Saturday, July 25, 2009

Bailey's Noble Vineyard

Part 6 (x)- The Parable of the Noble
Vineyard Owner and His Son

OK, OK. The stones didn't cry out literally in this text- like the pic suggests. But they did indeed cry out- figuratively speaking.

Bailey is a little more contextual here. Good for him. He was trying way too hard to isolate the texts- to illustrate the chiastic structure of these parables. A literary device used for mnemonic purposes.
A device recognized and brought to prominence quite recently by Gordon Wenham. A recognition that further dissembles the long-standing and compromising 'documentary hypothesis' of Julius Wellhausen.

But the recognition of this device or structure adds little to my understanding of these parables. Even less enlightening is Bailey's literal interpretation of this parable.

Rather, this parable (Luke 20:9-16) ought to be treated allegorically. The vine-growers/Jews saw Jesus. And to attain gain, they threw him out of the vineyard/Jerusalem and killed/crucified Him.

Bailey rejects the speculation that Luke may have added the "threw him out of the vineyard" part to accommodate prophecy- because 'it fails to take the parable literal enough'. "Such speculation is unnecessary when you consider the potential defilement of the grapes", claims Bailey (420).
What a wuss.
He won't defend Luke.
He won't defend Luke's inspiration.
He won't defend the translations (there are no variant textual readings).
He merely defends his own literal interpretation- of grapes!

Yet, the allegorical interpretation is confirmed- with Jesus subsequent elaboration (v. 17&18) of a stone falling on those that reject THE CHIEF CORNER stone/Himself. Try taking those stones literally.

But these are just sour grapes, dear readers.
I thank you for putting up with my gripes.
I hope that my gripes have been helpful for you. And please do not hesitate to rock me with your comments.

In closing:

Bailey concludes this final chapter by saying, "To summarize this great parable is nearly impossible". But that doesn't stop him from trying.

Please allow me to make one more summary for you here.

Either you fall on that stone- or it will fall on you.

And you won't like the latter.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Bailey Takes a Pounding

Part 6 (ix)- The Parable of the Pounds

Here Bailey starts by suggesting that "OUR UNDERSTANDING OF SCRIPTURE [caps in original] must always be open to refinement. All interpretations of Scripture need to be tentatively final. Our interpretation of Scripture, therefore, must never be closed to correction or revision."

Sounds real modest doesn't it? A real generous orthodoxy, right?

But does it not charge God with speaking obscurely and ambiguously? As early church father Cyrrhus wrote, 'Let no one therefore, and especially among the pupils of piety, be so bold against the divine Spirit as to charge his words with obscurity...'. Is Bailey a pupil of piety?
And what exactly does the psalmist mean when he says (Psalm 119:130) His words "give understanding to the simple"? Is Bailey something other than simple?

It seems to me that Bailey is saying that he doesn't get this parable. Bailey concludes (I refuse to target his summaries cuz that's like shooting fish in a barrel), "In this parable the master's command is an opening statement, no more. The story has no concluding scene and the reader is stimulated to reflect on the unfinished symphony that is the parable."

Bailey would do well to interact with the whole parable (Luke 19:11-27). The beginning and ending verses. But that wouldn't be politically correct, now would it?

Luke makes it clear in the verse opening the narrative, that this parable is about- what was about to happen to Jerusalem!
Luke makes it reasonably clear in the concluding verse- that it is Jerusalem that is to be slain!
Is Jesus not talking about cities? Is he not going to Jerusalem to be slain?
Jesus then elaborates (v. 44) on why Jerusalem will be slain... "because you did not recognize the time of your visitation".

But of course Bailey is wiser than that. Thinking that it couldn't possibly be about Jerusalem. 'Jerusalem never charged interest!' "Interest was forbidden in Jewish law!" And, 'the master wasn't really endorsing interest- he was just being facetious!' (406)

Is Bailey really that dull? Does he not know that the Torah does not condemn interest but rather condemns exorbitant interest (more than double the investment in 6 years- Deut 15:18)?
And even that interest was permitted to be charged to foreigners (Deut 15:3). Was the Holocaust not largely a reaction to Jewish bankers? Was this not the cause of much vitriol from Luther centuries before?
Muslims continue to play that stupid game too. They will add a premium to the loan. Yes, hidden interest. So...they will take out a Muslim mortgage of $200,000 for a $150,000 house. "Oh, but it's not interest", they say. What a double-minded bunch.

Bailey even throws his buddy Matta to the flames here (398). Thinking he can deflect some heat. Knowing Matta's allegory doesn't stand up.

Bailey even brings "Luke's integrity" into question. Far be it- that Bailey should bring his own understanding of "the Father's mercy" into question (407).

Bailey might try reading Psalm 2 again- for a better understanding of this parable:

"Ask of me and I will surely give the nations [cities] as your inheritance"


"Do homage to the Son [O Jerusalem], that He [the master] not become angry, and you perish in the way".

Or is the master too "merciful" to pound Jerusalem?

Is the master too merciful to pound YOU?

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Bailey's Pearly Gate

Part 6 (viii)- The Parable of Lazarus and The Rich Man

I mentioned in the intro- about some passages not being viewed as parables by some commentators. This is one of them.

Some are adamant- about viewing this passage as a historical damnation. I don't have a problem with that view. Seems this was a polemic contested by the reviser of the weak 5th century D manuscript.

I don't have a problem if you were to call this passage prophecy either. Given that prophecy may be defined as being forth telling as well as foretelling.

I don't have a problem with calling this a parable either. It certainly has the obscurity common to parables. How Rome can derive purgatory from this passage is surely indicative of that.

OK... who is being addressed in this passage? Bailey thinks it is the Sadducees. I see the Pharisees 5 verses earlier (Luke 16:14) but no Sadducees. I see the Sadducees mentioned at least 40 miles and 4 chapters later.

Bailey thinks that this is an extension of the two prior parables. I see Jesus continuing to condemn the Pharisees in the 4 verses prior to this passage. And Jesus using this parable to elaborate on their "eternal dwelling" mentioned in the previous parable.

OK... who are the characters in this passage?

Well, Jesus provides the name Lazarus.

Bailey suggests that the name Lazarus ("the one whom God helps") mighta been understood by these Sadducees from it's Hebrew meaning. But, as Bailey says, this woulda been peculiar thinking for folks unable to see "God helping" the pathetic Lazarus in the only life that they believed in (the here and now). Peculiar thinking for folk that were unable to understand the Torah. Peculiar folk that probably couldn't even read. And the few peculiar folk that could read- were more likely to read the Torah in Greek rather than Hebrew anyway. Nah... they probably didn't import that meaning. Particularly at the rate of speed of this parable. And the Sadducees don't appear that quick on the uptake.

I could grant the Puritans their historical view here. That there actually was a Lazarus already in Heaven. And that's why that name was used. Seems to me that God would get a kick out of being that accurate historically.

I could also grant the view that Bailey briefly alluded to- that Jesus used that name to taunt the Pharisees. Were not the Pharisees were already a little ticked about a certain Lazarus? That Lazurus from Bethany that Jesus raised from the dead (John 11)? Jesus taunting? Yup. Probably the strongest view.

The Rich Man character?
Is translated Dives in the Latin text. Given the name Nineue in the Coptic. Called Finaeus and Amonofis in others. But no name in the better texts. Let's call him Dives- cuz he took a deep dive in a shallow pool :)

Bailey claims there were no other "individual[s] with a name in all Jesus's parables" (382). I see the name Abraham mentioned a few times in this one. Seems Bailey missed the name Moses as well. Bailey's "accurately translated" Arabic version (385) musta got licked clean by his "therapeutic dogs" :)

Next, Bailey indulges in a bunch of speculation about Lazarus hearing and seeing Dives. And being compassionately eager to dive in- to assist the "poor man frying in hell"(392).

In this passage, I don't see any indication of Lazarus either hearing or seeing Dives.
John Gerstner doesn't think Lazarus would have heard Dives either.

Indeed, I suspect this great chasm was beyond yelling distance. I suspect this narrative is non-historical. A virtuous narrative bridge spanning the now and then.

I don't think Lazarus would have seen Dives either. Are you gonna look afar when you are dwelling in the bosom of Abraham? Now, he may look afar- far later. But not without resurrected eyes. He's gonna need looooong range vision. Vision to cut through the flames. Cut through the abundance of corpses. But for now he's gonna want to bathe in the unaided vision of his huge savior for a good long time- prior to directing his resurrected eyes to puny peripheral sights. He's one of the Rev 7 multitude from the tribulation. He's one serving God in his temple- both day and night. Not bothering with the dogs outside the city (Rev 22:15).

Nor do I see Lazarus being compassionate towards Dives in this passage.
Jonathan Edwards seems to think that Lazarus would have no love nor pity for Dives. But rather, will rejoice in seeing God glorified by His justice towards Dives. Though it be improper to rejoice in Dives damnation- prior to Dives death.

But the passage is focusing on Dives not Lazarus!

Seems likely that Dives will see "Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and all the prophets" (Luke 13:28) from "that place". Seems likely that Dives will see Lazarus from "that place" as well. And Dives vision will continue to endorse God's judgment on Dives.

Now, a question often raised is, "Will God have an eternal presence in Hell"?

Norm Geisler seems to think- that in hell, even God would have no presence (2 Thess. 1:9).
Gerstner would disagree with Geisler on that- calling him to make his bed on Psalm 139:8.

Which brings us to the all important question.
The explicitly implicit question of this parable.
A question of eternal import.

'Where will you make your bed?'

Monday, July 13, 2009

Bailey, Lettuce and Tomato

Part 6 (vii)- The Parable of the Serving Master

I know, I know... the title and toon are a little cheeky. I really don't think Bailey is full of baloney. He has a lot of good stuff as well. As Carson might say, "He's often on the side of the angels".

First, I'd like to thank Bailey for presenting a poem from Milton here. Yet, I suspect Milton is minimizing the "standing and waiting" part far too much here. Would he also minimize the standing and waiting of the thief on the cross? Was the thief merely standing? Rome is correct in correcting some of us Protestants here-- the penitent thief was also doing good works while just hanging out. Teaching, rebuking and encouraging. I doubt Milton would disagree here. And I admire Milton's desire to do more.

Now, as regards this passage (Luke 12:35-38) Bailey is non-committal here as well. He's not sure if the sandwiches the master is serving are 'borrowed or bloody'. Seems to be leaning to the former when he claims that the former offers a larger picture (374).

What does he mean by this? Seems to think that the master borrowed (?) something like sandwiches (something that Rabbi Hillel had just invented because he didn't like those bitter herbs/horseradish in the Passover meal) from the wedding banquet that he attended. Thinks the master ducked out (according to the "more culturally authentic" Syriac and Arabic translations) partway through the banquet (they are about a week long) with a "tray full" of his buddy's sandwiches for his servants. As Bailey says, 'dramatically shocking behavior in any culture'(374). I doubt if his buddy would have approved of such behavior.

But then I think that Bailey's other perspective is even more shocking. That the master/Jesus is offering His servants His own literal "body and his cup [blood is just a little too distasteful a word]" as a sandwich. Sure shocked a lot of his followers too. Even many of his disciples withdrew from him after that carnivorous comment (John 6:66).

Now, a common rule of textual criticism (and axiom of F.F. Bruce)- is that if you find a saying of Jesus easy to understand- then you are probably not understanding it properly. That the harder reading, is likely the better reading (possibly because our Lord rewards diligence and perseverance). With that in mind, I find Bailey's latter perspective much more distasteful. Yet, more in line with the proper perspective. But not the proper perspective!

You see, if that literal reading were the case- then when the Lord's Supper was instituted (Matthew 26:26), Jesus was actually feeding his disciples his actual body and blood. Protestants don't see that to be the case. Protestants see this institution as a symbolic celebration. Symbolic of his glorious marriage feast in Heaven. Something that should be seen as a foretaste of this future glorious event rather than something that "can be seen as a foretaste of this future glorious event" (374).

In fact, Protestants are sickened by the thought of Jesus re-presenting His body and His blood for every Eucharist. Protestants believe that His- was an effectual once for all presentation (Hebrews 7:27) of His body. Not a presentation in perpetuity. A presentation in perpetuity is a cuckoo clock presentation. I expect His mother Mary would be sickened by it as well.

So... when Bailey "longs for the day" that a contemporary Coptic monk has his stuff published in English- is he is also longing for Miskin's Orthodox (? see link) views on this "Eucharist" to be promoted? Seems to me that Bailey is testing the backwaters of the Tiber here. May he reconsider tickling that dragon's tail.

For back of that dragon's tail- remains a trail of do, do, do. Something that both Bailey and Milton recognize- as little more than a dung sandwich.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Bailey's Vineyard

Part 6 (vii)- The Parable of the Compassionate Employer

Kind of a dark picture here. A lot of Rembrandt's stuff is kinda dark. I recall seeing his huge NightWatch in Amsterdam back in '86. They had about half of it cleaned up. Still kinda dark. Guess that kinda goes with the night :)

Bailey doesn't shed a lot of light in this one either.

He's pretty adamant that this parable should be renamed as well. Quite the reconstructionist. But what do you expect when you tend to see everything as covenantal nominism rather than creaturely responsibility?

Who is the audience in this parable (Matthew 20 1-16)? Seems to be just the disciples.

And who are the subjects of this parable? The workers who complain? If you downloaded those commentaries suggested in the previous post- you may be surprised. Calvin concurs with those commentaries if that means anything to you.

Bailey is... noncommittal on who those subjects actually are. But I suspect he would concur with his ancient Arab commentary- in thinking that the subjects that complained, were actually disciples dissatisfied with their rewards. Yes, Christians in Heaven (362). On payday. Jealous of other Christians. As if jealousy can exist in Heaven!

My wife and I just returned from a local ( about 2 km. away) church service this morning. Went there on a whim. The sermon was on this parable. The pastor suggested something similar. On exiting I heard one lady comment to her daughter, "I never understood it that well till now". Hmmm.

Bailey also refuses to commit to identifying those subjects as Pharisees, as he claims others (without naming names) actually do. Check your commentaries folks, others less cowardly identify these dissatisfied subjects as... the Jews! But that is even less politically correct now isn't it? As Dr. Carson would suggest, "At least on this side of the holocaust".

Dr. Carson has also recently suggested that this non-committal perspective (see previous post) is on the wane. Yet, others have suggested that error takes ten times as long to refute as it does to promote. If so, I expect we'll see this perspective for quite some time to come.

Carson is also critical of the new definition of dikaios (see previous post). Seems you just can't get away with a new perspective- without a new definition. Bailey uses this word again in this chapter (358). But this time, inconsistently allows for a semantic range. Whatever floats his boat, Matey :)

Carson is also critical of Dodd endorsed in this chapter (363). Though this citation ain't bad. Dodd denies substitutionary atonement. Takes umbrage with the term propitiation. Has been heard to say, "What Rubbish!" in this regard. Indeed, Dodd is at odds with God.

And that is the heart of the New Perspective as well. A denial of forensic imputation. Sure, its popularizer (Wright) is moving slowly in the right direction. But as his former colleague (Carson) says, "You are running out of time".

Allow me to close with a final comment on this parable. The question may be asked, "Well, doesn't the dissatisfied worker also end up in Heaven? Perhaps with a changed satisfaction?"

I can only respond as Jesus did to those dissatisfied workers and say, "Take what is yours, and go!"

To others Jesus says, 'Take what is mine, and come'.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Bailey's Barnacles

Part 6 (vi)- The Pharisee and the Tax Collector

Here Bailey wants to 'rescue this "not so simple story" from the "centuries old barnacles" which have attached themselves to it'. Try downloading the commentaries from E-Sword. See if you can find them thar barnacles there. And while you are at it send them $15. It is well worth it.

Bailey starts by claiming that we should take the first verse (Luke 18:9) "seriously". Again, makes me wonder why he didn't take the last verse seriously (or address it at all) in the previous post. Seems to think this is an "apostolic [Luke?] signpost". Musta overlooked that previous signpost.

Again, this parable is addressed to the Pharisees. Again, Jesus is mocking them. Again, Jesus is telling them that they are unrighteous. Again Jesus is telling them to repent.

Bailey thinks them thar barnacles are the derived instructions on how to be humble in prayer(346). I find them barnacles pretty hard to see, Matey. He would like us to see- that this here parable tells us how we are made righteous with God. How we are made mates with God. Problem is, he doesn't show us how. Just tells us that we are. Tells us to hang in there. Let's see how he derives this understanding.

First, Bailey again has to favour(347) the liberal translation of the NRSV over most other translations- on where the Pharisee is actually standing. Bailey may be right here- but it doesn't tell us much.
Later, Bailey has to dismiss most English translations (349)- to tell us the true standing of the tax collector. Again, Bailey is standing on shaky ground. Or is it his sea legs?

Let's deal with the latter dismissal. Here Bailey demands that we disallow the Greek word hilaskomai a semantic range. Is this fair? Is this fair in its context?

Seems there is no reason "apparent" to Bailey why we should deny the translation, "O Lord, make an atonement for me" as a result. Seems apparent to me that a humble man (v. 14) would not make such a bold demand. That a humble man would plead for mercy! The other end of the semantic range.

Much more in keeping with Exodus 33:19. Much more in keeping with the last words of the Puritan Thomas Hooker- who was told on his deathbed to look forward to his eternal rewards. Hooker kinda replied, "I go not to seek my eternal rewards, Matey. I go to seek mercy!"

But all the above stuff is just flotsam and jetsam compared to Bailey's definition of dikaios (344).
Bailey floats around in Greece and the Hellenistic world without an anchor to tie this definition to. Providing a bare allusion to Kittel [more in next post]. Finally jetting to a different word.

As Bailey cites of Von Rad, "There is absolutely no concept in the Old Testament with so central a significance for all the relationships of human life as that of sadaqa (righteousness)". I would protest, "Except for how we are made righteous, Mateys!" That is our true plight. Bailey gives us no solution because he doesn't see a plight.

Bailey seems to think that an all-encompassing righteousness was given to Israel from the earliest times onward (345). Where is Christ in this gift? Did He not make us righteous? And how did he make us righteous? Can we overlook the cross?

And how much of Israel is overlooking Christ and the cross today? All but 15,000 Christians in Israel according to current estimates. All but 15,000 overlook the cross in their own backyard. Indeed, in their own bailiwick.

Bailey does little to illuminate that cross. To show Israel that she is not righteous.

Instead he encourages Israel to "maintain" her righteousness. To remain loyal to her unearned status. And as a reflective response to her unearned status- continue in righteousness.

Again, welcome to the New Perspective. Welcome to the new bailiwick. Welcome to the Brink.

Bailey claims that behind this parable is the rich heritage of God's gracious gifts of saving acts (righteousness). Why is it that I can only think of one truly saving act?

Allow me to close with a D.A. Carson analogy:

A little old Jewish lady dying of cancer calls up the rabbi of her balliwick for counsel. Pastor Bailey arrives and is asked in final breaths, "Pastor, what must I do to be saved?"
Pastor Bailey, relying on his NRSV parable, Von Rad and cultural studies replies," Just continue to be mindful that you have been granted a special relationship in the presence of God. That in response- you should continue in a righteous standard toward God, men, animals and His natural environment."

If Pastor Bailey can't do better than this... he should be walking the plank!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Baileys Stew

Part 6 (v)- The Parable of the Unjust Steward

Hmmm. This ones a tough one.

Gonna have to think about this one.

As Bailey says, this parable disturbs many. ' Many avoid it like the plague. Because it appears as if Jesus commends the steward for being a thief and a liar' (333). Bailey's "superficial" reading does little to resolve this concern either.

Bailey begins by bemoaning the fact (?) that there is a chapter division between this and his pet parable (prodigal son). Seems to think the parallel is much closer than that. Seem a little neurotic to you?

Seems to think that this chapter division was inserted in a fourth century text. Any of you see a new chapter in this fourth century text?

Maybe Bailey is thinking of some later, lesser lectionary. Regardless, I think Stephanus did the right thing here in 1555.

Anyway, this text is not nearly as confusing if you can understand one thing. That Jesus was mocking the Pharisee's with this one!

What? Mocking? Gentle Jesus?

Yes, Jesus mocked many. Even with parables. Even in Bailey's pet parable.

Do you not think Jesus was mocking the Pharisees when he told them that, "they had always been with the Father"? Mocking them when he told them that, "all that he had was theirs"?

Do you think that the Father was beyond mocking man in scripture? Try Job 38 for starters.

Do you think that the Holy Spirit was beyond mocking man in scripture? Try 2 Chronicles 18 for starters.

And as far as Jesus being gentle- did he not wield a whip? Did he not waste a fig tree? Any idea what gentle Jesus (angel of the Lord) did in the Old Testament?

So with that in mind- can you grant that perhaps Jesus was mocking the Pharisees in this parable? Bailey fails to even mention that they were there (Luke 16:14). Were they not listening to this parable and "scoffing at Him"?

Do you not think that Jesus was assigning the Pharisees an unrighteous master (v.8)? Assigning them unrighteous friends ("their own kind") in an unrighteous eternal dwelling?

Surely you don't believe that a just master would "just dismiss the wonderfully clever rascal" (341), do you?

Was this unrighteous steward really, "trusting in the mercy of his master" or hoping to be welcomed by unrighteous men (v.4) in his scheme?

I think Bailey is selling you a mess of pottage here. A mess far beyond the "best before" date.

If Bailey has a real sense of the sinfulness of sin here- I'll be a monkeys uncle.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Bailey on the Rocks

Part 6 (iv)- The Parable of the Two Builders

Bailey decides to use the Luke passage (6:46-49) preached from the Plain for this one. The Matthew parallel that Jesus preached from the Mount (7:24-27) doesn't fit his paradigm (the wind thing doesn't wash too well). For that matter the Luke passage doesn't fit well either.

Bailey insists, that when Jesus mentioned "rock" in the Greek (Luke the Greek wrote exquisite Greek)- that his audience would have understood that to mean "foundation" in the Hebrew. Yup, petros sounds a lot like sheteyah. Try telling that to Rome and to St. Shete. Seems we got his name wrong. Will have to address that small typo for the next cathedral :)

Bailey sees a parallel of this foundation with a raised rock located in the Holy of Holies of the Second Temple. And somehow a parallel with a cornerstone in Isaiah 28. You know, a rock is a foundation is a cornerstone is a ...

Bailey claims that some Jews seemed to think that the world was created from this rock in the Second Holy of Holies. And Bailey's point is that Jesus was the spiritual evolution of that rock. Talk about squeezing blood out of a stone.

That this spiritual evolution occurred when Jesus was baptized (329 and Part 4 of this blog). And believers become part of that temple when they are baptized (328). If you are not hugely offended here you should be.

Yes, John the Baptist became part of that temple in the womb- but Jesus had to wait 30 years.

Bailey would do well to heed his Joachim Jeremias quote here(328)- 'about the purpose of parables being to shock especially leaders, theologians and priests to repentance'. And I'm not Joachim here! But I too need to repent... every moment of every day.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Bailey's Banquet

Part 6 (iii)- The Parable of the Great Banquet

Bailey is strangely inconsistent here.

He condemns the Essenes, Enockers and the Targummers for failing to be inclusive of the Gentiles.

Yet he fails to be inclusive of those with outstanding obligations (land, oxen, a newlywed). Were they not just being the "good stewards" that he has been promoting thus far? After all this is just a dinner with- "A man".

Bailey fails to mention the contrast Jesus brings with the following passage (Luke 14;25-33). Seems to me this is the point of the parable. But this passage doesn't get mentioned. Bailey only provides half of the parable. Bailey is stuck at the wrong dinner.

Bailey fails to recognize, that this dinner with the Pharisee's is just dinner with "a man". But the contrasting dinner with Jesus- is worth giving everything up for. Dinner with Jesus is worth the "cross"!

The part that Bailey mentions is directed to the Pharisees. The part that Bailey doesn't mention is directed to His followers. The part that Bailey mentions is a condemnation of the Pharisees. The part that Bailey doesn't mention is Jesus's preparation for those that the Pharisees could not "make twice as much a son of hell" (Matthew 23:15) as themselves.

Again, I don't see these as "implausable excuses"(315). I see them as stewardly. Did not the law refuse to allow a newlywed to be a soldier? That he might enjoy his wife (Deut. 24:5) for a year. Bailey and his sources say this is rude. That this is rude language. Makes me think that Bailey is way more rude than Mark Driscoll.

Does Bailey not see the parallel here with Deuteronomy 20:1-7? Is not the passage that Bailey fails to mention- addressed by the verses following this parallel? Again, does Bailey not know his Torah or is he just playing dumb?

A final disagreement here. Where does this "man" suggest they be "dragged in"(318) to his banquet?

And when is anybody dragged, kicking and screaming into God's Banquet? Doesn't happen.

His grace is irresistable. Come and say grace at His banquet...

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Bailey's Fool

Part 6 (ii)- The Parable of the Rich Fool

Bailey's no fool.
Not sure he gets this parable though.
Not sure he gets the premise either.

A man cries out from the crowd, "Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me".

Bailey thinks the older(?) brother was refusing to let a division happen.

Perhaps the older brother was just being prudent. Waiting till the crop was off.
Perhaps the younger brother was just being impatient. Couldn't wait for a better price.
Perhaps the younger brother was just being lazy. Not wanting to work the harvest.
Perhaps the younger brother was trying to negotiate a sweeter deal with his brother.
Perhaps the younger brother was wanting an equal share with his brother- contrary to Deut. 21:16.
Perhaps he was not even a brother. Just a gold digger.

Seems to be way too many perhaps- when you are looking way too deep.

And Jesus refused to be an earthly judge for this man.
Refused to "arbitrate" a settlement for Him.
Cautioned this man against "greed". Suggested that this man already had plenty of wealth.
That it'll all come out in the wash. That he ought to focus on being washed.
That the division thing doesn't really matter here- not nearly as much as the addition thing.
That blessed inheritance is not the concern here. That blessed assurance is the concern.
That his inheritance is not his treasure. That "richness toward God" ought to be his treasure (Luke 12:21).

Or... as Bailey thinks, does Jesus summon this man (307), "to consider economic justice from the perspective of who really owns all of it"? To consider his responsibility as a steward of his, 'material possessions and days of his life'? And warn him of his, "innate insatiable desire for more"?

I'm having a hard time finding that in the passage.
Perhaps I'm not looking hard enough.

Is it as Bailey thinks-a wrongful desire for more?
Or is it as I think -a desire for the wrong thing?

Don't wanna get fooled on this one.
You see, I've been fooled before.

Fool me once, shame on you.
Fool me twice, shame on me.

Bailey's Gold

Part 6 (i)- The Parable of the Good Samaritan

Bailey starts by introducing the Golden Rule. Excellent!
Then suggests that Jesus "took Hillel's [negative Silver Rule] and turned it into a positive".
So Jesus wasn't just quoting from the Golden rule of the Torah (Gen. 4:14, Deut. 10:19, Lev. 19:18) that they were more familiar with?
Jesus was kinda quoting someone other than Moses?

Wasn't this Hillel guy- the rabbi that allowed divorce for the slightest reasons? Like a wife burning the bread? Don't think this is the kind of rabbi that Jesus would endorse. Anyway...

Bailey then does some good stuff on salvation by grace. Woulda been much better if he coulda done some stuff on salvation by grace alone but ...

Final comment is about Bailey endorsing the allegory of Jesus being the Good Samaritan:

I would think that Jesus would do better than bandage me.
I would think that Jesus would do better than love me then leave me.
I would think that Jesus would leave some of His oil and wine with me (as He allegorically did).
And why couldn't I just stay on His allegorical "beast"?

Allegories are dangerous. They kinda lead you down the yellow brick road. In search of a wizard. And the real wizard is the one that built the road. The road of mercy. A road best traveled... on your knees.