Sunday, March 25, 2012

Rabbi Michael L. Samuel's Book on Gen. 1-3




Here is a review of Rabbi Michael Leo Samuel's book Birth and Rebirth Through Genesis: A Timeless Theological Conversation Vol. 1: Genesis 1-3.  Read other reviews here


The reviews do not mention anything about the historical-cultural context of Genesis 1, 2 and 3 so I suspect that Rabbi Samuel does not delve into the Kushite context of Abraham's ancestors.  Nor does he appear to address the origins of messianic expectation beginning in Genesis 3:15.


A theological conversation that is not grounded in historical-cultural realities is too speculative for my taste. This is my argument with Harvard Professor Shaye Cohen.  I prefer the thought of Rabbi Kadura and Rabbi Simon Altaf.


8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Alice,

I would like your insight on this. We live in a physical world, so the sacraments are an encounter with Christ in this world, until he comes again. It's matter made holy by spirit.

How is it possible to separate this distinction of a sacramental world with that of pantheism, where everything is god.


Savvy

Alice Linsley said...

Pantheism has different versions. On one extreme all matter is divine and God has no independent existence. On the other extreme, in atheistic or physiomonistic pantheism, God's existence is denied and Nature alone exists. In all versions, the material world is all there is. There is no hope of the world to come. The Sacraments are a taste of the Resurrection from the dead and the eternal kingdom of God.

The Sacraments reject all forms of Pantheism. They are predicated on divine commandments enacted by divinely-appointed agents of God - priests. Baptism and Holy Eucharist speak of the transformation of finite matter and a new heaven and earth which cannot pass away.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Alice.

Another question I have is that if Christ is the bridegroom and the church is the bride.

Where does this leave men who would then receive the Eucharist as the bride representing the church.?

How does this fit in complimentarity?

Alice Linsley said...

The analogy of the Divine Groom and His Bride (the Church) is based on the binary framework of the whole of the Bible. The groom-bride motif is another version of the sun-moon motif found in the Psalms and the Song of Solomon. The point of the binary sets is that one is always greater than the other in some evident way. The male is larger and stronger than the female. The Sun gives light whereas the Moon merely reflects the Sun's light. We are not speaking of complementarity, but rather of the greater and the lesser.

At the Eucharist, all baptised persons, regardless of their gender, receive Christ as their superior. Were Christ not superior to us, He could not stoop down to save us (kenosis). The groom-bride binary analogy is yet another way to express His superiority to us and His desire for us. It is wonderful because it expresses the intimacy that Christ will have with the Church at the eschaton.

Anonymous said...

Alice,

Another question that was asked on the blog is this.

Why is this that men can represent the church as bride, but women cannot represent christ as groom?


Savvy

Alice Linsley said...

To assert such a reversal of gender roles is regarded in Scripture as a violation of the fixed order of creation and an affront to the Creator.

Humans have neither the authority nor the ability to change the fixed order of nature, nor the fixed order of the Church.

Anonymous said...

Alice,

Thanks. What do you think of someone being transgendered. The argument is that gender is in the brain, so if they feel like they belong to another gender, they should go under the knife to fit that gender.?

The Episcopal church has already ordained transgendered people.

What on earth is going on?


Savvy

Alice Linsley said...

We have discussed this before.

Genital confusion from birth is very rare and these persons know their gender. There is no confusion in their brains on that point. They usually are helped through surgery and hormone therapy.

Gender confusion is an effect of the Fall. Humans were created at the beginning either Male or Female.

The Episcopal Church has gone mad.