Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Dial-up modem nightmares and the physical resurrection of Christ

Thank you for those who have e-mailed me. Yes, I’m still in England, and will be till next Monday - my sister is getting married this weekend. I hope, however, that my dear sister realises that I’m giving up Pannenberg’s lecture in Tübingen to attend the ceremony ...

As much as I love England, the analogue dial-up modem I’m forced to use is driving me NUTS. I deplore and despise this loathsome waste of computer power. It not only sometimes refuse to log on line, but when it does often only manages a 28k transfer. It crashes downloading even simple e-mails, and leaves blog pages hanging half loaded! If there are computers in hell for use, they all have dial-up modems. All this means that my access to blogdom has been a little less convenient as originally hoped.

Actually, for the last couple of days I haven’t even seen a blog, so turning on today, I see that I’ve been missing a fascinating discussion about the physical resurrection of Jesus.

My position, stated briefly (if you’re interested)

1. I firmly believe in the physical resurrection of Jesus, and I believe it is the teaching of Scripture - but I don’t claim to understand how his body is continuous and discontinuous with the type of body we all have, just that it is physicality, albeit transformed . I realise that there is some disagreement on the interpretation of 1 Cor 15, but, for me, among other reasons, it would make little sense for Paul in 15:4 to insist that Christ was ‘buried, and that he was raised on the third day’ were this simply ‘spiritual’. Beyond 1 Cor 15, there should be little dispute about the NT teaching of the physicality of the resurrection, cf. the risen Lord’s conversation with Thomas.

2. However, I do not affirm that one must believe in the physical resurrection of Jesus to be a Christian. For starters, to do so is to impose a disputed interpretation of at least 1 Cor 15 on those who out of exegetical honesty cannot see this as Paul’s teaching. They will point out that ‘flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God’, and note Paul assertion that ‘“Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for food” and God will destroy both one and the other.’ (1 Cor 6:13). I think these exegetes would be wrong to infer from such passages that the resurrection, as understood by Paul, is not physical, but their reservations demonstrate that affirmations of the resurrection of Jesus do not necessarily connote physicality. A belief in the resurrection of Jesus is, I think, essential to Christianity; but how one is to understand this is disputed within Christendom.

However, healthy Christian theology, I suggest, includes an affirmation of Christ’s resurrection as physical, albeit transformed, for the simple reason that it promises that God has always had the physical in his saving intentions, and in this age of ecological crisis and Left Behind novels, this is highly significant.
“For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the children of God; for the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and will obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. We know that the whole creation has been groaning in labour pains until now; and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly while we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies.” (Romans 8:19-23)

Thursday, April 20, 2006

London School of Theology New Testament Conference

The last two days I have attended the London School of Theology New Testament Conference.
The papers were, as usual, a mixed bag. One of the better ones touched upon the Secret Gospel of Mark; another provided incisive critique of Wright’s take on Mk 13; while another drew heavily again on Wright, in relation to 2 Cor 5:21. Volker’s paper, I’m glad to say, was a real success, but his take on 2 Cor 3:18 brought me into disagreement with my Supervisor (I’m right).

Interesting also was the discussion on Marianne Thompson’s recent commentary on Colossians and Philemon in the new Two Horizons Commentary series. My first impressions is that this book is a first-rate read - highly recommended. Max, my supervisor, is co-editing this series, which was introduced by this utterly superb book, a collection of essay on the plan to bridge the gap, in a commentary series, between biblical exegesis and systematic theology. Do keep in touch with the development of this commentary series - it’s an important moment in the biblical/theological dialogue.

All in all, an OK conference, but it isn’t as much fun unless you are giving a paper, which, this time, I wasn’t. And worse still, I didn’t manage to bring a single person presenting a paper, through harsh critique, to tears. A real disappointment. I live for the moment when they break.

It hasn’t been too convenient finding a computer to use these last few days, and the one I’m presently using is not what I’m used to, but needless to say, I’ll have a little more computer access when this weekend is over.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

England, here I come

I’m looking forward to visiting the South East of England tomorrow (though the flight leaves at frigging 6:50am, so I’ll arrive in England like the not very living dead). Among other things, I shall attend the London School of Theology New Testament Conference in Northwood, Middlesex between the 19th and 20th. So if any of you are in the area, do drop by the college during these dates, and you can learn first hand how great and witty I am – and I’ll even be available, at a small price, to sign autographs for any of my Chris Tilling Really Very Holy Ministries music products.

This means that I probably won’t be online as much, but I will try to blog about the conference, especially as my dear friend Volker will be presenting a paper. Yes, I’m not presenting a jot this time, but I look forward to mercilessly probing the arguments of others instead. Especially YOUR’S Volker!

I wish all of my readers a wonderful and blessed Easter break.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Another Aussie Theologian

Shane Clifton, a theologian teaching in Southern Cross College in Australia, recently sent me a friendly e-mail about my inerrancy series, (and included a great article relating to my forthcoming series on evolution and intelligent design, but I’ll leave that for another time).

At the end of the mail, he copied in a text he wrote and with which he has finished his classes with – words that I really liked. He has given me permission to post it here.

‘Gordon Fee argues that, while the “interaction of the eternal word with historical particularly leaves far more ambiguities than some feel comfortable with, God himself, by the very way he gave us this word, locked in the ambiguity.” In other words, the Bible that God gave us comprises 66 books of historically particular circumstances, in every kind of literary genre and in every kind of frame of mind including anger, doubt, faith, love, hatred etc. This is ultimately the Bible’s beauty - the experience and revelation of God cannot be contained within the box of one person, one culture, or one point of history. It is in the very ambiguity and diversity of Scripture that God is revealed to us.

Inspiration is a paradox - the divine and the human intermingled. Fundamentalism deals with this paradox by effectively ignoring the human element of Scripture, the consequence of which is a magic Bible. Ultimately such understanding detracts from the authority of Scripture, and results in poor exegesis and application. On the other hand, to see Scripture as being solely a human book is to deny its authority. The Bible should, instead, be understood as both a human and divine book. Grasping it’s humanity enables us to understand it’s rhetoric - recognizing by faith it’s divine inspiration maintains it’s authority and enables us to experience God - breathing on the Scripture today so that we can ‘know God’ (as opposed to knowing about him), and be changed in consequence.’
I liked that. In our correspondence, he also mentioned that he plans to start his own blog in the next month or so, ‘engaging in issues confronting Pentecostals’, so I’ll be sure to let people know when he sets it up. Having been personally and closely associated with Pentecostals for many years now, I look forward to this blog.

Whenever I hear the name ‘Shane’, I experience flash-backs to those various Australian Soaps.

Switzerland brought us Karl Barth, Küng etc.
England T F Torrance, Bauckham etc.
Germany delivered Bultmann, Moltmann, the Pope! etc. etc. etc.
USA brings us Sanders, Borg, Witherington, etc. etc.
And Australia brings us Kylie Minogue. Well, if I was forced to choose, I know which one I’d rather kiss (and, no, it isn’t Barth, before someone’s wit gets the better of them)

Friday, April 14, 2006

The German Football Squad

This ‘Virgin Birth’ discussion has been tremendous fun. However, I’ve spent long enough blogging tonight, reading through all of your comments, and then writing my own, so I won’t write much here.

Just one thing. A friend e-mailed me today about British comedy, and my mind was drawn to the one thing German-shaped that has made me laugh out loud (apart from their football team). I’m speaking of Lord of the Weed, a morally depraved dubbed over edition of the first 20 minutes of Lord of the Rings. I usually don’t like this sort of thing too much, but this one was real funny – if you have the sick and corrupt humour to measure. It is, however, about 80MB, and the German ain’t too easy to understand, but if you want to waste some time, geta downloading (see also here).

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

In what sense is the Virgin Birth referring to reality?

The dignity of Mary as theotokos remains unaffected by historical investigations of the infancy stories and their findings, and especially by the thesis that the accounts in Luke and Matthew are legendary ... Even though rumors circulated by opponents regarding the strange circumstances of the origin and birth of Jesus might have played a part in the development of the story, the relevant findings do not permit us to insist on the historical facticity of the virginity of Mary after the conception and birth of Jesus, at least in a medical sense. If we try to make this the real theme of the story of the birth of Jesus (cf. Isa. 7:14 LXX), we are false to the purpose of the narrative. Gynecology is not the issue, but Christian pneumatology. If the story as a whole is legendary, we have to interpret the details in terms of the christological aim and not as facts isolated from the context or from the general interpretative frame. The case is different if historical facticity is at issue, as in the case of the statements about the resurrection in 1 Cor. 15:3ff.

(Pannenberg, W., Systematic theology Vol. II, [Eerdmans, Grand Rapids, 1994], p. 318)

How do you respond to this line of reasoning?

I’m going to be honest with you; no ‘I’m a sophisticated theologian’ mask today. My default setting is simply this: ‘true’ must equal ‘absolutely historical’. I can’t help it, and a part of me doesn’t want to apologise. Perhaps it’s the remnants of a modernist upbringing, or my early association with a Fundamentalist expression of faith, casting its shadow over my automatic and internal hermeneutical procedure.

And yet another part of me is embarrased by such simplistic thinking, namely, the ‘foaming mouthed anything goes liberal’ part of me. This section of my brain had to read the passage above a few times to understand what was being said, but I get it now. The truth of the story is in its purpose, limited to its genre of expression, found in the symbolism, and says something about the identity of Christ as the Son of God without answering questions of gynaecology. And this makes a good deal of sense.

But the conservative in me reacts: ‘To bring into question the facticity of the virgin birth (here, its gynaecological aspect) calls its theological message into question (the pneumatological and christological), for the one is based on the other, and the result is to make the theological message a lie.

The funny thing is, I’m more than happy to do this with the creation narratives, but a part of me feels, with the virgin birth, that we are treading on sacred ground, and so I want to just take off my shoes and worship. At least, this is how the contemplative in me responds.

I know I’m probably far too theologically ‘unsophisticated’, but when I read a text like the one above, a struggle for power takes place inside.

What do you think? Is the historical facticity of the virgin birth essential to its ‘truth’, or merely a genre-bound contingent carrier of theological truth? Or have I formulated this question wrongly? Perhaps, my broad question is ‘In what sense is the Virgin Birth referring to reality?’

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

My own boss

‘I found it hard working really long hours when I was my own boss. The boss kept giving me the afternoon off. Sometimes he gave me the morning off as well. Sometimes he’d say, “Look, you’ve worked pretty hard today, why don’t you take a well-earned rest tomorrow”. If I overslept he never rang me to ask where I was; if I was late to my desk he always happened to turn up at exactly the same time; whatever excuse I came up with, he always believed it. Being my own boss was great. Being my own employee was a disaster’
(Opening lines of John O’Farrell’s hilarious novel, The Best a Man Can Get [Black Swan, 2000])

Fellow research students in particular, does this sound familiar?

Monday, April 10, 2006

I have no idea how to title this post

Every now and then I enjoy looking at the sort of Google searches that land on my web page. I mentioned a few here, but today, someone typed into Google ‘"cosmic ordering" bollocks’ and landed at Chrisendom! And true enough, type in the above into the Google search engine, and Chrisendom is at the top of the hit-list!

I just returned from the dentist – the first time I’ve ever had an injection in the mouth along with copious amounts of drilling. HORRIBLE. And the anaesthetic has only just started to wear off.

I wonder what causes people to become a dentist? Perhaps the idea of inflicting pain on innocents like me with hideous instruments of torture?

By the way, over on Theological Intentions, David Piske has written a good response to my inerrancy series. Todd told me via Instant Messenger, that he and David discussed my series over a meal, and came to the conclusion that I am, in fact, a heretic. Well, you thought that was bad, you haven't seen anything yet - I'm just warming up.

Now, all reading these words, I want you to relax. Relaaaaaaxx.

Breath in, and out.

Focus on this picture.

Feel yourself getting drowsy.

You are now entirely open to my suggestions.

My Amazon wish list is calling you to spend your money liberally. It is your top priority, the first thing you will think of doing every day. You want to buy me books.

At the count of five, you will wake up and do the first thing that come to your mind, and you will forget this hypnosis ever happened.

One, two, three, four and five.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Who said it?

‘Both the gospel and theology confront us with the need to make a judgment about the identity of God and the identity of Jesus Christ. “Who do you say that I am?” By answering this question, we not only render our verdict concerning the identity of Christ; we identify ourselves’

Who said it, and where?

If you get wrong, I will laugh mercilessly in your general direction. But the winner gets a bit of honour.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Fido on intelligent design


Intelligent design?

Just plain natural evolution, without any ‘divine breaking of the natural laws’ or ‘God of the gaps’?

What do you believe?

Of course, ever since Darwin Christians have been divided on these issues, and have generated all kinds of heated, but to my mind fun, discussion / stone throwing.

I used to be a creationist. Yep. Six literal 24 hour days, Adam giving all the animals a name, the smurfs, goats and the dinosaurs all went in the Ark two-by-two, etc.

But that was only during the first few years of my (then largely teenage) Christian life. I’m not a ‘creationist’ anymore.

And while I’ve been tempted by ‘intelligent design’, it too has its significant problems. One of the most thought-provoking posts I read on this was back in October 2005, a post by Ben Myers of Faith and Theology entitled ‘Darwin on Intelligent Design’. Reading this pushed me to purchase Küng’s Der Anfang Aller Dinge, in search of informed discussion - which I found, btw, and which I’ll be sharing here in the nearish future to not only finish off my review of Küng’s book, but also to address the questions I went searching to answer. Plus I’ve got some amusing things to post in this direction, and, anyway, I really think I could enjoy insensitively blundering my way through another ‘hot potato’.

However, before I start that series, I’d like to share a shocking piece of evidence that I recently found on the net – hard evidence that the ‘intelligent designers’ have had it right all along.

Ben, against ID, gave us Ichneumonidae the wasp.

In response, I give you Fido the dog.

God is love

We perhaps all know, and think over with a good deal of delight, the two verse in 1 John 4 that declare, ‘God is love’.

Well, I’ve been thoroughly enjoying John Webster’s, Karl Barth, recently - a sympathetic and wonderfully readable introduction to the great theologian - and these words jumped out at me:

‘To say that God is, so goes the flow of Barth’s argument, is to say that God’s essence is known in his revealed name, that is, in his acts as Father, Son and Spirit; those acts are acts whose end is the engendering of fellowship with us; and therefore God’s Godhead “consists in the fact that He loves”’, p. 85

Friday, April 07, 2006

Biblical Studies Discussion List

I don’t know if anybody realised, but I made a subtle mention of my AMAZON WISHLIST in my last post.


Anyway, tonight I wanted to make mention of the ‘Biblical Studies Discussion List’, moderated by Dr. Jim West and Dr. Bruce K. Gardner.

As stated on the homepage, ‘In sum, we are here to discuss and debate (in a cordial way of course) matters of biblical interpretation. The Bible is our focus, and those methodological tools which bear on its interpretation’

Actually, it may well be the best internet discussion list, and there are some big names on the members list.

They also have a chat room, with which perhaps biblio-bloggers of the world could unite to use as an open debate forum every now and then. Just an idea.

While speaking of things JW related, I wanted to share some of my favourite ‘Jim rants’ from his blog.

On the recent report on the Dan Brown / Michael Baigent case:
‘it simply doesn't matter if he stole the idea or not. If he did, he stole a pile of manure, and if he didn't, he made up a pile. In either case, since both books are manure-esque, whether or not Brown took it or not is less than a mole-hill.’

On Ms Hilton (my favourite):
‘And finally, from the “no one really cares, nor should they” category of events, Paris Hilton, overindulged spoiled rich brat trollop turns 25 today.’

Short and sharp: ‘Pat, dude, retire. Your mind has left you.’

And finally: ‘Yikes! And THESE are the kind of people that the Christian Zionists are in bed with. Double yikes. Such madness hasn't really been seen since the Nazi's, has it?’


I love a blog that says what it means, and means what it says, which brings me back to the FIRST SENTENCE in this post.

Click here to join biblical-studies
Click to join biblical-studies

Thursday, April 06, 2006


I came across a rather bizarre Christian book the other day. It was written by a very charismatic (possibly ‘messianic-Jewish’) Christian brother, who, on the back cover, was called Apostle Prophet Teacher of God’s Word so and so! A quick read of the claims made on the back cover confirmed for me that the bizarre element was not simply located in the appellations to his name, but also in the content of the ‘teaching’ within. I admit, I’m judging a book by its cover, but the word ‘gnosticism’ came to mind in light of its ‘teachings’ listed on the back - so I decided to put the book down before it wound me up.

But it did make me think. I’ve been Honorary President of Chris Tilling Really Very Holy Ministries (CTRVHM) for a while now, so I thought it time for a promotion.

Today I announce unto thee, I shall now be known, in my functions relating to CTRVHM, as Apostle Prophet Teacher Holy Heavenly Hero but Sensitive and Approachable Honorary President Chris Tilling of CTRVHM. And given my apostolic (in the sense that I’m being sent by and for this ministry) functions in relation to CTRVHM, I thought it best to carefully word a mission statement.

The mission of CTRVHM:

Main clause: ‘To be generally holy and remarkably heavenly all over the place’.

First Sub-clause: ‘thus to humbly radiate forth my astonishing spiritual depth’
Second Sub-clause: ‘to further my powerful, moving and deeply sensitive worship song writing ministry’
Third Sub-clause: ‘to thereby rake in tons of cash from those of scholarly intellect who see the value in sending regular ‘love-donations’ in support of this ministry.’*
Fourth Sub-Clause: ‘to do the above without making everybody think I’m a twat in the process’

*Footnote: ‘As I’ve written next to my Amazon wish list link on the side bar: You do want to reap the harvest of generosity and become a millionaire within weeks don’t you? Then sow your seed of faith and give your love-donation to further CTRVHM across the globe. It is more blessed to give. Act now, or you may reap financial ruin ... no pressure’

The only thing I’m not sure about now, is whether I should add my new labels to the ministry acronym, thus making APTHHHSAHPCTRVHM. I think I’ll probably leave these additions out, being humble as I am and all.

OK, I have far too much time on my hands. Back to work.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Dieses Leben ist der Ernstfall!

‚Die neutestamentlichen Aussagen über die Hölle wollen keine Neugier und Phantasie befriedigende Information über ein Jenseits liefern. Sie wollen gerade für das Diesseits den unbedingten Ernst des Anspruchs Gottes und die Dringlichkeit der Umkehr des Menschen hier und jetzt vor Augen stellen: Dieses Leben ist der Ernstfall!’
- Hans Küng, Ewiges Leben?, p. 182

A false either/or?

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Ward's What the Bible Really Teaches - a short review

Keith Ward’s new book, What the Bible Really Teaches: A Challenge for Fundamentalists, is a very readable and thought-provoking volume that demonstrates a good deal of learning and wisdom. It touches upon such subjects as resurrection, morality, the nature of the Scriptures, the atonement, etc., and so being a short book, each subject is only briefly dealt with.

On the questionable side first:

1) It is unlikely that Ward actually poses a challenge to Fundamentalism as much as he does Evangelicalism. It is not merely Fundamentalism that his arguments threaten, but that which I would say most Evangelicals hold dear. So perhaps the book title, and his constant reference to Fundamentalists (as deliberately distinguished form what he considers to be Evangelical) is a little misleading. The book is thus a challenge to main stream Evangelicalism, and as far as this is true, his book is an attempted redefinition of ‘Evangelical’.

2) His treatment of the scriptures is, I feel, at times as questionable as the Fundamentalism he critiques. This was seen in his exegesis of 1 Cor 15.

3) His interpretation of what Fundamentalism (read Evangelical) meant was at times a little dubious. For example, his caricature of Fundamentalist teaching on resurrection seemed to me to be quite the opposite of reality – they can hold a notion of eschatology that is thoroughly world-denying, contra the thrust of Ward’s argument.

4) What an awful name for a book! - a tad too assertive for my tastes!

Now my gripes are out of the way, it needs to be said that this is a wonderfully thought-provoking and exciting little book - keeping me up for more than one late night! The last two chapters (not the conclusion) were, to my mind, the best, in which he tackles ‘universal salvation’ and ethical questions like the role of women in the Church, homosexuality and the like. He goes right to the very heart of the questions, is clear about the problems and issues, and carves his own thoroughly reasonable response – taking certain points head on that lurk in the back of the mind, but often for piety’s sake remain hidden. However, numerous questions remain unanswered (it is a small book), and this is a volume that will probably not convince a Fundie to adopt Ward’s perspective on things too easily - nor, at least in regard to every detail of his case, should it in my opinion.

Nevertheless, it’s a book I will remeber for a long time. It was quite a ride.

MP's comments

Michael Pahl has written a superb and thought-provoking article, here, partly in response to my inerrancy series. In the comments, I suggest perhaps an adjustment to the Trent definition of truth in relation to Scripture, that, albeit with a good deal of qualification, I affirmed in my podcast – but I’m only experimenting with this.

And keep watch here for Kevin Johnson’s planned podcast in response to mine.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Inerrancy? Final post.

Finally, the concluding post in my series on inerrancy.

And I decided to finish off with a podcast (this is my second, my first, can be found here). It took a little longer than I thought it would, so apologies for the length (just over 20 mins), but I've managed to keep the size of the file down (just over 5MB).

In it, I give a bit of personal background to these posts, respond to some (evil, morally corrupt) critics by clarifying what my purpose was in writing them, and then turn to deal with the question of how to formulate our understanding of Scripture in regard to truth.

I hope you enjoy it, and, as always, your comments are most welcome.

The file (inerrancy.mp3) can be downloaded here.


Two of the texts I discuss:

Millard Erickson: ‘The Bible, when correctly interpreted in light of the level to which culture and the means of communication had developed at the time of writing, in view of the purposes for which it was given, is fully truthful in all that it affirms.’

The Second Vatican Council: ‘The books of Scripture, firmly, faithfully and without error, teach that truth which God, for the sake of our salvation, wished to see confided to the sacred Scriptures’

And the quote with which I end the series:

‘Is not every doctrine of Holy Scripture as such a superfluous saying of “Lord, Lord”?’
(K. Barth, Church Dogmatics I/2, 461)

Dan's March Books

Dan, on his 'live journal' blog has posted his March book reviews - a real mix this month, from Mike Bickle to Martin Heidegger!

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Truly breaking news

My dear friend Alex has just pointed out a SUPERB internet resource to me:

TIMMS, Tübingen Internet Multimedia Server.

There are numerous Küng videos to watch, e.g., the original lecture series upon which Der Anfang aller Dinge is based, a discussion with Tony Blair, Kofi Annan and much more! Fantastic!!

And, I’ve just found a Moltmann lecture too: Messianische und apokalyptische Katastrophentheologie - T.S Eliot: In my end is my beginning

This is for real, no April Fool.

Absolutely awesome! Enjoy!

Plus, I've finally responded to some of your comments on my earlier inerrancy posts.

Pope Benedict XVI looks into blogging!

Some astonishing news for you.

Pope Benedict XVI himself has been looking at the whole blogging phenomenon, and has suggested that he will start his own in the near future. How do I know? Well, it was a tremendous privilege, but a coupe of months ago a number of us received a personal e-mail from the Vatican, and only now can we publicly announce this.

Don’t believe me? I know this sounds too remarkable to be true, but here is the blog for you to see for yourself. Enjoy!


I’m doing it again, but I’ve returned back home so late from a party, I just can’t be bothered to write on inerrancy. Tomorrow. And I’ll respond to your comments then too.

Besides, far more interesting things have distracted my attention today ...

First, I visited the Stadt Friedhof, Tübingen cemetery, just opposite the Theologicum, and I was fortunate enough to bump into the chap who designed the layout of the grounds. More importantly, he was also kind enough to show me around all of the ‘theologically significant’ graves!

I took pictures of the graves of Johann Sebastian von Drey, Felix Himpel (Catholic OT theologian), Johannes von Kuhn (another Catholic), Karl Friedrich von Hügel and J T von Beck. However, I was particularly interested in those of Adolf Schlatter, and F. C. Baur. I was so thrilled by this, and by all of the great pictures I took (69 in all), that afterwards I walked into the library with a big smile on my face. A friend bumped into me and asked for an explanation as to why I was so happy, but when I attempted to detail my visit to a graveyard by way of explanation ... Yes. I think he’ll be avoiding me in the future!

Jim West has posted on his blog one of the pictures I sent him (one of Schlatter’s grave), but I wanted to upload one tonight too. This is Baur’s tomb stone. The cemetery designer told me how Albert Schweitzer visited Baur’s grave, and stood on this very patch of grass in front of the tomb. The building covered by the tree in the background in the Theologicum in which many famous theologians worked, and, gladly, still do.

Seond, a rather exciting post by Ben Myers today, who met and interviewed none other than Tom Greater then Bultmann Wright. However, I found Tom’s joke, as retold by Ben, a bit lame (All the vital ingredients for a good joke were missing: no one was made to look utterly stupid, not even a single chancy word like ‘tit’, ‘nigger’ or ‘shit for brains’, no mention of nuns, the German word for fluffy, inerrancy, ... need I go on. C’mon Tom, you can do better than that)

Lastly, does anyone ever have dreams of profound theological content? Well, I did last night. In my dream I had a chat with Eberhard Jüngel about animism, the praise of God in nature and such things. I woke up all edified! And, as part of my Tübingen experience today, when I visited the second hand book shop, I found a copy of Jüngel’s Das Evangelium von der Rechtfertigung des Gottlosen als Zentrum des christlichen Glaubens for just 5 euro!

At the end of this long day, I was so tired that, before my party tonight, I signed the birthday card as Anja and Christ - just one ‘t’ too much! So, one friend thinks I get kicks from sniffing around the local tombs, and another thinks I have a messiah-complex, and you all think I write too much.