Monkey's picture

The MonkeyBar Challenge Week 16

Hi everyone,

Deuteronomy comes into land this week while Luke drives on towards the pinnacle of his gospel.

16 Apr: Deut 26:1 – 28:14; Psalm 46:1 – 11; Luke 17:11 – 17:37
17 Apr: Deut 28:15 – 28:68; Psalm 47:1 – 9; Luke 18:1 – 18:30
18 Apr: Deut 29:1 – 30:10; Proverbs 10:1 – 10; Luke 18:31 – 19:10
19 Apr: Deut 30:11 – 31:29; Psalm 48:1 – 8; Luke 19:11 – 19:44
20 Apr: Deut 31:30 – 32:52; Psalm 48:9 – 14; Luke 19:45 – 20:26
21 Apr: Deut 33:1 – 34:12; Psalm 49:1 – 20; Luke 20:27 – 21:4
22 Apr: Josh 1:1 – 2:24; Proverbs 10:11 – 20; Luke 21:5 – 21:38

Enjoy your reading!

Community of Readers's picture

Episode #15: Work, rest and play

The Law of Deuteronomy is a masterpiece. Not only did it make creative ideas part of Israel's life, it challenges our society today. Our Western world is divided into sacred and secular; we must put back together what should never have been broken. But how do we do this in a democratic society that rejected theocracy for a reason?

The Dark Side's picture

The Dark Side (part VIII): What is the Bible for?

If you've been following this series from January you'd be forgiven for asking the question: when are we actually going to talk about how we read those difficult parts of the Bible where God is really violent?

It's a fair question.

We've talked around a load of related issues. But we've not yet tackled the question head on. So far this blog has been about clearing the debris; making some theological space so that we can have the best possible conversation.

Brian McLaren uses an analogy involving a car journey from New York to Los Angeles, East Coast to West. Somewhere in the south of Florida you hit traffic lights. To the left is one standard theological option; to the right is another. Which way should you go?

But the real question is: what are you doing in the south of Florida??

So often the questions we ask reveal just how lost we really are.

Monkey's picture

The MonkeyBar Challenge Week 15

Hi everyone,

More on Deuteronomy and Luke this week. We're nearly at the end of the Law! That's a milestone and a half.

9 Apr: Deut 11:1 – 12:32; Psalm 43:1 – 5; Luke 12:35 – 12:59
10 Apr: Deut 13:1 – 14:29; Proverbs 9:1 – 12; Luke 13:1 – 13:30
11 Apr: Deut 15:1 – 16:20; Psalm 44:1 – 12; Luke 13:31 – 14:14
12 Apr: Deut 16:21 – 18:22; Psalm 44:13 – 26; Luke 14:15 – 14:35
13 Apr: Deut 19:1 – 20:20; Psalm 45:1 – 9; Luke 15:1 – 15:32
14 Apr: Deut 21:1 – 22:30; Proverbs 9:13 – 18; Luke 16:1 – 16:18
15 Apr: Deut 23:1 – 25:19; Psalm 45:10 – 17; Luke 16:19 – 17:10


Community of Readers's picture

Episode #14: In living memory

The opener to Moses' final speech (Deuteronomy) to the People of Israel as they camped on the plains of the Jordan is a powerful and passionate moment. By remembering the past he presents a future. What future do we imagine, and what must we remember to see it made real?

The Dark Side's picture

The Dark Side (Part VII): A place of holy heresy

Heresy is a burning issue.

Heretics have a bad name. We no longer get burned at the stake. But in Christian circles the stakes are high and the risk of stepping out of line smoulders like a volatile incendiary device, ready to explode at a moments notice.

These last few weeks our heretic-in-chief has been American pastor, Rob Bell. Soon it will be someone else. And all the while people leave the church – and the faith – because near the fire they feel starved of theological oxygen.

I believe that heresy is a sacred task.

Monkey's picture

The MonkeyBar Challenge Week 14

Hi everyone,

We're through a quarter of the year! A big monkey high-five to all of you who have kept up with the reading thus far - it's quite the effort. Don't despair if you haven't; this isn't an all-or-nothing playground. If you've got behind, either catch up quickly or just cut your losses and restart from today. I'm often meeting fellow monkeys who are wallowing in mires of guilt and disillusionment. If that's you, then - in the nicest possible way - get a grip! Move on! :o)

Deuteronomy starts this week and with it the descent into land for the first five books of the Bible - massive as a reading milestone, and massive for all of the Jewish-Christian tradition from which we get the Bible in the first place!

2 Apr: Num 33:1 – 34:29; Proverbs 8:22 – 31; Luke 9:10 – 9:27
3 Apr: Num 35:1 – 36:13; Psalm 40:9 – 17; Luke 9:28 – 9:56
4 Apr: Deut 1:1 – 2:23; Psalm 41:1 – 6; Luke 9:57 – 10:24
5 Apr: Deut 2:24 – 4:14; Psalm 41:7 – 13; Luke 10:25 – 11:4
6 Apr: Deut 4:15 – 5:33; Proverbs 8:32 – 36; Luke 11:5 – 11:32
7 Apr: Deut 6:1 – 8:20; Psalm 42:1 – 6a; Luke 11:33 – 11:54
8 Apr: Deut 9:1 – 10:22; Psalm 42:6b – 11; Luke 12:1 – 12:34


Community of Readers's picture

Episode #13: Scared to choose

To invade or not to invade? A question that grips the world. We'd all to love to choose good over evil. But what happens when we're left trying to salvage good from the lesser of two evils? The big choice of Numbers had big consequences.

Matt Valler's picture

The Bible and Homosexuality

Someone recently asked me what the Bible actually says on homosexuality, so thought I'd post the summary. It's not meant as a argument for a particular sexual ethic, just an introduction to the issue from a biblical perspective.

In terms of those parts of the Bible which explicitly refer to homosexuality, there are only a small number. There is an instance in Genesis (Ch 19) where the men of the town of Sodom want to have sex with Lot's (Abraham's nephew) male guests. But as an instance of gang rape it is hardly relevant to discussions of gay marriage, etc. Then there are a couple of references in the Levitical Law (18:22 and 20:13) which basically say that anyone who has sex with someone of the same sex should be put to death (along with people who commit adultery and practice incest and various other things). As the Old Testament Law is obsolete for Christians it is again not possible to draw a direct ethical directive to contemporary life (though there's a sense that the ethics of that Law deserve some proper contemplation if they are not to be just thrown off in a fit of 'progressive' moral arrogance).

Monkey's picture

Thoughts after 3 Rungs?

Hi everyone,

Rung #4 of the MonkeyBar Challenge begins this week. That's 3 down and 10 to go. How are you finding it? Any tips, confessions, words of wisdom, or other general monkey reflections??