01/2007 - 11:43 -- James Oakley

At the moment, I’m reading various people on various texts. At some point, I’ll be interrupted, and have to stop this enterprise, but for now, it’s my current task. Those people have (at least) two things in common: 1. I generally respect their writing. 2. They all take a (slightly or majorly) different view on women’s ministry than me.

Start with N T Wright on 1 Timothy 2.

Wilson on Post Mill

Thu, 25/01/2007 - 10:28 -- James Oakley

Enjoyed listening to the first Doug Wilson session on post-millenialism from the AAPC the other day.

Reluctant to post too much of what he said – better for you to listen to it really.

Before I post anything of his content, I feel I ought to say. Pastor Wilson, before deciding that we Brits can’t pronounce “strawberry” or “controversy”, please: What is “R-millenialism”?

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Compatibalism on NYT

Thu, 04/01/2007 - 20:13 -- James Oakley

No theological axe to grind at all here - it's actually in the Science section of the New York Times. But a quite helpful article on free will, determinism, responsibility and randomness is to be found here.

(The NYT tends to charge for its online content, so I can't vouch for how long the article will stay freely accessible).

Nice touches include the old chocolate illustration, and the observation that the only two alternatives are some kind of causality and randomness. I also like the argument that a being who didn't have freedom of indifference will inevitably perceive that they do - in other words spontaneity will look like indifference.

God is not mentioned. A lot of effort is expended arguing that taking away our notion of free will doesn't lead to nihilism. How liberating, instead, to be able observe that we do not have total libertarian freedom, but that this is because the loving, simple, holy, just, wise, joyful, sufficient God is the one to whom, and for whom, and in whom we exist.

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More on 2 Cor 5:18

Fri, 29/12/2006 - 14:37 -- James Oakley

“The Corinthians are not those to whom the ministry and word of reconciliation have been given. Rather, they are to submit to that ministry and word, given to God’s minister, Paul (6:3-4), which is directed to them.” (Barnett, op. cit., 304)

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Implications of 2 Corinthians 5-6 and apostolic authority

Fri, 29/12/2006 - 12:48 -- James Oakley

If I'm right about 2 Corinthians 5-6, there are big implications.

A lot of people today make 3 moves. 1. Jesus is more important than Paul. I trust in Jesus. I'm saved. 2. Paul is misogynistic, 1st century, badly phrased, and slightly above his station. 3. But that is a secondary issue because of #1.

Instead, 2 Corinthians 5 says that a view such as #2 requires reconciliation to God. It is to turn your back on the offer of new creation, of sins not counted against oneself, of dying, of new life not to oneself but to Christ etc. To write off Paul's ministry in that fashion is not a secondary issue, but a central and gospel issue.

I suspect the end of Colossians 1 and the beginning of Colossians 2 makes the same point.

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