Wednesday, June 13, 2007

A cool thought experiment - touching authority

This note by Duane Smith is too cool to miss and my response a brief thought in the ongoing conversation on canon stimulated by John Hobbins.

I chuckled all the way through Duane's thought experiment - though if I analyse my chuckles any more, this response will not be brief. The point suggested to me is that the message of the canon is supposed to be Good News so why is it that we imagine other constructions? The issue perhaps is one of authority and the reaction 'programmed' into us. I remember another son of mine whose favorite word at age 5 or 6 was 'you are not the boss of me'.

In the early days of my zeal, my wife explained to me once that authority is related to the word author not to the word boss and that we should get more than bossiness from an author. We get insight - a maskil, as it were. So Psalm 89 and a few others are 'of insight'. How deep, I wonder. (There is insight in the last two verses before the doxology of Book 3- what did they mean to the Psalmist? My son was right, I am not his author, but like the anointed, I do 'bear in my body a multitude of peoples'.)

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