Saturday, January 03, 2015

A Little Saturday Morning Codicology

This morning Hope was trying to fold a big stack of paper, but couldn't quite create the crease.

Because of my reputation around the house for being "the strongest man in the whole world ever," she asked me to execute the fold (naturally, a feat I finished with fortitude).

After the fold, however, her dilemma: The papers were not holding together, but the folio count was too high, and our tape would just not suffice.

"What would you do Dad?"

Enter the codicological imperative. I knew the doctoral research I did for those obscure footnotes would one day come in handy.

And so, "Of the making of books" we began.

An aesthetically pleasing hue for our first page? We had that covered.

A couple hole-punches, a spare string, and a little pagination:

And, it was finished.

The making of books was at its end.

The way I read the situation, Hope and I really turned a page in our relationship this morning. Call it, bonding by binding.

And, while the chronicle of our codex-creating caper is complete, the story of "girly girl" and "handsome man" (the stated direction of her immanent compositional activity) is still on the horizon.

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Friday, January 02, 2015

Here an Apostle Speaks . . .

John Webster, commenting on the proper response to the claims of a text like Heb 1:1-4, a text that claims God speaks definitively in the revelation of "one who is Son," a direct address that challenges those who encounter it:

Theological interpretation is an undertaking in the sphere of reality marked out by the speaking presence of Word and Spirit, a sphere in which God has ordained that there should be apostles who through Holy Scripture confirm to the church what they have heard (cf. Heb 2.3). The letter to the Hebrews exists in this sphere, the sphere of the apostles who partake in the history of revelation as its witnesses and ministers, and the sphere of the interpreters who participate in the history of revelation as its addressees and hearers.
The biblical writings present themselves as forms of divine discourse. This also implies that the hearers of this discourse are encountering a word from God. If this is the case, then readers of a writing like Hebrews are compelled to respond in one way or another.
Overtaken as we are by such apostolic witness, we surely find that one way of proceeding has been irrevocably barred from us. We are no longer entitled to take up a position vis-a-vis what is said, to handle it as a possible but not inescapably necessary object of our acknowledgment. Still less are we free to peer behind it and give ourselves a satisfactory account of its background and genesis, or to transcend it by conceptual translation.

Here an apostle speaks, and what is said transcends and encloses us.

It also transcends and encloses our exegetical and dogmatic labours, which will remain disordered until directed by the confession that in these last days God has spoken to us by one who is Son.
This situation thus impacts the type of reader required to respond rightly to this revelatory word.
The historical, literary, and speculative virtues of exegetes and dogmaticians are therefore subordinate to spiritual graces: faithfulness to the apostolic gospel, attentiveness, perseverance, charity in debate and humility under correction, openness to the gifts of God, a desire to serve the church.

—John Webster, "One Who is Son: Theological Reflections on the Exordium to the Epistle to the Hebrews," in The Epistle to the Hebrews and Christian Theology, 70, 93-94.

I think we might summarize Webster's last point in this way:

As Christian Scripture, the letter to the Hebrews is an address from God designed to impact the believing community. All readers and interpreters (much more teachers!) must therefore engage it within the community of the churches and for the purpose of hearing a word from the Lord if they ever want to understand its meaning and fully experience its theological force.

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Sunday, December 21, 2014

Knowing His Name . . .

Commenting on all the "naming" that goes on in the Christmas story (Jesus, the genealogies, etc):

Because God knows our names, we know his.
—Fred Sanders, "Knowing the Names"

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Other Blogging Haunts:

I sporadically blog at Canon Studies about (you guessed it), "Canon Studies."

I also occasionally post annotations that I make as I read Cormac McCarthy at "Reading Cormac McCarthy."

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