You referred in a recent lectionary talk with Peter Leithart to “being our brother’s keeper.” What is your understanding of the ethical meaning of a “keeper” biblically speaking?
It is sometimes a point of controversy in liberal/conservative Christian political arguments as to the relevance of Cain’s refusal of the role of “keeper” (when in fact, Cain has not just failed to aid Abel but murdered him actively) to our understanding of our call to love and serve our neighbor, using the phrase as an expansive claim that justifies almost any kind of political action desired, casting the one who is skeptical of the action as a Cain-like person who dismisses a call to be his brother’s keeper.
To me “keeper” has connotations of a guardian with charge of a dependent inferior or one who is weak. Like ‘zookeeper’ or a tale of a overprotective father who “keeps” his daughter safe locked in a tower. Do we find being a “keeper” of another as a model of Christian regard elsewhere in scripture, and if not, should we found an ethic by simply negating the dismissive words of a murderer?
Do you see any parallels between the great commission and the exodus? I don’t want to get Echo-crazy. Just from a surface level, there some to be some connections: confrontation with “the name,” a sending out, baptism, and the nations called to the Lord. Am I crazy, or is there something going on here?
How do you find real-life theological conversation partners? The theological and biblical conversations which I find stimulating and important are of no interest to the Christians I know in real life. Do I need to do what you’ve done and move across the world to be closer to the people I interact with on the internet?
Why did Jesus have to be baptized? Was Jesus’ baptism a baptism of repentance?
In your video on the Sermon on the Mount you mentioned a parallel between the Beatitudes and the Woes of Matthew 23. Could you elaborate on this?
Did Jesus preach the Sermon on the Mount to his disciples (Matt 5:1) or to the large crowd (Matt 7:28)?