August 17, 2011

Luke 8.4-8

People were now gathering in large numbers, and as they made their way to him from one town after another, he said in a parable:

"A sower went out to sow his seed. And as he sowed, some seed fell along the footpath, where it was trampled on; and the birds ate it up. Some seed fell on rock, and after coming up, withered for lack of moisture. Some seed fell among thistles; and the thistles grew up with it and choked it. And some of the seed fell into good soil, and grew, and yielded a hundredfold."

As he said this, he called out, "If you have ears to hear, then hear!"


At 3:14 p.m., Blogger Random Arrow said...

“ .. gathering in large numbers ..”

Audiences of large numbers seem frequently at odds with the message. I brought up the theory of large numbers several posts back. I’m sorry I failed to say that my inner thoughts (context) aimed at openly wondering how to bring new atheists (like Dawkins) into conversations. They rely on the theory of large numbers to discredit religious and enSpirited visions. This is not a criticism of atheism. It’s rather a way to situate Jesus among them as a critic of large numbers. Not all in the “large numbers” hear. Not this time. Maybe next time. I enjoyed the previous reference to Stephen Gaskin. Is Jesus inviting “large numbers” to The Farm? Or just to travel “gathering” along the way?

At 5:31 p.m., Blogger forrest said...

So if I'm following you... Jesus is saying something like: I'm addressing this message to many many people... and not all will have "ears" to hear it properly.

Some people will try to exploit this message for their own ends, which will tend to waste it. ("birds") Some people just aren't hospitable to it and won't nurture it enough. ("rocks") Some people will conflate it with their personal notions ("thistles") and those notions will overpower the plain meaning. But if you give it your honest attention it will grow on you...
See, this parable got mixed up in my mind, fairly early on, with sheeps & goats & good people & bad-- in that it seems to suggest a dichotomy between "people like us, who get it" and "people like them, who don't."

That is, even though it's not about people, but about a certain 'word', or message, and its various ways of getting lost in transmission...

Therefore the realization that we're talking about disseminating a revelation, an insight-- and not about how good or bad people happen to be-- made a big impact on me, not necessarily on anyone who'd got it right the first time.

But this implies that the important thing is not "What kind of soil am I?" but "How can I best consider this message?"

At 5:41 p.m., Blogger forrest said...

Hmm, I haven't really addressed all you've raised (and can seldom manage that, sorry!)

If you find yourself talking with an atheist... I suggest being quiet a moment, then asking God "What should I best say to this person?" Not being atheists ourselves, we ought to be able to do this, right? Without needing some sort of "Hast thou made Jesus thy personal savior?" script?

I like what NT Wright said about Jesus' Jubilee proclamation, when he speaks in his home synagogue... that this was not said in the expectation that the national leaders would officially decree a jubilee forgiveness of debts... but that his followers would live their lives in that spirit.

So, by that example: Jesus is not inviting us to the Farm, but to live (so far as circumstances permit) as if we were there.

At 6:17 p.m., Blogger Random Arrow said...

That is, even though it's not about people, but about a certain 'word', or message, and its various ways of getting lost in transmission...

That’s just the tweak I needed. Much better.

The atheist stuff, later.

Right (or, Wright) on the leaders. I’ll take that version of The Farm too. I visited a Pentecostal church recently. Where I’m working with a pastor on a case. He preached – “the church is not in the BARN.” Well, we were sitting in a barn (box structure)! I felt I knew what he meant. I should have asked, if not the Barn, then what about The Farm?

I think Pat Crowley tried to answer your hard and excellent question about Levinson ala Hudson. Aaron too. I don’t have anything to add. Yet. I’m catching up on Levinson. I’d like to see much more Hudson. Maybe even invite Hudson to respond to questions – in time? Let more good questions accumulate? Why does it seem like much ANE scholarship is outdated by press time? A publishing industry gimmick? True scholarship? Or what?

At 6:34 p.m., Blogger forrest said...

By the time it can be assembled into a book, and printed, it's out of date. Even (in the case of Scientific American sometimes) before it can be decoded into an article.


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