We still have medical concerns with my wife, Betty’s, cancer recovery, but we finished chemotherapy and now it is wait and watch. So we will have to go back to watching House for our medical drama. During Christmas and a year-end barrage of post-chemo tests and doctor appointments, I’ve been keeping the blog going with links and comments about stuff I’ve read on the web.
My idea for this blog, though, is to read some heavier stuff and write about it. So I’m thinking about what to do in the new year. I have decided to delve into two books.
1. I will look at Jon D. Levenson’s The Death and Resurrection of the Beloved Son: The Transformation of Child Sacrifice in Judaism and Christianity. I have had this book on my shelf for a while. I don’t think I ever read the whole book, just some chapters from it. Kendall Soulen referred to it in his book on the names of God and the Trinity. Soulen was talking about the appropriateness of Father-Son terminology for God. That inspired me to take another look at Levenson’s book. Levenson is a Jewish scholar. But his title shows that the book obviously speaks to Christian themes as well as Jewish ones.
2. I will blog through Dale Allison’s The Sermon on the Mount: Inspiring the Moral Imagination. I have said here before that I like Allison as an alternative to Crossan and Borg for a perspective on the historical Jesus. I have also said that I disagree with the Red Letter Christian approach to social ethics advocated by Tony Campolo and Jim Wallis. These writers are all very popular in the circles I move in. But I am a contrarian, and think their perspectives flawed and skewed. Allison is a specialist on the Gospel of Matthew and he does not seem to have an axe to grind in regard to the left-right arguments about politics and social justice. So I am looking forward to listening to Jesus through his scholarship.