- Created on Monday, 13 February 2012 11:53
We finished last time with a telling contrast. The Sabbath verb in Genesis is REST. The Sabbath verb in the Gospeol of John is WORK. Has the latter replaced the former almost to the point of jeopardizing the Sabbath? Are these verbs and their corresponding nouns in conflict, or are they complementary? We need to put these questions on hold until we have studied the second Sabbath healing in John, that of the man born blind in John 9. In that story a blind man is restored to sight, and the seeing become blind.
- Created on Tuesday, 31 January 2012 11:53
Our topic in the Sabbath series is the Sabbath healings in the Gospel of John, surely the most defining Sabbath texts in the Bible. These texts have been underexposed with respect to the meaning of the Sabbath. Without a doubt, they clarify and surprise.
- Created on Friday, 20 January 2012 11:53
The importance of placing the Sabbath healings in John in the context of the lifetime of Jesus rather than at some later point cannot be exaggerated. Given that all the Gospels report controversial Sabbath healings, it should not be difficult to make that call. Jesus knew that it would be controversial, but he went ahead anyway because it was part of his revealing mission. Our topic for this lesson is the wonderful story of the healing of the man who had been ill for thirty-eight years. It will be difficult to find a more important Sabbath text than this one (John 5.1-18).
- Created on Tuesday, 10 January 2012 11:53
The topic for the first Sabbath of 2012 will be the Sabbath in the Gospel of John. From the point of view of apologetics, John is a key text. If Jesus is abandoning the Sabbath, it cannot survive. If he does not abandon it, it will survive, and it will shine with renewed luster. For this reason John takes us to a decisive and defining moment. The decisive moment relates to the survival of the Sabbath. The defining moment speaks to its meaning. In no other book in the Bible is the Sabbath as central to the plot as in the Gospel of John.
- Created on Friday, 16 December 2011 11:53
Is the Sabbath best described as divine commandment or as divine commitment? The difference matters. In the book, I have referred to the Sabbath as a reluctant commandment. Which of these options has dominated Sabbath theology, whether pro or con? Which sentiment is most true to the evidence in the Bible? Dr. Tonstad showed this YouTube video in his presentation.
- Created on Thursday, 08 December 2011 11:53
God's warning about the tree of knowledge of good and evil is frequently perceived as an arbitrary test of obedience. Would Adam and Eve obey God "because he said so" or would they disobey? What would you think of a parent who told his child not to eat the fruit of one tree in the backyard and then kicked his child out of the home on the first offence? Many read this story and perceive God as capricious, arbitrary, and severe. Are we missing something in this story?
- Created on Wednesday, 23 November 2011 11:53
The question of whether the Sabbath in its original configuration is best seen as gift or as commandment is not over. We need to probe this question further.
In this lecture, Melissa Brotton (Prof. of English at La Sierra University) will share on the topic of Sabbath and Non-Human Suffering. She will let us hear voices - passionate, poetic, urgent voices, such as Kevin Richardson via this YouTube video - that we have not heard before. Sabbath theology suffers because we have said certain things too many times, and other things, equally or more important, we have never seen and never said at all. This Sabbath the topic will be things rarely seen and not said.
- Created on Friday, 18 November 2011 11:53
What is 'the world plot'? In my vocabulary 'the world plot' is the cosmic conflict over the character of God. Is there a connection between Sabbath and the world plot? If there is, what is it? In conversations I have had with others about this subject, it seems increasingly evident that the Sabbath's limited success in our time owes to the possibility that its promoters are confused about the relationship between the Sabbath and the world plot.
- Created on Tuesday, 08 November 2011 11:53
The quest for the meaning of the seventh day, and possibly for lost meanings, must begin in Genesis. The Sabbath claims the prestige of being a part of the human experience from the very beginning. It was not our - it was not a human - idea. It was God's strange idea. Let us begin by asking why.
- Created on Monday, 31 October 2011 11:53
We now begin a series looking at meanings, and sometimes lost meanings, of the Sabbath. I trust that the urgency and timeliness of the subject will be apparent from the beginning - that it will not come across as an wild goose chase by people who have nothing important to do. Our first topic will be 'The World as I Find It.' I will not be the only one weighing in on that topic. What does the Sabbath offer to the world as we find it?
I consider it a matter of some urgency to share with you a hard copy of the succinct 'focal images' that were presented last Sabbath by Roger McQuistan, Melissa Brotton, and Dorothee Cole. Roger showed us persuasively [in this PDF] that we are approaching a tipping point in terms of resources. Melissa spoke [in this PDF] about loving the world, and Dorothee shared her concern [in this PDF] about the need for healing, redemptive communities. I think we all felt that these were not ad hoc statements but deeply felt and carefully thought through convictions. May they bear fruit in our lives and community.
- Created on Thursday, 20 October 2011 11:53
“If you fear the Father, go to the Son. If you fear the Son, go to the Mother,” counseled Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153). Almost one thousand years later, going to 'the Mother' may be one of the most telling and unexpected phenomena of our time. This topic will be the last of the four 're-acceptances' covered under the theme, THE COSMIC CONFLICT AND THE FUTURE (OF AMERICA). What is the meaning of going to the Mother, narrowly and broadly? Who is going there? Is America going to the Mother?
- Created on Tuesday, 21 June 2011 11:53
In this lecture, Dr. Tonstad continues with his fifth lecture in the series "Cosmic Conflict and the future (of America)." These lectures are an expansion of his class on the book of Revelation. In this talk, Dr. Tonstad discussed the relationship between accountability, infallibility and coercion in church history.
Most of Christianity since the Constantine has practiced un-accountability, infallibility and coercion (which naturally goes hand-in-hand with unaccountability and infallibility). What about God? Most would agree that God is infallible, but is he accountable? Does he even invite us to hold him accountable and to question his ways? Does God's infallibility cause him to use coercive methods?