Monday, September 5, 2011

The Angled Mirror: "Behold the Man!"

Been watching some NT Wright videos in the last couple days- and found a couple of really interesting observations that are new to me:

1.) Genesis 1, read by an ancient near-easterner, would be understood as a description of the building of a temple.  God, in the six days of creation, is building himself a place to dwell. As temple-goers would note, the final work he does in creation is to create an image of himself, an eikon, and place it in the temple.  This image would assist the worshippers by reminding them of who it is they are there for, of what the goal of their worship is.  (In addition to the spiritual motif, you could see a political version of this, Wright says, in the far reaches of the Roman empire, where statues of Caesar were erected to remind the colonies of whom they owed allegiance to.)  This eikon, in Genesis, is Adam.  Man is the "royal priest" who rules creation by dispensing the will of God, and reflects creation's glory back to it's Creator in praise of God.  Man, in Genesis, is designed to be an "angled mirror," then, reflecting God into creation, and Creation back to God. Remember, this happens on the sixth day.

2.) Fast forward to John 19.  Jesus' final day. The Preparation for the Passover. Friday. The sixth day of the week. Jesus stands accused. He has been brought before Pilate.  The torture has already begun, the crown of the thorns pressed onto his head, the purple robe draped over him in mockery.  Finding no guilt in him, Pilate brings him before the crowds and declares "Behold the Man!"


(Side note on Pontius Pilate: This stuff gives us a perspective on him as being way out of his league without even knowing it. I always want to hold out hope for this unwitting Roman mogul whenever I read about him in the Gospels.)

The "temple" being built now is the architecture of salvation, the new creation, a community of saints with Jesus as the eikon, the final placement, the image of God, presented to the inhabitants for worship.  A temple of living stones, in which Jesus will dwell.  The true Man does what Adam failed to, what Israel failed to, and like an angled mirror reflects the glory of God (the suffering savior) to the temple goers, and reflects the praise of the worshippers back to God. The true Royal Priest is here.

if you care to watch the whole thing, here it is:

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Alan Hirsch on Centralized Power Structures, Communitas, and Disciples vs. Consumers

I don't know why no one's said this before, but it makes perfect sense: "centralized structures are more vulnerable to heresy than de-centralized structures. A centralized structure attracts people who like power...and magnifies their influence throughout the system."

Communitas: a community formed in the context of an ordeal, a challenge, a mission...

Middle class obsession with safety and security, indeed Alan!

On the "disciples" that the world is making..."trillions of dollars are put into it to manipulate our sense of self...this is the task of advertising is to create desire...You cannot build a church on consumers."

My favorite one: