and Nicodemus might as well be speaking different languages. Jesus speaks of
birth from above; Nicodemus is befuddled. Jesus speaks of the spirit as wind
blowing where it will; Nicodemus wonders how this can be. They are like a
creationist and a paleontologist comparing notes on fossils--they simply can't
fathom each other. Their organizing assumptions are too different.
when we sense that Nicodemus begins to understand what Jesus is saying: when
Jesus reinterprets the story of Israel in the wilderness, drawing from the
language that has oriented Nicodemus's life and thought. It doesn't seem
likely, after all, that the series of puzzling metaphors Jesus begins with
would push Nicodemus to understanding. But something clearly does.
Do we spend more time in closed rooms--trying to articulate to other church professionals why we are right--than we spend speaking to the media and articulating to the larger world why we believe in the inclusive love of God?
I've heard the Century referred to as moderate, center-left, progressive, left-wing--all from some who meant these labels as compliments and others who very much did not. Here's one I have not heard before: the Century is a conservative magazine.
been meaning for some time to come back to a topic that has been
garnering attention, the news that some Bible translations aimed at
predominantly Islamic contexts were not using the phrase “son of God,”
ever since I circulated an online article mentioning the news and was
met with expressions of concern because that particular piece posed the
matter in an inflammatory manner. (See Eddie Arthur’s blog post and longer pdf for more information.)
it comes to this issue of translation, I think that replacing “son of
God” with something else can be not only appropriate, but in keeping with
the spirit of the history of biblical translation.
When Abby Kelley, a 19th-century abolitionist, expressed a
desire to address the Connecticut Anti-Slavery Society, this is how a
local minister argued against her right to do so:
No woman will speak or vote where I am moderator. It is
enough for a woman to rule at home… she has no business to come into
this meeting and by speaking and voting lord it over men. Where woman’s
enticing eloquence is heard, men are incapable of right and efficient
action. She beguiles and binds men by her smiles and her bland winning
voice… I will not sit in a meeting where the sorcery of a woman’s tongue
is thrown around my heart. I will not submit to PETTICOAT GOVERNMENT.
No woman shall ever lord it over me. I am Major-Domo in my own house.