Biblical Theology 101 and the Mission Field of Politics
Pre-Publication Edition of a New Book available as a Fundraiser: Meeting Satan Face-to Face and the Ontology of Anger: Testimony of an Ex-Unitarian (by John C. Rankin). Click here.
Here are the opening paragraphs:
About May Day, 1972, a friend and I met Satan face-to-face in South Kent, Connecticut. As a result, I have been assaulted until a most dangerous climax on the 2018 Spring Equinox in Oxford, England.
This is not a book about phenomenology per se, but far deeper. It reveals the ontology – the being, the nature – of Satan himself, one of destructive anger.
Now, often I am told how academic I write or speak, and I do not make denial. But too, this is in service to knowing the biblical storyline and its interface with all human literature. When we can read our own story lines into the biblical storyline, we became that much more alive. I love to tell stories as I seek to connect each one of us with the one true Story. This too I am often told.
In the fall of 2018, while teaching a class on Genesis 1-19, I set out to translate the whole text afresh. When I arrived at Genesis 3:1, I was astounded at what I had passed over before. Of the 26 English translations of this text I have read, beginning with the major ones, they all say the same in the second clause, in reference to the serpent: “… he said to the woman …”
But none of them attempt to translate one word here in the Hebrew text – ap. It is a homonym (a word that has same spelling and same pronunciation, but more than one meaning). The first possibility is a particle conjunction of sequential or emotional intensification – “also” or “even” or “indeed.” The second possibility is a noun which means “anger,” from the verb anap, “to be angry.” I am now convinced it is the latter, dynamically so, and this should sustain itself as we proceed.
[Satan’s Original Anger and the Impact on the Male Temperament: A Remarkable Observation in the Hebrew Text: See John Rankin’s December 3, 2018 blog at johnrankin.org; also covered in TEI Class 5 (johnrankinyoutube.org; direct link click here); also in an interview on the Eric Metaxas show (podcast click here; video on YouTube c/o TBN: click here)]
[For the Theology of Q: click here (at bottom of page)]
- As of March 23, 2019, the online classes for teiclasses.org have re-engaged, posted online on the free side of the website: click on johnrankinyoutube.org for the links, and for all John’s YouTube postings.
- Soon the classes will be incorporated into the Society for Questions (.org) in New York City.
- A structural strategy for engaging the political world with the Gospel is in an early step of development (details forthcoming).
- When the time is right, teamsofseven.org will start, first in Connecticut (see teiprolife.org for the larger context).
- Seven TEI Seminars are available to be taught by John Rankin (contact the TEI as interested): 1) Only Genesis (based on a book by John); 2) The Good and Dangerous Prayer; 3) Hebrew Covenant and Political Freedom: The Foundation for Advancing the Gospel in a Skeptical World (rooted in John’s Ph.D. work); 4) Jesus, in the Face of His Enemies (a book by John): The Basis for Grasping the Mission Field of Politics; 5) Meeting Satan Face-to-Face, and Other True Stories – the Testimony of an ex-Unitarian (a book by the same title is currently pending with a publisher); 6) Changing the Language of the Abortion Debate (a book by John): How to Win Equal Legal Protection for Women and Their Unborn; 7) The Real Muhammad in the Face of Moses and Jesus (based on two of John’s books).
Welcome to teii.org. The twelve icons at the bottom of the page each focus on a given subject or subjects.
The mission of the TEI International is rooted in the reality of creation, sin and redemption defined in Genesis 1-3, being interpretive for the whole Bible and all of life. In particular, the mission is to advance religious, political and economic freedom for all people equally, in the Name of Jesus. And in so doing, the mission of the Gospel finds its greatest success. To accomplish this, biblically literate people are needed in all arenas of political culture — government, education, media, business, science and the arts. The TEI seeks to teach and exemplify the necessary foundation.
And here is a radical biblical assumption: Yahweh Elohim crushes Satan by giving him the freedom to choose evil, for evil implodes on itself. There is no coercion in the Gospel.
Or to put it a different way: Only when the church knows the biblical literacy of “an aggressive hospitality to dissent,” within and without, can we overcome the barriers of unbelief in a secular and pagan culture, and allow the Good News to be truly seen as good.
1. In the biblical order of creation, Yahweh Elohim defines the freedom of the original level playing field for man and woman. They are free to choose between good and evil, freedom and slavery, and life and death. In so doing, the evil one is given the radical opportunity to make his case, indeed, to be deceptive in the process.
2. Freedom originates in the nature of Yahweh Elohim, the one true, sovereign and entirely good Creator, and where freedom is the power to do the good. Men and women are made in his image, and thus, in doing the good, we are always free to continue doing the good; but, if we do evil, we only become slaves to further evil. Freedom and goodness by definition cannot be imposed, for to do so is an oxymoron. In other words, unless we are truly free to say no to the one true Creator, we are not fully free to say yes — the radical nature of the original level playing field. And thus, in the end, as good conquers evil, so too, freedom conquers slavery.
3. In a political world full of distrust, the Gospel of Jesus the Messiah proactively seeks to recreate the level playing field, and this involves an aggressive hospitality to all questions and dissenting opinions (see Jesus, in the Face of His Enemies at johnrankinboooks.com). Indeed, in seeking to delineate between good and evil, freedom and slavery, life and death, the power to love hard questions is central to a lived freedom. Accordingly, with such a level playing field in place, goodness, truth and beauty will always rise to the top. See prepartisan.org. Those who seek the good will find the the shalom (wholeness) of the good; those are bent on evil will only be bent by evil in the end.