This blog is the blog of the right Wrong. But there are many more wrong Wrongs. To be sure, Wrongs are legion. If you expected somewhat different content on this blog, it may be because you were looking for one of these Wrongs:
NT Wrong 2: author of the NT Commentary Reviews blog, which includes commentary on biblical commentaries [Update: blog no long available]
NT Wrong 3: author of the nt wrong blog, which purports to offer "occasional reports in biblical archaeology" (in fact, very occasional: so far, only one)
Kal has released his latest animation, Adam & Eve – Uncovered.
His animation asks that old question of Genesis chapters 2-3: if Adam and Eve only had knowledge of good and evil after they ate the fruit, then how could God hold them accountable for eating it before they acquired moral knowledge?
Roland Boer has denied that Jesus and I have even one anus between us. This is blasphemous heresy. Jesus is wholly man; wholly arse. Not only does Jesus have an anus, but the divine anus is the key to the meaning of the Incarnation, in which God becomes his own shit.
The theology of Jesus’ excremental identity is discussed by world-leading theologian Slavoj Žižek, who addresses the divine anus immediately after his discussion of the Johnny Cash song, ‘The Man Comes Around’ (which he describes as “an exemplary articulation of the anxieties contained in Southern Baptist Christianity;” The Parallax View, 186).
According to Žižek, the message of Christian love has its dark underside in the message that “the just remain just and the filthy remain filthy.” It doesn’t matter what you’ve done or who you are, God will fuck you up the arse if he whimsically decides to do so. The “love which suspends the law is necessarily accompanied by the arbitrary cruelty which also suspends the law.” The Christian conception of grace can be less nicely — and much more truthfully — expressed: as arbitrariness, as the law-ignoring, bastard behaviour of divine wankery. And Mankind (to use the theological term) is thus most accurately defined, in light of the Incarnation, as a bunch of little shits:
“Martin Luther directly proposed an excremental identity of man: man is like divine shit, he fell out of God’s anus. We can, of course, pursue the question of the deep crises that pushed Luther toward his new theology; he was caught in a violent debilitating superego cycle: the more he acted, repented, punished, and tortured himself, did good deeds, and so on, the more he felt guilty. This convinced him that good deeds are calculated, dirty, selfish: far from pleasing God, they provoke God’s wrath and lead to damnation. Salvation comes from faith: it is our faith alone, faith in Jesus as savior, which allows us to break out of the superego impasse. This “anal” definition of man, however, cannot be reduced to a result of this superego pressure which pushed Luther toward self-abasement — there is more to it: only within this Protestant logic of man’s excremental identity can the true meaning of the Incarnation be formulated. In Orthodoxy, Christ ultimately loses his exceptional status: his very idealization, elevation to a noble model, reduces him to an ideal image, a figure to be imitated (all men should strive to become God) — imitatio Christi is more an Orthodox than a Catholic formula. In Catholicism, the predominant logic is that of a symbolic exchange: Catholic theologists enjoy long scholastic juridical arguments about how Christ paid the price for our sins, and so on — no wonder Luther reacted to the most contemptible outcome of this logic, the reduction of redemption to something that can be bought from the Church. Protestantism, finally, posits the relationship as real, conceiving Christ as a God who, in his act of Incarnation, freely identified himself with his own shit, with the excremental Real that is man — and it is only at this level that the properly Christian notion of divine love can be apprehended, as love for the miserable excremental entity called “man.” “
- Slavoj Žižek, The Parallax View, 187
Ah! Don’t those canny continental theologians (such as Žižek, Badiou, Agamben) make that other bunch — those puritanical guardians of dogma — appear just as unpalatable as shit on a plate?
Yes, after three days and three nights* fighting Evil in the depths of Hades, I have arisen. I am pleased to announce that I have defeated Sin and Death and killed the Devil outright (I mean to say, why piss around with holding him captive for thousands of years, when I have the power to kill him now and end all the Evil and Suffering in the world?).
Now things will be much better here on Earth. Anybody who believes My Word (that there will be no more Evil and no more Death on Earth) gets eternal life! Just believe that all Evil and Death has ended. That’s all you have to do. Just believe it!! Do you have faith in what might otherwise appear to be a patently ridiculous proposition? Of course you do!
In order to confirm your faith (and salvation), please complete this quick poll:
* the three days and three nights were calculated using Hades Time, which — as every chthonic descender knows – is much quicker than Earth Time. You see, everything in My Word may be completely harmonized if you have enough faith and ingenuity.
I’ve had some very interesting discussion and argument with Stephen Cook at Biblische Ausbildung on the topic of Original Sin. In particular, we’re discussing how Original Sin can be thought, if at all, after the discovery of evolution — once it is no longer possible to think of death coming into the world because of humankind, but only of humankind coming into the world because of death.
At this stage we are both hoping for other opinions (although some have already been offered).
What interests me are questions such as these:
- Is the modernist interpretation of ‘Original Sin’ as only or mainly a continuing condition, which ignores or minimises its originating aspect in Adam and Eve, a departure from past orthodoxy?
- If it is a departure, or a redefinition of some kind, to what extent has the fact of evolution caused theologians of the twentieth century and beyond to search for new ways to rescue the doctrine of Original Sin? I attempt to articulate the problem most fully in my fourth response, e.g.:
“What do you do with a concept that explains how death came into the world (in time-history), after the fact of evolution has demonstrated that humanity was created by death — by trillions of earlier deaths? Answer: reduce the concept of Original Sin to an “originated” status or condition of ongoing humanity, eliminating its “originating” status at any one point in time. What do you do with a concept of an initial period of Paradise in the Garden of Eden (which as the ‘contemporary bible scholar’ James Barr has so eloquently argued on many occasions is both history and theology for its authors), when there never was any such Golden Age? Answer: reduce the story to an ‘archetype’ or ‘myth’, which has ‘mythic meaning’ but no historical meaning. (Ah, Barr would be turning in his grave!) What do you do with the doctrine of ‘the Fall’ once evolution has shown we are not ‘fallen angels’ but ‘rising beasts’ (to employ Arthur Peacocke’s cute phrasing)? Answer: reduce the story to a ‘mythic meaning’ about the prevalence of evil carried on by humanity from generation to generation.
- Should we limit the interpretation of passages such as Gen 1-3 to theological/mythic interpretations, or was it understood in its earliest reception as both history and theology (in emic definitions), as I have previously argued here, here, and here (in disturbance of the dominant harmonizing and modernistic theologizing trend of Christian biblical scholars)?
- Is there any qualitative difference between Homo sapiens and other species of animals (past and present, e.g. apes, dogs, and Neanderthals) that justifies distinguishing our exercise of freewill from theirs?
- If God is responsible for messiness (evil, suffering, etc) in some way that logically or chronologically precedes human responsibility, is this a more radical and fundamental problem of evil than one in which God simply allows human freewill, from which evil begins?
- Does the pervasiveness of what we consider to be ‘evil’ provide any proof of a ‘fall of humankind’ without already assuming the past or future reality of such a difference between humanity’s actual and idealized states?
- Does the fact that many of us dream of a better world prove that such a world exists?
- Is there any better summary of theology than Albert Schweitzer’s “Es gibt keine Lage so verzweifelt, dass die Theologie keine Ausweg wüsste”?
Now, if you don’t find something out of all that to comment on, there must be something fundamentally wrong with you!