Jesus Creed

Jesus Creed


Colossians Remixed 46

posted by xscot mcknight

Final thoughts on Brian Walsh and Sylvia Keesmaat’s study, Colossians Remixed.
First, this is a definitive study of using empire ideology to comprehend both a Pauline letter and bringing those insights into our world. It selectively looks at Colossians in light of that empire ideology.
Second, the “commentary” is one of the few so conversant with postmodernity and how postmoderns hear a text like one of Paul’s letters.
Third, I’m unpersuaded of the centrality of the empire theme in Colossians. It can be “read into” Colossians but I’m not so sure it is that easy to “read it out of” Colossians. The “image” connection isn’t persuasive to me; the lordship connection clearly has implications for empire — whether in Paul’s mind or not.
Fourth, this book taps into the anti-Bush, welfare state-leaning critique of Western, esp USA culture and for this reason I predict, if a Democrat wins the next election, this book will no longer have any biting edge. Which is to say, it is a tract for our times for some of us. It is not an exposition of Colossians for all times. My own political independence attracts me at times to some of what they write but many times I come to similar conclusions for other reasons.
Overall, I enjoyed reading this book. I liked most of it; I disagreed at times because I didn’t think the case was proven. If I can see empire implications in the theology of Paul that does not mean that I think Paul had that in his mind as he wrote this letter.
It would be fun to teach Colossians with this book as a constant point of interaction. How, I would ask in that setting, does Colossians speak to our world? For me, it would be other than empire.



Advertisement
Comments read comments(4)
post a comment
kent

posted November 19, 2007 at 11:44 am


Is this a commentary you would recommend as a primary or supplementary source? I was not enthused from reading your reviews of the book.



report abuse
 

Justin

posted November 19, 2007 at 5:42 pm


So, Scot, how would you say Colossians speaks to our world? What is a central theme/metaphor for our world?



report abuse
 

Scot McKnight

posted November 19, 2007 at 8:58 pm


Kent,
I’m not impressed … I know lots like it but for me it is so-so. Not enough Colossians; too much empire; good stuff on postmodernity.



report abuse
 

Jason Barr

posted November 20, 2007 at 8:57 pm


If I was going to use it as a source for a study on Colossians I would read it alongside N.T. Wright’s commentary on Colossians/Philemon, which engages the exegetical issues much more fully IMO. But I don’t see how you can read Colossians without reading it alongside Philemon and Ephesians anyway.
I tend to think Colossians is a tract against empire in about the same fashion I think Genesis 1 is a tract against the Mesopotamian societies based on chaoskampf ideology – I think they speak to it in terms of the inherent intertextuality caused by the social setting, but am not necessarily convinced that it’s the primary purpose – just as I don’t primarily see the church as counterculture, but as “the real thing”, as God’s intent for humankind in the redeemed world. I think we have to be defined primarily by what we are, not by what we’re against (and I thank Yoder for that insight, as well as a conversation a few weeks ago with Steve Long of Marquette University that helped me clarify some of my thoughts on the matter).



report abuse
 

Post a Comment

By submitting these comments, I agree to the beliefnet.com terms of service, rules of conduct and privacy policy (the "agreements"). I understand and agree that any content I post is licensed to beliefnet.com and may be used by beliefnet.com in accordance with the agreements.



Previous Posts

More Blogs To Enjoy!!!
Thank you for visiting Jesus Creed. This blog is no longer being updated. Please enjoy the archives. Here are some other blogs you may also enjoy: Red Letters with Tom Davis Recent prayer post on Prayables Most Recent Inspiration blog post Happy Reading!  

posted 11:15:58am Aug. 16, 2012 | read full post »

Our Common Prayerbook 30 - 3
Psalm 30 thanks God (vv. 1-3, 11-12) and exhorts others to thank God (vv. 4-5). Both emerge from the concrete reality of David's own experience. Here is what that experience looks like:Step one: David was set on high and was flourishing at the hand of God's bounty (v. 7a).Step two: David became too

posted 12:15:30pm Aug. 31, 2010 | read full post »

Theology After Darwin 1 (RJS)
One of the more important and more difficult pieces of the puzzle as we feel our way forward at the interface of science and faith is the theological implications of discoveries in modern science. A comment on my post Evolution in the Key of D: Deity or Deism noted: ...this reminds me of why I get a

posted 6:01:52am Aug. 31, 2010 | read full post »

Almost Christian 4
Who does well when it comes to passing on the faith to the youth? Studies show two groups do really well: conservative Protestants and Mormons; two groups that don't do well are mainline Protestants and Roman Catholics. Kenda Dean's new book is called Almost Christian: What the Faith of Ou

posted 12:01:53am Aug. 31, 2010 | read full post »

Let's Get Neanderthal!
The Cave Man Diet, or Paleo Diet, is getting attention. (Nothing is said about Culver's at all.) The big omission, I have to admit, is that those folks were hunters -- using spears or smacking some rabbit upside the conk or grabbing a fish or two with their hands ... but that's what makes this diet

posted 2:05:48pm Aug. 30, 2010 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.