Showing posts with label Babylon. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Babylon. Show all posts

Wednesday, July 03, 2024

On Being Babylonian

If you’ve been paying attention to politics in Europe and south of the border, you’ll know that the so-called rules-based international order — the neo-liberal status quo in the West — is staggering around like a drunk looking for somewhere quiet to vomit. Tens of millions of voters across Europe, Canada and the US simply aren’t buying anything their leaders are telling them anymore.

Projecting power around the globe ain’t what it used to be, folks.

Saturday, April 29, 2023

Mining the Minors: Habakkuk (3)

So far, Habakkuk’s prophecy has taken the form of a Q&A session with God. The prophet has bemoaned God’s apparent lack of interest in the perversion of justice and corruption within his nation. God has replied that it’s actually going to get worse before it gets better: he is in the process of raising up the Chaldeans and using them to discipline his arrogant and erring people.

Naturally, that revelation provokes further questions.

Saturday, April 22, 2023

Mining the Minors: Habakkuk (2)

Manifest Destiny was an ideology promoted by newspaper editor John L. O’Sullivan in the 1850s in order to justify the annexation of Texas and Oregon by the United States. He maintained it was God’s will for the new nation to expand “from sea to shining sea”. Though contested by some, his idea had sufficient currency to get itself trotted out repeatedly to validate the acquisitions of New Mexico and California, and later the purchase of Alaska.

All Manifest Destiny really means is “It should be obvious we deserve whatever we want.” But attaching God’s name to it was magic in selling it to the nation.

Saturday, January 14, 2023

Mining the Minors: Micah (19)

Last week we suggested that in his final chapter, Micah is speaking with the voice of Israel’s remnant in a manner that may be understood both historically and prophetically.

Both ways of looking at the chapter were predictive at the time these words were given to Micah to share with his nation, but they were fulfilled with respect to the first timeframe, and still await fulfillment in the second. One is a matter of history, and we can look back through the later prophets and historians of the Old Testament to see how the things Micah predicted occurred roughly a century afterward.

The second way of looking at the chapter connects it with the book of Revelation.

Wednesday, March 06, 2019

Flood Myth-takes

It is often said today that the flood account in Genesis is spiritual truth taught in the form of myth. Confronted with the claims of secular scientists about the age of the earth and of humanity, many Christians have beaten a hasty retreat from reading Genesis literally into reading it more like one of Jesus’ parables: it means something important, sure — just not quite what it says.

I say meh to that.

Tuesday, March 05, 2019

A Tale of Two Floods

Scratched into twelve clay tablets in cunieform script, the ancient Sumerian Epic of Gilgamesh is thought to be the oldest written story in existence. Well, parts of it anyway. It recounts the adventures of a quasi-historical king of Uruk believed to have ruled around 2700 B.C. Tablet XI of the Epic contains one of three surviving Babylonian flood stories, each of which has a number of elements in common with the Genesis flood account.

The Gilgamesh account is only one of many flood myths found in various ancient cultures around the world. Christians who discover the spate of other flood stories in circulation are alternately reassured and disconcerted: reassured because one might reasonably expect a genuine historical event to wind up recorded in more than a single place, even if grossly distorted by time, miscommunication and cultural baggage; disconcerted because not a few of these flood stories are alleged to be older than the story in Genesis.

Should we be reassured or concerned? Let’s consider.