Sunday, September 25, 2005

Interesting Conversation

I've decided to set up 'Interesting Conversation' section here to keep each unique conversation i had.

Interesting Conversation 1

Had an insighful conversation with a M.Th student from Trinity Theological College who is currently a pastor at FairField Methodist Church. He shared the history of Reformation, his view on the 3rd quest and New perspective on Paul, and Karl Barth's theology.

He gave a fairly critical view on the 3rd quest and the New perspective on Paul, and a much more critical view on Karl Barth. 3rd quest to him is not as interesting as Wright publicises. The quest has always been with Schweitzer's dianogsis, that is all questers are just remaking the historical person in their own image. He applied Ludwig Wittengstein's hermeneutical theory (conventionalism) in view of the quest. Therefore the results of the quest are always relative. On the New perspective on Paul, he didnt really criticised it but described what's the recent emphasis being made onto this field. As for Karl Barth, he disagreed with me who categorizes Barth as a Neo-orthodoxy. He gave a fair justification on that. I didn't know Barth was a reformed and theologized with presuppositionalism.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Karl Barth was indeed strongly leaned over on the reformed tradition and definitely very "presuppositionist" in his operation. But I wonder if all this makes him neo-orthodox or vice versa. His emphasis on "God" was so much so that outside of theology, he seemed to see no value. Someone even commented that Barth does not read anything that has not to do with religion.

But he is nonetheless, neo-orthodox primarily of his view on Scripture.

As for the 3rd Quest...hmm...i wonder if your fren has rightly (no pun intended) criticized Wright. It was Meyer and Sander's studies in 1 century palestine and 2nd temple judaism which provided much insights that was pumped into the 3rd quest. Not that it had not been done prior, but then it was not much of studying Jesus in his setting than Jesus in his persons. Such studies more often than not displaced that persona and made an odd-Messiah, if not a whacko out of Jesus. Schweitzer was a genius, but unfortunately, it was till Meyer that anybody continued his historical criticism seriously.

Jack

Sze Zeng said...

In your description of Barth, i see the same thing that we share: No value outside of theology.

Why is he being categorized neo-orthodox for his view on Scripture? Fideistic hermeneutics? I know that he wasnt interested in looking at the Scripture in the same lense shared by the reformers and enlightenment.

I am re-reading The JEsus Quest with some new insights, especially those of Wright. He is really reconstructing a whole new perspective on the messiah from the sypnotics. At last, i agree with his view that the messiah saw himself as Israel; in playing her role and represent her to endure the wrath of God.

But i think, and believe, (from my interpretation) that the messiah's represented not the 'old' Israel but the 'new' Israel, which He re-established by calling of the 12 apostles. The picture is like this:

Jesus saw His mission as eschatological. He believed it is His role to re-establish Israel by calling of the Twelve. He built this new Israel through His teachings of values that are different from those praticed by the Temple authority at that time. Nevertheless, He knew that this new Israel is unable to accomplish the task given to her (that's to usher the Kingdom into the world) and still as sinful as the former. And He saw the wrath of God will come upon this new Israel if no intervention given (just as how the wrath of God came upon the old Israel through the destruction of the 2nd Temple in A.D 70). Therefore He "role-up His sleeves" and get down to work. He took the wrath of God, drank from the cup and through this whole process, He brought in the whole Kingdom of God into the world. He played Israel's role, which she failed (no matther the new or the old), and He represents Israel to accept her fate.

What do u think?

Anonymous said...

Jesus saw His mission as eschatological.
>> this is the major opinion of 3rd Quest.And i think of Schweitzer as well, but i may be wrong coz haven't finish reading him yet.

He believed it is His role to re-establish Israel by calling of the Twelve. He built this new Israel through His teachings of values that are different from those praticed by the Temple authority at that time.
>>I agree, that's y i said before there are two facets of this weird relationship between Jesus and Israel which i believe can be connected. On one hand, he saw himself as Israel-perse, as typified by all the "Israel, my Servant" passages. Being the real Israel, he is able to execute what was originally given Israel, i.e. the Messianic role. But on the other hand, he saw himself as more than Israel, he saw himself as the Father to Israel, the founder of the "new israel" which was consisted in the calling of the twelve, the new values, repentance/baptism, counter-temple (as he is now the new temple, which he challenged them to destroy and he will raise in three days).

Nevertheless, He knew that this new Israel is unable to accomplish the task given to her (that's to usher the Kingdom into the world) and still as sinful as the former.
And He saw the wrath of God will come upon this new Israel if no intervention given (just as how the wrath of God came upon the old Israel through the destruction of the 2nd Temple in A.D 70). Therefore He "role-up His sleeves" and get down to work. He took the wrath of God, drank from the cup and through this whole process, He brought in the whole Kingdom of God into the world. He played Israel's role, which she failed (no matther the new or the old), and He represents Israel to accept her fate.
>>hmm...a bit of fusion in the end without fusioning the begining - confusion. But yeah, it's something like this lah. Though i believe this role he took primarily representing your so-called "old israel". Yahweh rolledup his sleeves and got down to do what Israel could not do for herself, i.e. paying off her bloody debt with his own blood.

Welcome to the 3rd Quest. I am reading Matthew now. join me.

Jack

Sze Zeng said...

As i was thinking about my proposition on the 3rd Quest of the New Israel, everything seems to be so connected and clear. It connects well with the New Covenant theology (the 5-fold ministries, the supremacy of Apostleship rather than prophethood, the "neither-greek-jew-circumcised-uncircumcised-man-women-equal-and-one-in Christ" expsitions) and the wrath of God that came upon the Old Israel symbolized by the destruction of the 2nd Temple (which is now the Dome of the Rock-a mosque!!!). The destruction is the apocalyptic event which was prophesied since Daniel. God warned the Hebrews to repent and turn back, through the prophers, so to avoid their own destruction, but they took no heed. And finally the expected eschatology and apocalypse came through JEsus. He redefined (or re-established/reconstructed) Israel (God's chosen-"elected"-nation) through the New Covenant, where the sonship of God (or the citizen of the Kingdom of God) is not limited to the kinship of Jacob. The Old covenant has passed. World history has entered into the age of the New Testament.

And as Wright noted, he was right that the climax of world history is at the cross. Why? because on the cross, the old covenant was complemented and hence, we have the new covenant (the progessive revelation has been completed through the cross and on the resurrection). And the completion of revelation is the same time as the Kingdom of God came into the world. ("Destroy this temple, and I will build it up in 3 days"-->the new temple (which was build 3 days later)-->the New Covenant-->completion of revelation-->CLIMAX!!

note: Temple symbolizes the relationship between Man and God; a place where God meets Man and vice versa. This relationship is signified by Covenant. OT days, its the old covenant where revelation is still in progression. NT days, the covenant was made complete.


Sui boh??????


May be someone else could have thought of all this before me...


p/s: Schweitzer was right that the original quest's mistake lies on the omitment of eschatological element, but he was wrong in interpreting it. <---quote Wright