Theology Land Excursions #2

Posted on April 27, 2014

Every Sunday, I post a number of great articles written by some of today’s best and most readable theologians. If you are afraid of Theology Land, or have never visited in the past, it is not exactly the happiest place on earth: But it is one place where your mind and heart can grow. Give it a chance.

Normally, I read about 60-70 articles a week of a theological nature. I am posting the best of the best from this week’s roster of excellent thoughts.

Best “Walk a Mile in Their Shoes” Essay: Elizabeth Esther does not believe in Gay marriage. She does believe in the traditional view on marriage as between one man and one woman. She disagreed with World Vision’s approach to allow gay adults to work there. But in her article, she explains why she is upset at the Evangelical world for their reaction to World Vision.  Read it here.

Best Theological Ideas about Theology: Roger Olson asks the question, “what is the future of theology?” His answer is intriguing and probably accurate. Here is an excerpt:

So what does the future of Christian theology look like? It will continue to perform its critical tasks. It will continue to explore traditional ideas/doctrines/models of God and attempt to make fruitful ones more intelligible and acceptable to faithful people of God. And it will attempt to find new ways to express traditional ideas/doctrines/models of God such as the Trinity so that they are understandable by contemporary people in many different culture.
The rest can be read at Greg Boyd’s blog.
Most Intriguing Question: So why did God creates mosquitoes? This has plagued bible students (and ardent scratching peoples) for centuries. Why did the most heinous of animals show up on our planet. RJS, writing on “Jesus Creed” blog quotes Wendell Barry in his essay on “Christianity and the Survival of Creation”:
“We must credit God with the making of biting and stinging insects, poisonous serpents, weeds, poisonous weeds, dangerous beasts, and disease causing organisms.” “That we may disapprove of these things,” Berry continues, “does not mean that God is in error or that he ceded some of the work of Creation to Satan; it means that we are deficient in wholeness, harmony, and understanding – that is, we are ‘fallen’.”
The entire essay on the God of the Whirlwind is here.
Best Holy Week Essay:  Adrian Warnock, always the deep thinker, asks the question: Did Jesus really die on a Wednesday? Maybe the question has you confused. His answer will mostly clear that up. Read about it here.
Best Re-Examination of Scripture: Over at Experimental Theology blog, there was a good discussion on Isaiah 53 and its role in understanding the atonement. Here is a juicy portion of this prize:
Today is Good Friday and we all know that the church has used this text to interpret the crucifixion of Jesus. Isaiah 53 has come to be an important text for atonement theology, especially substitution theories of atonement. “By his wounds we have been healed.” And later in Verse 12: “For he bore the sins of many.”

These associations–Jesus bore our sins on the cross and by his wounds we have been healed–are automatic for most Christians. But in our study out at the prison I wanted to go back and address the question about who the Suffering Servant was during the time of Isaiah. Who was Isaiah (or the particular writer or writers of Isaiah 53) speaking about in his time and place?

Who is this servant who is crushed for our iniquities?
For the answer, go to this full examination of this scripture. It is very thought-provoking.