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RLST 210/Div/Rel 3152 October 31, 2011.  3:10-3:20 Opening Remarks: Next Step toward your papers  3:20–3:42 LYDIA FULLER Matt 16:21-26, 18:1-7; 4:1-

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Presentation on theme: "RLST 210/Div/Rel 3152 October 31, 2011.  3:10-3:20 Opening Remarks: Next Step toward your papers  3:20–3:42 LYDIA FULLER Matt 16:21-26, 18:1-7; 4:1-"— Presentation transcript:

1 RLST 210/Div/Rel 3152 October 31, 2011

2  3:10-3:20 Opening Remarks: Next Step toward your papers  3:20–3:42 LYDIA FULLER Matt 16:21-26, 18:1-7; 4:1- 11; 5:19; 6:31-34 Formal Respondent: ERIC BURTON- KRIEGER  3:42-4:04 W. SCOTT JAMIESON Matt 16:24-28, 17:14- 21; 5:3-14 Formal Respondent DAVID CHOI  Break  4:10-4:32 JAMES ARMES Matt 17:14-20; 6:25-34 Formal Respondent MICHAEL BROADNAX  4:32-4:54 GABE KING Matt 18:1-9; 5:3-16 Formal Respondent MICHAEL GREER  4:54-5:16 JOEL FITZGERALD Matt 18:15-35; 5:38-48 Formal Respondent CASEY KNORR  5:16-5:30 Conclusion

3  A) Leader’s presentation 7 minutes (at most).  B) Formal Respondent, 4 minutes (at most)  C) General respondents 7 minutes  D) DP’ concluding comments 4 minutes

4  any interpretation of a biblical/scriptural text – Matthew – involves:  Analytical or Textual choices regarding what is most significant in the text ◦ Perceived because of our literary “common sense” (obviously most significant!) yet shaped by cultural and experiential factors  Contextual choices regarding the aspects of life and the rootproblem the text addresses  Theological-Hermeneutical Choices regarding a) central theological theme(s) (choosing a specific view of it/them) and b) how the “Word” of this text is related to the believers’ life (a specific role of scripture)

5  Any given teaching formulated on the basis of a text is  SHAPED by the analytical-textual [A], contextual [C], and theological-hermeneutic [H] “common sense” of the interpreters  Shaped by what is obviously most significant [A], obviously most helpful [C], and obviously theologically right [H] for the interpreters ◦ No interpretation without pre-understanding. ◦ Any interpretation of a biblical text=inculturated and this is Good! ◦ Scripture is a Word-to-live-by  To assume responsibility for our own interpretation – for our interpretive choices – we must acknowledge our analytical- textual [A], contextual [C], and theological-hermeneutic [H] CHOICES ◦ thus must acknowledge that there are equally plausible A, C, & H choices

6  Any interpretation of a biblical text is shaped by the analytical-textual [A], contextual [C], and theological- hermeneutic [H] “COMMON SENSE” OF THE INTERPRETERS = what is OBVIOUS for them  This “common sense” (= what is obviously most important) is itself an interpretation:  We come to the text with ONE among several possible interpretations of:  What is most significant in a text  What are the main problems and the root-problem in the context under consideration  What is the theological/hermeneutical meaning of our religious experience or lack of such experience

7  By asking you to learn ABOUT YOUR OWN INTERPRETATION from your leader ◦ Something several you fiercely resisted  How: by looking at YOUR CHOSEN CONTEXT from the perspective of YOUR LEADER’S (or her/his diverging scholar) different root-problem:  I am asking you to acknowledge that YOUR “common sense” view of your context and its problem and root-problem is itself an interpretation among several possible interpretations of this context.  As you interpret Matthew YOUR CONTEXTUAL CHOICE IS A REAL CHOICE AMONG SEVERAL POSSIBLE CONTEXTUAL CHOICES….

8  As you learn from your leader about an other contextual choice, you acknowledge that it is always possible to recognize a different root-problem at work in OUR CHOSEN CONTEXT  This involves bringing to the surface or foregrounding aspects of the context that we left out because ‘OBVIOUSLY” (according to OUR interpretation of this context) they were not important.  A dramatic example: if your context is a series of teenagers’ suicides and the believers’ response to this so as to prevent other suicides. One could analyze it by saying this is  Due to a lack of awareness of the permanence of suicide and that it is a sin against God: a lack of knowledge  Due to the use of drugs – and thus a root-problem of wrong will related to peer-pressure  Due to unhappiness related to a self-centered view of life – and therefore a root-problem of wrong ideology  Due to bullying or abuse resulting in a sense of powerlessness – lack of ability  Due to a sense of lack of purpose in life reflecting a lack of faith/vision

9  The same is true of our choices of theological/hermeneutical THEME: You HAVE CHOSEN what is “obviously” the meaning of “mission” or “faith” or “healing” or whatever theme (according to your theological views related to your [lack of] religious experience).  So you interpreted your text in terms of this theme.  BUT as you have learned to recognize using the CDC that YOU have made a theological choice  Now I want to ask the LEADERS to make explicit their THEOLOGICAL choice of a particular view of a theme AND HOW IT IS DIFFERENT from an other interpreter’s choice (commentary)  Then, RESPONDENTS as you look at YOUR CHOSEN TEXT from the perspective of one of the two views of a theme:  How would the view of the theme which is different from yours change the interpretation of the teaching of your text?

10  3:20–3:42 LYDIA FULLER Matt 16:21-26, 18:1-7; 4:1-11; 5:19; 6:31-34 Formal Respondent: ERIC BURTON-KRIEGER ◦ Jessie Light ◦ Skyler Hutto ◦ Megan Yohe ◦ Bryanna Jew ◦ Jon Snape

11  16:21-26: “From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, the chief priests, and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life. Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. “Never, Lord!” he said. “This shall never happen to you!” Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.” Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?””

12  18:1-7: “At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me. If anyone causes one of these little ones to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea. Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to stumble! Such things must come, but woe to the person through whom they come!””

13  Matthew 4:1-10: “Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written: ‘He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’” Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’” Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you bow down and worship me.” Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’”

14  My context: A young, Catholic, upper-middle class mother is driving in the car with her 3-year-old who keeps asking question after question about the world around her, and is not satisfied by any answer the mother gives for how things work, why things are, etc. The mom is frustrated that she cannot provide her daughter with a better understanding of the workings of our complicated world, and is failing to see that what her daughter needs are answers focused on God and the “big picture” of his kingdom, rather than an obsession over small, earthly details. She feels the need to answer all her daughter’s questions literally/in a way that is “correct” by earthly laws of nature, but doesn’t realize that the little girl’s innocence and naïve curiosity are staples of a good disciple of Jesus that need to be preserved with a God-focused worldview.  My root problem=WRONG VISION; my role of scripture=CORRECTIVE GLASSES

15  My teaching: The Mom  Must see daughter in God’s eyes—not someone needing to be taught all about worldly things, but rather as someone who is, right now, the “greatest in the kingdom of heaven,” and whose innocence and humility therefore need to be preserved by helping her focus on a Godly frame of mind and thinking about heavenly things over earthly questions  Must not cause daughter to “stumble” by making her (seeing her) like Peter, who is too focused on the way things work in the earthly world and is therefore blinded to God’s ways. Instead, teach daughter to see things as God sees them; to focus on the “big picture” “concerns of God,” like love, forgiveness, and mercy, and not on “merely human concerns.”  Must recognize God’s kingdom as underlying the world in principles of love, mercy, etc., yet contrasting with a purely earthly frame of mind; do not allow daughter to become like Peter, or to be preoccupied with earthly things like the devil tempts Jesus with; instead, pass down a worldview that is focused on God and His kingdom; help her to see the world as Jesus does, not as flawed human beings do.

16  Scholar (Carter) root problem: WRONG IDEOLOGY  Carter’s context=marginalized Christians who believe that they as a community are helpless and hopeless, and who are therefore living without a sense of any higher purpose and with an overall feeling of defeat. By presenting the kingdom as an eschatological empire of God—as a promise yet to come, at a time when existing worldly power structures will be banished [and begin to be banished in Jesus’ ministry]—Carter formulates a teaching for these people that changes their ideology into one of hope for the future rather than despair about the present. By showing the audience their place in God’s family—and therefore their places to come in God’s future kingdom—they are endowed with a more optimistic ideology that allows them to accept their present marginalization and empower them to struggle against their current marginalized condition, knowing that it is not permanent.  Root problem=WRONG IDEOLOGY; role of scripture=FAMILY ALBUM

17  Now, the mother has a wrong ideology about her socially-sanctioned role as a mother. She believes that she is called by society and the Church to raise her daughter as a smart, worldly, knowledgeable member of the (Christian) community, and that this means answering all her questions about the earth around her and making her as “world-smart” as possible. She is frustrated by her inability to meet these high standards and offer answers that will satisfy her daughter’s curiosity and thirst for knowledge.

18  By stating that the “little child” is “the greatest in the kingdom of heaven,” the scripture shows the mother her daughter’s place in God’s family, and also shows her that she, too, has a role within God’s family of preserving the characteristic humility and innocence of its members. The daughter is a citizen of the world, but is first and foremost a member of God’s family, and the mom must make sure that her daughter’s frame of mind remains a heavenly and not earthly one so that she may maintain her treasured position in God’s family and God’s kingdom, and avoid becoming blinded by the earthly thinking displayed by Peter or by the earth-based temptations presented by the devil in Matthew 4.  “We must “have in mind the concerns of God,” not human concerns, and we, as members of God’s family, are charged with the responsibility of preserving the innocence and humility of the “little ones” and preventing them from losing their positions as the “greatest in the kingdom” by making sure they do not think as Peter (humans) do nor develop such an earthly frame of mind that they are susceptible to temptations such as those presented by the devil (which Jesus—and we—are only able to resist when we remember our places in God’s family and therefore seek to gain and understand God’s kingdom and love, and not “to gain the whole [earthly] world.”)

19  3:20–3:42 LYDIA FULLER Formal Respondent: ERIC BURTON-KRIEGER ◦ Jessie Light ◦ Skyler Hutto ◦ Megan Yohe ◦ Bryanna Jew ◦ Jon Snape

20  1) Read your leader’s handout and identify in it the TWO distinct root-problems in your leader’s handout … DO YOU AGREE  2) Learning something about THE CONTEXT YOU HAVE CHOSEN FOR YOUR PAPER with the help of your leader, by looking at YOUR CHOSEN CONTEXT from the perspective of a different root-problem:  Choosing in your leader’s handout among the two rootproblems discussed the root-problem which is DIFFERENT from the rootproblem you identified in the context you presented in YOUR OWN PROPOSAL show how this different root-problem also applies TO YOUR CONTEXT (indeed, it necessarily applies).  Show how THE TEACHING formulated by your leader to address this different rootproblem APPLY TO YOUR CONTEXT (as adjusted). Does it effectively overcome this DIFFERENT rootproblem in your context? If not, how could it be made sharper? Did your leader choose the most effective role of scripture? If not, what other role of scripture would be more effective to address the given rootproblem.

21  Two root problems: Lydia’s root-problem Wrong Vision ; Carter’s Wrong Ideology.  I agree with Lydia that Carter’s root-problem is one of wrong ideology and that he employs scripture as a family album in order to correct for this. Carter is transparent in his application of a liberationist lens to the text. At first I wondered if Carter’s root problem was wrong vision but his use of scripture seems to so clearly be family album that this makes wrong ideology a better fit as the root- problem he is addressing. Scripture is not functioning as a corrective for Carter but rather helping those who would follow Christ to understand that they have a new identity that calls them to the work of liberation. 

22  In 16:21-26 Carter understands Jesus first to be telling the disciples about God’s purposes for him (vv a) and then describing the challenge this poses for them (vv. 24b-26). This challenge involves identification with those on the margins (v. 24 “take up the cross and follow”) and to stand against elites who would oppress (v. 25 “lose one’s life for my sake.”) A new identity is being offered if the disciples will follow. Carter pp  Chapter 18:1-7 is rendered closely in line with the interpretation that Lydia utilizes in her teaching. Vv. 1-5 point out “that the alternative community lives as marginal children” and that vv. 6-9, “members do not cause one another to stumble.” Digging deeper, we find that choosing a child as a “visual aid” emphasizes how vulnerable and humble (a social-location of powerlessness) that the disciples are and how this flies in the face of the cultural values of the day. As vv. 6-7 continue, Jesus offers words of disapproval towards the wider culture that oppresses and specifically those who lead others away from the new identity of resistance they find in Christ. Again, a new identity for all those who call themselves disciples of Christ is emphasized. Carter pp

23  Briefly, my context is that of a mission trip that has just returned from Haiti made up of members of my congregation. They have returned and are trying to make meaning out of their experience as it calls them to live back in the US.  If my root-problem were to shift to become wrong ideology, I might adjust my context so that our mission team returns believing that their call in the name of Christ is to focus exclusively on Haiti as the source of their missional work. Perhaps this is motivated out of a sense that folks there have it so much worse than we do and so that is the place we should be focusing our efforts. In this case their wrong ideology is one that limits them to only see the needs/God’s Spirit at work in one location. Using scripture as a family album with the texts I choose would allow for my congregation to wrestle Jesus’ definition of love of neighbor for those who would follow him. This pushes up against an almost exclusive focus on one specific community.

24  Lydia and I share root-problems and uses of scripture, and the broader points of her teaching could fit fairly well within my context. My focus is on a group who has had a profound experience of God’s reign and need this new vision to be confirmed and their old vision corrected through scripture. Here, teaching them to see the world through God’s eyes (perhaps as a child) could be helpful in looking for where God is at work in new places and faces. Lydia’s focus on not contributing to the stumbling of others seems less pertinent, other than perhaps to invite this group to think about the kind of impact this change of focus could have on other groups in our church. The broad arc however, to see the world through new eyes as Jesus does rather than getting caught up on our earthly reality— is one that would probably translate in almost any context!

25  I feel that the root-problem in my context could be addressed through Lydia’s teaching and that she has identified the most effective role of scripture in her context. If there was a way to strengthen her teaching it might be to revisit her scripture passages and see if that are others that might strengthen her teaching. I think that scripture could continue to be used as corrective glasses but to help her build a stronger case.

26  Carter’s context=marginalized Christians who believe that they as a community are helpless and hopeless, and who are therefore living without a sense of any higher purpose and with an overall feeling of defeat.  Yes. Teaching: changes their ideology into one of hope for the future rather than despair about the present. Yes.  But also: positive: Being marginalized is the way of life called for/demanded from the Christian community…A COUNTER-CULTURAL LIFE  Applies to MANY MANY CONTEXTS besides a Mom’s attitude toward her daughter

27  3:42-4:04 W. SCOTT JAMIESON Matt16:24- 28, 17:16-21, 5:3-14 Formal Respondent DAVID CHOI ◦ Monica Weber ◦ Whitney Mitchell ◦ Brenda Durham ◦ John Suk ◦ Jill Brown ◦ Kyle Frohock

28  Matthew 16: :1 24 Then Jesus told his disciples, "If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 25 For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it. 26 For what will it profit them if they gain the whole world but forfeit their life? Or what will they give in return for their life? 27 "For the Son of Man is to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay everyone for what has been done. 28 Truly I tell you, there are some standing here who will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom."

29  Matthew 17: And I brought him to your disciples, but they could not cure him." 17 Jesus answered, "You faithless and perverse generation, how much longer must I be with you? How much longer must I put up with you? Bring him here to me." 18 And Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him, and the boy was cured instantly. 19 Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, "Why could we not cast it out?" 20 He said to them, "Because of your little faith. For truly I tell you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you."

30  Context: Group of very successful Christian businessmen, who for years have met regularly, have reached midlife and are becoming aware that they may not be living true Christian lives. They attend church, tithe regularly, and are active in their community. Yet, they have a growing sense of disconnection from their families, a sense of meaninglessness, and worry about their futures despite their obvious outer signs of success and achievement.   Root problem: Lack of Faith  Role of Scripture: Corrective Glasses

31  The men need to understand that life in society has seduced them to believe that the pursuit of individual rewards, rather than pursuing the Kingdom of Heaven, is false and explains their feelings. Their worship of the ideology of capitalism (lack of wrong faith) needs to be replaced by a deeper Faith in God to provide for them. Their focus on capitalism must be relinquished in order to see, through the texts, the purpose of their lives differently by seeing God at work in their life context (corrective glasses). The men must deny themselves (16:24) and lose their old lives in order to save it, (16:25) by placing God above material gain for them to achieve their objectives of meaningful lives, less worry, humility, and living a Christian life. They have lost their lives by focusing on material gains (16:26.)

32  The Beatitudes (5:3-12) provide a strong pathway for the men to follow: humility, meekness, merciful, thirst for justice, etc. are the antithesis of the modern economic culture in which the men thrived. By seeing in their life-context that the humble, meek, merciful, thirsty for justice, are indeed blessed by God, they can then focus on the theme of discipleship the men become “resocialized” as they Imitate Christ and “acquire a new identity as sharing Christ’s vision of the Kingdom. (CDC)”

33  The path is difficult and requires strong faith. The exorcism story in Matthew 17:14-21 points out how easy it is to lack enough faith to follow this path. The father, who presented his son for healing to Jesus showed a faith stronger (Lord, have mercy on my son, 17:15) than that of the disciples who could not heal the boy (why: because of your little faith, 17:20). In their current situation the men are more like the disciples whose focus on capitalism makes them “a faithless and perverse generation” (17:17.) When the businessmen see themselves as the man in this text they can see how their own deepened faith will receive this same kind of healing to their “possessed lives.” The men can achieve their desired lives through their Faith (if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, 17:20) as they contribute to the Kingdom of Heaven using the many gifts they have been given (nothing will be impossible for you, 17:20). With this deeper faith the men can see themselves in the story of another local businessmen who found himself in similar circumstances not long ago: he sold his business and became a missionary in Guatemala. He has been adequately cared for by God for more than a decade.

34  Commentators View: Daniel Harrington views the intent of Matthew’s Gospel as proving Jesus’ Jewishness. He does so because it has been often co-opted as an anti-Semitic text. His commentary on the Beatitudes, for example, cites similarities with the wisdom books of the Hebrew Bible. He draws this firm distinction: “the assumption of the wisdom books is that virtue or good actions are rewarded in the present” whereas the Beatitudes “promise fullness of life in God’s Kingdom...primarily eschatological.” So, his claim is that Jesus takes Jewish teachings and expands them. This suggests to me the root problem he addresses is wrong ideology.

35  Impact of Harrington’s root problem on Jamieson’s context: To use the root problem of wrong ideology suggests the businessmen need to adjust their focus on what they believe is the source of power in their lives. They need only move from participating in the capitalism system to a more God centered approach to life to gain the lives they state they want. Wrong ideology suggests that the men currently have sufficient faith to make this transition without worry.

36  Teaching that results from Harrington’s root problem on revised context: I think the new teaching can still use corrective glasses as the role of scripture to address the wrong ideology. The result is a teaching that is very similar to the current instruction with one key exception: In my teaching the emphasis on Faith is critical to make it work and achieve the end the men are looking for. That Faith plays a significant role is indicated by the use of the term “worship of capitalism.” This suggests God’s role is secondary. Thus, the original teaching has been modified below to remove this key term and remove the entire section on Faith. Changes are shown with strike-throughs and bold type.

37  The men need to understand that life in society has seduced them to believe that the pursuit of individual rewards, rather than pursuing the Kingdom of Heaven, is false and explains their feelings. Their worship of participation in the ideology of capitalism (lack of faith) needs to be replaced by a deeper Faith in God to provide for them by a focus on a new way of living that is illustrated in the Beatitudes. Their focus on capitalism must be relinquished in order to see, through the texts, the purpose of their lives differently (corrective glasses). The men must deny themselves (16:24) and lose their old lives in order to save it, (16:25) by placing God above material gain for them to achieve their objectives of meaningful lives, less worry, humility, and living a Christian life. They have lost their lives by focusing on material gains (16:26.)

38  The Beatitudes (5:3-12) provide a strong pathway for the men to follow: humility, meekness, merciful, thirst for justice, etc. are the antithesis of the modern economic culture in which the men thrived. By seeing in their life-context that the humble, meek, merciful, thirsty for justice, are indeed blessed by God, they can then focus on By focusing on the theme of discipleship the men become “resocialized” as they Imitate Christ and “acquire a new identity as sharing Christ’s vision of the Kingdom. (CDC)”

39  3:42-4:04 W. SCOTT JAMIESON Matt16:24- 28, 17:16-21, 5:3-14 Formal Respondent DAVID CHOI ◦ Monica Weber ◦ Whitney Mitchell ◦ Brenda Durham ◦ John Suk ◦ Jill Brown ◦ Kyle Frohock

40  You hesitated between  Corrective Glasses  Family Album

41  4:10-4:32 JAMES ARMES Matt 17:14-20; 6:25-34 Formal Respondent MICHAEL BROADNAX ◦ Conrad Quiros ◦ Bryant Holt ◦ James Hendricks ◦ Taylor Schomp ◦ Chad Gurley

42  Matthew 17: And I brought him to your disciples, but they could not cure him." 17 Jesus answered, "You faithless and perverse generation, how much longer must I be with you? How much longer must I put up with you? Bring him here to me." 18 And Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him, and the boy was cured instantly. 19 Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, "Why could we not cast it out?" 20 He said to them, "Because of your little faith. For truly I tell you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you."

43  Context: A first-year M.Div student sat in her wheelchair listening to the professor lecture on the various definitions of the word “faith.” As each description was offered, her anxiety slowly mounted, hoping that the professor’s lecture would offer some level of solace for her “affliction.” … After garnering the courage, she spoke and said, “My pastor told me that if I had enough faith, I would not be in this wheelchair. Does God love me? Can I have an active faith and assist in ushering in God’s kingdom?”  Root Problem: Wrong Ideology. The young lady has encountered a distorted ideology concerning faith, which asserts that with enough faith, God will cure all human ills. Even though she has been an avid reader of the Bible and believes she has been called by God to ministry, she has been plagued by a completely distorted ideology of faith. For this reason, my choice for the Role of Scripture is Corrective Glasses.

44  Teaching: Although I believe healing is a gift from God, the idea of “belief” as the impetus to healing often creates a heavy- burden of guilt for the suffering person, paints God as a malevolent, uncaring God, and creates apathy and complacency among Christian believers. However, through my interpretation of Matthew 6:25-34 and 17:14-20, faith and healing can be clearly understood as a call to active discipleship as agents of Christ.

45  Through a set of Corrective Glasses, the young lady will garner a more appropriate understanding of faith, which offers here a vision of God’s unconditional loving presence in her life, regardless of her disability.  By offering ailing or physically challenged people a new way to “heal,” they are offered a more correct understanding of healing, thus creating personal wholeness. In addition, describing healing as both mind and body, the young lady in the wheelchair is afforded an opportunity to see that in her particular situation, healing first comes from the mind, which then allows her to accept and make peace with her physical disability, therefore creating personal wholeness. In addition, she is enabled to be not only an inspiration to others, but also a faithful follower of Jesus by educating others as to what faith enables a person to accomplish.

46  Scholar’s Different Root-Problem: W.D. Davies and Dale C. Allison’s root-problem for Matthew 6:19-34 is Wrong Faith/Vision. Davies and Allison focuses on an eschatological understanding that the Christian believer “…shall find its reward in heaven” (632). However, the believer with the correct faith/vision understands that if he is focused on heaven, he will produce fruit worthy of heaven. In addition, with their interpretative emphasis focused on symbolic treasure, along with their assertion that one should have his heart or mind set on things above, not below, Davies and Allison stress the need for a clear faith/vision. Furthermore, in Davies and Allison’s interpretation of 17:14-20, they assert that, “[i]n Matthew the lesson is not what Jesus can do but what his followers can do,” which leads to the followers of Jesus being included in the “family” and stresses the need for a clear faith/vision leading to kingdom work (D and A pg. 720). Moreover, their interpretation presupposes the Role of Scripture as a Family Album.

47  Diverging Root-Problem: In adjusting my context to Davies and Allison’s root problem of Wrong Faith/Vision, the young lady, as well as the pastor, must be made aware that their idea of faith is distorted. To have faith is not to seek physical healing or worrying about how our bodies appear; instead, faith is actively striving for God’s Kingdom.  Because of the wrong faith/vision, the young lady has understood that faith leads to physical healing. Furthermore, she has understood that because of her inability to rise from the wheelchair she has been shunned by God. However, in presenting her with the correct faith/vision, she is made aware of God’s unconditional love, and she receives an accurate understanding of faith. This new understanding “to strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness…” as part of the family in Christ; hence, the family album.

48  1) Read your leader’s handout and identify in it the TWO distinct root-problems in your leader’s handout … DO YOU AGREE  2) Learning something about THE CONTEXT YOU HAVE CHOSEN FOR YOUR PAPER with the help of your leader, by looking at YOUR CHOSEN CONTEXT from the perspective of a different root-problem:  Choosing in your leader’s handout among the two rootproblems discussed the root-problem which is DIFFERENT from the rootproblem you identified in the context you presented in YOUR OWN PROPOSAL show how this different root-problem also applies TO YOUR CONTEXT (indeed, it necessarily applies).  Show how THE TEACHING formulated by your leader to address this different rootproblem APPLY TO YOUR CONTEXT (as adjusted). Does it effectively overcome this DIFFERENT rootproblem in your context? If not, how could it be made sharper? Did your leader choose the most effective role of scripture? If not, what other role of scripture would be more effective to address the given rootproblem.

49  James sees Wrong Ideology as the root problem in his contextual problem. This is an accurate interpretation of the problem because of the student’s misinterpretation and incorrect application of the faith ideology. He surmises that Davies and Allison offer Wrong Faith/Vision as the root problem for Matthew 6: I agree completely that Wrong Faith/Vision is Davies and Allison’s root problem. James uses accurate and strong evidence for his position.  Carter posits a Wrong Ideology, probably initiated by wrong knowledge, as the root problem in Matthew. Carter’s commentary on Matthew 6:21 divulges this perspective. “The heart is the center of human commitment and decisions; see 5:8, 28. The unjust accumulation of goods reflects a heart committed to them.” Carter states in his introduction that he posits the gospel of Matthew as a “counter-narrative.”

50  I could probably posit a Wrong Faith/Vision as the root problem of my contextual situation without significantly altering the context. My Inner City congregation with their incorrect purpose of Evangelism and misplaced goals could stem from an incorrect “faith or symbolic world shared by all the members in the community.” Wrong Faith and belief naturally lead to a Wrong Ideology. The scriptures themselves teach that what I believe comes directly from what I hear; therefore, what I believe determines what I do and why I do it. 

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52  Our choice of Corrective Glasses as the role of scripture for our teaching is accurate and predictably successful. By showing through the scriptures the correct measure of ministry and faithfulness (for my context) and the correct perspectives of divine healing in James Armes’ context both contextual problems can be ultimately remedied. 

53  4:10-4:32 JAMES ARMES Matt 17:14-20; 6:25-34 Formal Respondent MICHAEL BROADNAX ◦ Conrad Quiros ◦ Bryant Holt ◦ James Hendricks ◦ Taylor Schomp ◦ Chad Gurley

54  4:32-4:54 GABE KING Matt 18:1-9; 5:3-16 Formal Respondent MICHAEL GREER ◦ Sam Mallick ◦ Seth Terell ◦ Eugene SeBree ◦ John Wheeler ◦ Kristin Kelly

55  Matthew 18:1-9 At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, "Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?" 2 He called a child, whom he put among them, 3 and said, "Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Whoever becomes humble like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5 Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me. 6 "If any of you put a stumbling block before one of these little ones who believe in me, it would be better for you if a great millstone were fastened around your neck and you were drowned in the depth of the sea. 7 Woe to the world because of stumbling blocks! Occasions for stumbling are bound to come, but woe to the one by whom the stumbling block comes! 8 "If your hand or your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away; it is better for you to enter life maimed or lame than to have two hands or two feet and to be thrown into the eternal fire. 9 And if your eye causes you to stumble, tear it out and throw it away; it is better for you to enter life with one eye than to have two eyes and to be thrown into the hell of fire.

56  Context: A seventeen year old boy is in the senior year of high school, the captain of the football team, unequivocally the most popular student in the school. While the senior boy is extremely nice, his circle of friends have been extremely cruel in their bullying of a homosexual freshman boy. The senior boy is a Christian and strives to follow the teachings of Jesus and do the will of God. He believes that the correct action would be to befriend the freshman boy and stand up to his circle of friends to stop their bullying. While he knows the right action, he does not want to say anything to his friends because he is afraid they will turn on him and start bullying him.   Root Problem: LACK OF WILL.  Role of Scripture: GOOD NEWS.

57  The main teaching of these passages will be about who God values through the teaching of Jesus and why to act on their behalf. Matthew 18:1-9 and 5:3-16 will show the senior boy that God values the meek and that he must become like the lowly child of Matthew 18:4, which means risking getting ridiculed by his friends for sticking up for the homosexual boy. God values those who are in the margin. As such, the Christian boy in the real life context will gain the courage to make himself vulnerable to help the homosexual boy not only because that boy is valued most by God, but by becoming vulnerable himself God will be on his side according to Matthew 5:3-16.  This teaching is seen in light of the theme of perfectionist ethics and dealing with discipleship as doing God’s will according to the teaching of Jesus  The good news taught in these scriptures is that God values the disinherited and thus will empower the senior boy to have courage to change his will to perform what needs to be done as a result of God’s love spoken of in Matthew 18:4.

58  Root Problem: A WRONG FAITH/VISION  Harrington’s root problem becomes a wrong faith vision because of his close attention to the images and symbols of the text as related to the similar images and symbols in Jewish literature of the time and on the figurative organization of the text (see his comments on 18:1-14, pp ); consequently his idea of the theme of Matthew becomes discipleship as imitating Christian in relation to the community. For Harrington then the corrected vision for a community is to completely depend on one another.  Adjusted Context for Scholar: Adjusting my context of my root- problem through the lens of Harrington’s root problem of a wrong faith/vision would require me to adjust the motives of the senior boy: the senior boy did not intervene to help the homosexual boy because he (wrongly) believed (envisioned) that the homosexual boy was not part of God’s family, since after all, according to his (wrong) belief, the homosexual boy was going against God’s will.

59  New Teaching: FAMILY ALBUM. The new teaching, with a root problem of a wrong faith/vision, becomes a family album teaching. Read as a family album, Matthew 18:1-9 calls the senior boy to enter the text and to recognize that “the greatest in the kingdom” is not him (and his “friends”), but the child among them, the bullied boy. Thus following the text the senior boy should join the bullied boy (18:3), accept to be bullied as he is bullied (18:4), welcome him as his friend (18:5) indeed as a “blessed ones” to whom the Kingdom belong (5:3-16) and thus as a member of the family of God; and warn those who bully him of the consequences (18:6-9): they exclude themselves from the family of God. [Note how Harrington is emphasizing the vision of the community in his commentary on 18:1-14.]

60  4:32-4:54 GABE KING Matt 18:1-9; 5:3-16 Formal Respondent MICHAEL GREER ◦ Sam Mallick ◦ Seth Terell ◦ Eugene SeBree ◦ John Wheeler ◦ Kristin Kelly

61  4:54-5:16 JOEL FITZGERALD Matt 18:15-35; 5:38-48 Formal Respondent CASEY KNORR ◦ Siyu Wang ◦ Rob Knox ◦ Minnie Murrell ◦ Andrew Shepherd ◦ Adri Bullard ◦ Krysta Rexrode Wolfe

62  39 But I say to you, Do not resist an evildoer. But if anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also; 40 and if anyone wants to sue you and take your coat, give your cloak as well; 41 and if anyone forces you to go one mile, go also the second mile. 42 Give to everyone who begs from you, and do not refuse anyone who wants to borrow from you. 43 "You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' 44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be children of your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet only your brothers and sisters, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

63  15 "If another member of the church sins against you, go and point out the fault when the two of you are alone. If the member listens to you, you have regained that one. 16 But if you are not listened to, take one or two others along with you, so that every word may be confirmed by the evidence of two or three witnesses. 17 If the member refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if the offender refuses to listen even to the church, let such a one be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. 18 Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. 19 Again, truly I tell you, if two of you agree on earth about anything you ask, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them." 21 Then Peter came and said to him, "Lord, if another member of the church sins against me, how often should I forgive? As many as seven times?" 22 Jesus said to him, "Not seven times, but, I tell you, seventy-seven times.

64  1.Context- My context is an inner city church that is made up mostly of poor or homeless people. They are often wronged by those in power, i.e. arrested for loitering or being refused medical care. They know they should forgive their oppressors, but they think forgiveness means subsuming their personhood and letting oppressive forces run over them. They need a new vision of what forgiveness is.   2. The root problem is a wrong understanding [= knowledge] of what forgiveness entails. The role of scripture is [[corrective glasses]] Lamp to my feet [as implemented in the Teaching; and as in your proposal].

65  3. Lamp to my Feet Teaching. The people need a new understanding [= knowledge] of forgiveness. First, Jesus’ discourse on forgiveness in Ch. 18 must be read in light of his program of non-violent resistance in Ch. 5. In 5, 39-41, Jesus does not tell his disciples to lay down in the face of oppression; rather, he teaches them that they can be non-violent and still assert their personhood. Thus, turning a cheek forces one to use an “unclean” hand to strike someone, which would put the striker in a social awkward position (v39). Taking off a cloak would basically mean stripping down, engendering shame in the original offender (v40). In these verses, Jesus establishes a program of creative non-violent interaction that asserts love for the enemy while still retaining the dignity of the oppressed.

66  3. Lamp to my Feet Teaching. The people need a new understanding [= knowledge] of forgiveness.  Likewise, when the police arrest church members for loitering, the members can find creative non-violent ways to resist; as outlined in Ch 5, a loving response is to not lay down in defeat, but to find a way to put the oppressor on the defensive non-violently. In ch. 18, Before Jesus tells Peter in v to forgive indefinitely, Jesus lays out a program of reconciling members of the church to one another (v ). Such reconciliation strikes a balance between assuaging those that are wronged and working for the redemption of the one doing the wrong. Forgiveness need not mean losing personhood; just as in Ch. 5, the members can see that they can forgive the aggressive police officer or the unmerciful medical professional without giving up their personhood.

67  4. Daniel Harrington presents a different root-problem. His root problem is wrong faith vision. Most of his interpretation of these two passages has to deal with dispelling possible anti-Jewish interpretations; an issue of faith/vision of who belongs to the family of God. Thus, Harrington tries to provide a correct faith vision to those that do not see Jesus’ Jewish context and see Jews as part of the family of God.  5. Wrong vision. The people in my context – an inner city church that is made up mostly of poor or homeless people – can also be viewed as having a wrong vision of their relationship with their oppressors. They do not recognize their oppressors as belonging to the family of God and thus believe they do not feel they have to forgive those that oppress them.

68  6. Family Album Teaching. The new teaching would need a family album approach. In Ch. 5, Jesus calls on his disciples to consider even the thief and the Roman soldier as part of the family of God (vv 44-45). In 43-47, Jesus explicitly increases the family of God to include one’s enemies and persecutors (which makes sense given Harrington’s discussion of Jesus’ Jewish context). In 18:15-20, Jesus stipulates how forgiveness and reconciliation should work in the family of God: before cutting off relationship one must bring “two or three witnesses” and if that does not work, bring “the church.”  This family album teaching – this new vision – will only be communicated to the poor or homeless people of this inner city church through entering the text, e.g. in a worship service where the church members are celebrating by saying e.g.:

69  6. Family Album Teaching. “we are the children of our Father in heaven (5:45); like him, we should make our sun (mercy, forgiveness, compassion) rise and our rain (benevolence) fall on the evil (our oppressors) and the good (our friends in the church), and thus we should treat our oppressors as our brothers and sisters. Thus, let us find out how we can be helpful to our oppressors, since they are our brothers and sisters, but without expectation of positive responses from them (since after all they are “Gentiles and tax collectors”) although we will surprise them by our generosity; let us pray for our oppressors (5:44); let us talk to them and point to them first in private then in public how they hurt us (18:15-16), and if they do not respond let us treat them as Gentiles and Tax collectors, i.e., as brothers and sisters for whom we pray and to whom we do good without expectation of positive responses from them in an on-going way (forgiving them seventy-seven times, 18:22).

70  Joel identifies his root-problem as lack of knowledge and Harrington’s as wrong vision. I’m curious if Joel’s root-problem could be a wrong ideology, because the people in the context believe that forgiveness can be like letting people walk all over them, versus what the Bible suggests forgiveness is. Also, I read Harrington as a lack of will, rather than a wrong faith/vision, because I see Harrington bringing up the idea that these passages can affect what people do not want to do, and to not “place limits” on what God has not put limits on (92, 271).

71  My context is: a college student who understands prayer to be talking to God, but sometimes she just does not know what to say. The student wonders if prayer is really essential to being in a relationship with God, or if she is just talking to the ceiling. So, her question is: why is prayer important? I find that the root-problem is a lack of a lack of faith/vision, because she does not see that God indeed hears her prayers and because she doesn't have faith that God hears them, she doesn't think prayer is important. But if I consider lack of knowledge, from Joel's context, the context is not as deep. The college student would not understand prayer and need to know what it means, as well as she would need to understand why it is done, how to do it, and what happens when it feels like God is not listening.

72  With that in mind, I look toward Joel's teaching. His “lamp to my feet” teaching would affect my context, in that it would show the college student exactly what she needs to know: what prayer is and why it's important. She would find the knowledge and understanding she seeks. With a lack of knowledge as the root-problem in Joel's context, the “lamp to my feet” teaching works well to define forgiveness, both what it means and how to go about it.

73  4:54-5:16 JOEL FITZGERALD Matt 18:15-35; 5:38-48 Formal Respondent CASEY KNORR ◦ Siyu Wang ◦ Rob Knox ◦ Minnie Murrell ◦ Andrew Shepherd ◦ Adri Bullard ◦ Krysta Rexrode Wolfe

74  A point I will bring up for general discussion will be how the views of “FORGIVENESS” (the theme) shift from Joel’s original interpretation to the interpretation following Harrington?  For this, see CDC “Penance & Forgiveness”; Forgiveness, Discourse of” and especially “ATONEMENT”: 

75  1) as “sick” people who need to be cured of a disease (as M. L. King viewed “racism” as a disease that infected the racists); forgiveness is helping to cure sinners = as in Atonement # 1, Christ heals us from our sin/disease;  2) as people who willfully act against us, and would need to be punished for the hurt they caused; forgiveness is magnanimously foregoing retribution = as in Atonement # 2, Christ died/was punished for us;  3) as immature people who do not know what they are doing, who do not know better; forgiveness is educating this people and transforming their will by unexpected responses = as in Atonement # 3, Christ providing a model of forgiving attitude that transforms the immature sinners’ will through a loving attitude.


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