The Old Testament Law: A View from the New

This is part of an essay that I’m writing about St Paul. This section is my attempted reconstruction of the meaning and purpose of the law, and the difference that the New Covenant makes to the Old. I hope it makes sense. Note that I am being severely cramped by a time limit for my verbal presentation, so if any ideas are underdeveloped, I apologise. I’ve had to edit my paper ruthlessly as it is. Without further ado:

The Setting of the Law in Redemption History

I believe that NT Wright has adopted the correct approach in grounding Paul’s thinking in the whole thrust of redemption history. After all, the books of the Law begin with the Genesis prologue, and it forms an important, but much ignored, interpretive setting. It defines the project and trajectory of God’s action in the world, of which the law is only a part. Continue reading

Stuff we should already have invented

My cellphone has more gadgets than all of the James Bonds put together, even that dopey Australian one who got married. My computer is so powerful that it has probably already joined a digital army that now controls the world and is so clever that it realised that it was easier if they didn’t tell us about it. If technology is so far along, why haven’t they invented these yet?

#1 Car headlights that turn off when you take the key out
OK, so, Unos used to have this feature; Fiats in general still might. But in the happy years in which I drove an Uno, I found no application for which I would need the lights on when I am not at my car. None. If I need the lights, I could put the key in the ignition, because I was standing there. Needing the lights. When I went away and felt like I should take the keys with me, I didn’t mind that the lights went off, because I had gone away. Do Toyota and VW make car batteries? Controlling share in the AA? I don’t get it.

#2 Laser printers that can print white
Laser printer manufacturers have no doubt seen that coloured paper is available to the general public. Why then have they not made a printer that can use it? If one of them just stuck a white ink cartridge into a home printer, they could own the horrid home-DTP market. Even if it just printed black and white, real white, it would revolutionise your DIY Martha Stewart home scrap-booking capabilities, and it would multiply your opportunities to radically abuse Comic Sans on tacky home publications.

#3 Small tracking devices
Everyone loses stuff. I spend more time looking for golf balls than hitting them. My glasses disappeared. Who hasn’t turned the couch inside-out looking for car keys? Why on earth has technology failed to provide us with little tracking devices that we can stick on things that are easy to lose? Like children for example. You could programme the different signals into your super-powerful cellphone and use it to lead you to your stray item. And then you could have a back-up device for when you lose your cellphone.

I’d buy those things.

Now taking your submissions for other stuff that we should have invented already.

Lying for Jesus

Someone make it stop! The embarrassments for Christianity surrounding our response to the Sax Appeal blasphemy just keep on coming. After the hash that Christians made of organising the debate with the AAS that led to them walking away from it, Christian Action released a statement beginning with these words:

Atheist Abandons Argument
Just two hours before the scheduled debate the Atheist Association lecturer, Jacques Rousseau, cancelled his involvement and withdrew from the debate. The organiser was then compelled to change the venue from Jameson Hall to a different venue nearby.

It was followed by a series of the same old non-arguments for the case against blasphemy that are unfortunate, but probably not blatantly dishonest as this is. Continue reading

Atheist blasphemy forgotten, Christian blasphemy continues

The free speech versus blasphemy issues precipitated chiefly by the Sax Appeal magazine are finally drawing to a close, but the vulgarity with which it all began is still being matched by Christians hell-bent on making it an ongoing cause for shame. On a more benign front, Errol Naidoo collated all of his thoughts into a propaganda piece in Joy Magazine, but more shockingly, a debate on UCT officially flopped, but culminated in an odious mud-slinging match behind the scenes. Continue reading