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"To some extent the decisions of the exegetes on the nature of the assembly or assemblies in Acts 15 depend on their view of the use of sources in the chapter. ‘Minimalists,’ like Dibelius and Haenchen, who credit virtually the whole story to Lukan composition, tend to the view that the author has here created one of those “großen lebendigen und eindrucksvollen Szenen’ that Luke regards as suited to his audience. Those, on the other hand, who view Luke less as a freewheeling author and more as a redactor of sources, try to find in the seams and cracks of the narrative signs of the weaving together of various documents and traditions."
Linda M. Maloney, “All that God had Done with them”: The Narration of the Works of God in the Early Christian Community as Described in the Acts of the Apostles, American University Studies 91 (New York: Peter Lang, 1991), 145.
Read this story about an Anglican church in Australia that has created quite a stir by placing two signs with "OMG" on parts of its building. While such a move may generate discussion and interest in spiritual matters, I really wonder whether this panders to the baser aspects of our society and whether it truly glorifies God. The phrase has always seemed rather flippant to me and I often cringe when I hear people use it, especially Christians.
Having recently gone through a building program with my church, I found the following comments from Victor Hamilton's Exodus commentary to be interesting.
"It is also significant that Moses first asks for donations to fund the project before he talks to the people about the tabernacle’s design. One might expect that order to be reversed: first show them the plans, and then ask them to get behind it financially. Is that not how most religious communities wishing to construct a new building or expand and renovate an older building would go about it? Congregants tend to be more enthusiastic and generous when they can see, at least in blueprint, what their pledges and dollars are funding."
Victor P. Hamilton, Exodus: An Exegetical Commentary (Grand Rapids: Baker), 2011), 456.
"While a number of metaphors work well to express the Bible’s theological plurality coherently and constructively, my preference for the interpreter’s practical task is conversation. Naturally, there are different kinds of conversations. A canonical approach to the NT’s pluriform subject matter envisages a conversation that is more complementary than adversarial. In one sense, the intercanonical conversation is very much like an intramural debate over the precise meaning of things generally agreed to be true and substantial. The purpose or outcome of debate is not to resolve firmly fixed disagreements among members of the same community or panel as though a normative synthesis were possible; rather, more often it is the sort of debate that clarifies the contested content of their common ground. Likewise, the biblical canon stabilizes and bears continuing witness to the historic disagreements between the traditions of the church’s first apostles, which were often creative and instructive (cf. Acts 15:1-21; Gal 2:1-15). Not only do these controversies acquire a permanent value within Scripture, but Scripture in turn commends these same controversies to its current readers, who are invited to engage in similar acts of what Karl Popper calls ‘mutual criticism’ in order to provide more balance to parochial interests or supply instruction to clarify the theological confession of a particular faith tradition."
Robert W. Wall, "Reading the New Testament in Canonical Context," in Hearing the New Testament: Strategies for Interpretation, 2nd ed., ed. Joel B. Green (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2010), 384.