March 2009 Archives

Quodlibet Journal has opened its Spring 2009 Call For Papers. Interested authors should carefully read our Article Submission FAQ prior to submitting any work. There you will find our criteria for acceptable topics, submission formatting requirements, and a general publication schedule.

We welcome you to submit work which you feel meets these criteria.

Quodlibet has had a long history of publishing academic content from a diversity of disciplines. We look forward to receiving a fresh batch of equally diverse and thoughtful papers.

Reality or imagination?

Sometimes I struggle with reality. Know what I mean? It's not that I'm hallucinating or anything like that. And I have never used mind-altering substances, even without inhaling. Yet I struggle. It's not that reality is hard to take, though the shape the world's in isn't very encouraging. The problem is in knowing what is reality: What's really real?

My problem is wondering if my idea of what it means to know God and follow Jesus is all just wishful thinking. Am I just off in Loonieland, all by myself?

The best, or just good?

II like reading the Bible, and I do a lot of it. But I don't like it when people ask me what my favorite story is. There are so many, it's hard to name just one. But if I'm forced to do it, I guess the account of Elijah and Elisha, in II Kings 1, would be a good contender. You may know it, about the fiery chariot. It's the basis for the song, "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot," a nice song and understandable coming out of slavery - but not really what the story says.

My interest, however, is not fiery chariots. As fascinating as that is, there are two other things that grab my attention. First, I notice a characteristic displayed by Elisha throughout: He is an amazingly determined, focused man. It seems like nothing can sway him from his goal. And then there is the progression of places where the two traveled: Gilgal, Bethel, Jericho, and then on across the Jordan River.

Qumran cave interior There's a hub-bub in the world of academia regarding a new book by Rachel Elior, professor of Jewish Philosophy at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, which questions the existence of the Essences and their presumed authorship of the Dead Sea Scrolls of Qumran. Elior believes the existence of the Essences to be fictional, based on utopian tales which were misread by later authors such as Josephus and Pliny. According to the book, the Dead Sea Scrolls were penned by Jerusalem priests of the Sadducean branch.

Elior's book suggests that the past 60 years of scholarship and the overwhelming majority of scholars which view the Essences as an historical community are simply "mistaken". Needless to say, this hurt more than a couple egos.

Some New Testament scholars believe that John the Baptist may have encountered the Essene community while dwelling in the desert and may have gleaned some aspects of his messianic expectations from them. Calling the Essenes' existence into question thus also reverberates through New Testament Studies and our understanding of the influences available at that time.

You can read more about this academic cat-fight and the fate of the Essenes here. I'm sure we haven't heard the last of it.

Well, Theology Website has joined the masses and now has a Twitter account which we invite you to follow. Twitter, as you may have heard, is an internet-based technology that allows for the transmission of short, (hopefully) informative messages. These messages (or "tweets") can be sent over the interTubes or to PDAs or cell phones.

You are able to "follow" your favorite Twitterers (tweeters?). This allows you to receive their messages directly through your own twitter account or via the device you choose (such as your cell phone). We'll also be posting our tweets on the Theology Website in the event you missed some of our (self-)important missives.

If you have a Twitter account (its free), we invite you to follow us. We certainly want you to be well informed regarding our most current posts and shenanigans. We'll also be using this to post announcements regarding Quodlibet Journal.

If you use Twitter (or are considering it) we hope you find this helpful and/or entertaining.

God's silence revisited

Back in October, I posted an article about God's silence. I want to revisit the subject, because I think it's a badly misunderstood topic for most modern western Christians. Here's some of what I wrote originally:

"Where is God? I mean, if God is everywhere, as theologians teach, and if God loves me deeply and wants a relationship of intimacy with me, as theologians also teach, where is he? I talk, talk, talk to him, and he is ... where? He says nothing. The conversation is decidedly one-sided."

A while back I posted a piece on the question, "If all that is permitted to you in this life is to truly know God, is that enough?" The question came out of watching the movie The Diving Bell and the Butterfly."I have struggled mightily with the question since.

I would like to say, of course, that knowing God is central in my life and there is nothing to compare with it. Of course my answer would be yes. But I had trouble saying it without feeling like I wasn't really being honest.

And yet, the longing of my heart is to truly know God and to serve him. What's the problem?

Loading tweets:

Follow us on Twitter!

  • Larry Baden said:
      Hello Johanes, I'm not certain I understand your comment, but it seem...
  • yohanes wonde said:
      hi LARRY BADEN i am fond in a big problem I belief am not in choice o...
  • Larry Baden said:
      George, Thanks for sharing your thoughts. As for your 'humor,' well......
  • Larry Baden said:
      Truth, Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I especially like the last se...
  • Truth Told said:
      Looking into the account of the adulterous woman it is easy to see tha...
  • George Fowler said:
       Jesus said: “He who is without sin, cast the first stone”. A rock ca...
  • Martin Rudd said:
      Remember what our Lord and Saviour said. "Its not my will that any sho...
  • Thomas Hatfield said:
       I realize that a humain being has to make difficult decisions in ther...
  • Elder John McCall said:
      Good article and complicated subject, but knowing that he is all knowi...
  • Larry Baden said:
      Dee, Thanks for your thoughts. A couple problems as I see it: First, ...

home quodlibet journal theo blog sermons theology e-texts church history forum home