Friday, June 29, 2007
The root
From John Wesley's sermon X, "The Witness of the Spirit":

We must be holy of heart, and holy in life, before we can be conscious that we are so; before we can have the testimony of our spirit, that we are inwardly and outwardly holy. But we must love God, before we can be holy at all; this being the root of all holiness.

posted by Peter at 11:10 AM
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Thursday, June 28, 2007
Mixtape: June
Here's a list of songs stuck in my head. I confess, there's a couple sappy love songs. Sue me.

1. "Marry Me" by St. Vincent
2. "Love You More" by Alexi Murdoch
3. "Rolls So Deep" by Aqualung
4. "Keepin It Real" by Mason Jennings
5. "You Are My Face" by Wilco
6. "Odalisque" by The Decemberists
7. "Ocean of Noise" by Calexico (live Arcade Fire cover)
8. "Roose and Its Crow" by Page France
9. "Boy with a Coin" by Iron & Wine
10. "Fake Empire" by The National
11. "Rent a Wreck" by Suburban Kids with Biblical Names
12. "Hang Me Up to Dry" by Cold War Kids
13. "People Get Ready" by The Frames
14. "Get Up Get Out" by The Rosebuds
15. "Fans" by Kings of Leon
16. "My Children, Be Joyful" by Rock Plaza Central
17. "Little Windows" by The Boggs
18. "Half Right" by Elliott Smith
19. "Shake It Off" by Wilco

posted by Peter at 7:29 PM
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New classes
What is Peter doing with his summer, you ask? Well, let me tell you. Among other things, it's back-to-school time. I'm taking two summer courses. One meets all next week, and so I've been reading furiously (thought perhaps not as furiously as I could have been) all the thoughts and interpretations of the thoughts of John Wesley. The class is "John Wesley's Theology for Today." It's one of the required courses for my degree, thought I'm enjoying reading Wesley's standard sermons quite a bit.

The other class I'm taking is an independent study, exegesis of Leviticus. I have to read the whole book in Hebrew while also reading Mary Douglas' Leviticus as Literature and a companion commentary of my choice. Then there will be a big old paper to write at the end.

Here are a couple of interesting things I've found so far.

Leviticus is a book of the senses--sight, sound, smells, tastes. It's a book dealing with concrete reality, so as one reads, once has to imagine all of these actions occurring in the real world. These aren't abstract theological suppositions. So you have to think about the senses involved in worship, or those absent.

Regarding the burnt offering of chapter 1:
"The lack of speech can be best explained as the concerted attempt of the priestly legists to distance the rites of Israel's priest from the magical incantations that necessarily accompanied and, indeed, empowered the ritual acts of his pagan counterpart... Thus all of the biblical narratives on Moses and Aaron agree that, in the initial stages of the formation of Israelites cult and prophecy, the actions of the divine representative, whether in sacrifice or in miracle, were performed in total silence" (Milgrom 22).

I like this connection between worship and silence. It makes me wonder about the contemporary application.

On a related note Into Great Silence, a documentary about a French monastery, opens at the Kentucky Theater this weekend. That should be pretty cool.

Regarding the "fellowship/well-being" offering of chapter 3, Hartley brings into play Acts 2:45-47 and connects the offering with Eucharist:

"In so doing they [the early church] were fulfilling the design of the offering of well-being. From 1 Cor 11:17-34 it is learned that the Eucharist was celebrated when believers joined together for fellowship at a meal. The partaking of the bread and the wine was the practice of Christ's presence, similar to God's presence with those eating a festive meal from an offering of well-being. The highest purpose of both ceremonies is the praise of God. Whereas blood was strictly forbidden to the OT worshipers, the cup, representing Christ's blood, is freely made available to all who partake of the Eucharist. The design of the offering of well-being has been continued in the new covenant, and it has been changed to appropriate the full blessings and privileges gained for all believers by Christ's death" (42).

It's an interesting connection, but I can't help but wonder if Hartley takes this connection with Eucharist too far. After all, the context of the first Eucharist is Passover, not a fellowship offering.

On top of all this Leviticus, Pastor Aaron has been teaching through the book on Wednesday nights. Last night was chapter 18, the sex chapter. More on that later.

posted by Peter at 11:46 AM
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Thursday, June 07, 2007
Wedding pictures

Just in case you missed it--and I know for a fact a couple of you did (you know who you are)--Leslie took some pictures and short little videos of our wedding last week.

You can check it out here.

posted by Peter at 10:41 PM
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Changes Come
The plane dropped in NYC around 5 pm yesterday. You step on a plane and its a time warp. Maybe there's wormholes or something over the Atlantic. That flight left Athens at 1:30 pm, but they tell us it took 11 hours. I can't figure out that kind of math. So anyway, we land and my eyes are all bleary and achy, screaming, like, "Why have you not slept? And why is it still light outside?"

So I'm home, though "home" is something entirely new. In the last few weeks, the semester ended, I married a good girl and I moved to the city. It's all a bit as disorienting as those transatlantic airplane trips. Settling in will take some time.

Pictures from Greece will be uploaded momentarily.

posted by Peter at 9:39 PM
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