Matthew Henry John Bartlett

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Sunday 27 February, 02005

by Matthew Bartlett @ 9:57 pm

Last night before the parade I was sitting outside Hoyts on Manners Street, waiting for my friends to come out of the bathroom. A clump of about eight girls were hanging about, sharing around the bladder of a cask of wine. They were between twelve and sixteen. The older ones were encouraging the younger ones to drink up. One staggered over to sit next to me. She was crying a bit but seemed fairly happy. She showed me a bag full of clothes she’d bought earlier in the day. She said, “Three hundred bucks worth from Supre. In life you gotta stand on your own two feet, aye?” I couldn’t think of anything to say.

Saturday 26 February, 02005

by Matthew Bartlett @ 12:09 pm


by Matthew Bartlett @ 9:14 am

O Holy Ghost, whose temple I
Am, but of mud walls, and condensèd dust,
And being sacrilegiously
Half wasted with youth’s fires of pride and lust,
Must with new storms be weather-beat,
Double in my heart Thy flame,
Which let devout sad tears intend, and let—
Though this glass lanthorn, flesh, do suffer maim—
Fire, sacrifice, priest, altar be the same.

from John Donne’s A Litany [via Joel W]

Friday 25 February, 02005

Pink, pink, pink, pink

by Matthew Bartlett @ 10:32 pm

Today I bought Nick Drake’s 1972 album Pink Moon and I really like it. It’s my first inedible treat for months and months. My next three planned treats: a fishing rod, a laptop and an mp3 player.

Lately spending one third of every day sleeping seems like a waste. Every night I fall asleep impatient for morning. I really like being a freelance web developer. I really love learning the book publishing ropes.

Kora are playing at 4.30pm tomorrw at the Cuba St Carnival. And the rest is all shite apart from that. Actually it’s probably mostly grand, I don’t know half the bands listed, I just wanted to say ‘shite.’

by Matthew Bartlett @ 9:09 am

Ben & Franci’s wedding photos
Peter Leithart’s translation of 1 Kings 19

Thursday 24 February, 02005

Wiki up

by Matthew Bartlett @ 9:10 am

I resuscitated my ol’ wiki. That’s good as lots of the people who get here via google are looking for the Goldenhorse lyrics on there.

Wednesday 23 February, 02005

by Matthew Bartlett @ 7:45 am

A way forward out of demominationalism
Mt Fuji mural
News from Siberia & the wonderful world of structural evil
Daniel Silliman: Sense of place

Friday 18 February, 02005

by Matthew Bartlett @ 9:07 am

Peter Leithart’s translation of 1 Kings 18

by Matthew Bartlett @ 8:21 am

On Wrightsaid, Rance D recently quoted his friend Peter thusly:

I am no historian of Jesus. I see a diminishing value in the endeavor. So there is where I might be parting company from Rance. I am a biblical studies person whose goal is to understand what biblical texts are communicating. One of the major principles of narrative exegesis is to interpret words, not events. That’s significant in view of the discussion on inerrancy also taking place on this “network.” I believe the Bible’s words are inspired, not its events. So why do so many people spend their time retelling events through their own ideological lenses so that, lo and behold, the Bible story says what they started out to make it say in the first place?
   I think questions analyzing what Jesus DID or what Jesus SAID in history are misplaced. How and why something happened are historians’ issues. Bible interpreters should not address them as though that’s what the Bible is doing. Rather, the only question we as Bible interpreters can answer with any sense of certainty is “Why are we being told this?” The only reliable data we have are the words of the Bible themselves. Bible interpreters should not aim to be historians in their interpretations. They should aim to be literary analysts. In the process some of our whys and hows will be answered, but most important, we will be learning what the writings’ words are trying to convey.
   That does not mean they should discount the historical credibility of the Bible’s stories. Neither should they ignore relevant historical backgrounds. It does mean they should exegete Bible passages so as to derive the messages the stories are designed to convey with their words.
   What does this have to do with Pharisees? With regard to Gospels, we should spend less time talking about Pharisees and Sadducees in history and more time talking about what role they play in the Gospel writers’ portraits of Jesus. In view of that, we should recognize that immediately, no matter which Gospel, they are antagonists. Why? Each Gospel shows in some way that they were jealous of the authority that they perceived Jesus stealing from them. Neither Pharisaism nor Sadducaism are directly under attack per se (though Jesus in all 3 synoptics does take a swipe at Sadducean denial of bodily resurrection, a denial corroborated by outside contemporary sources as well). Rather, their resistance to Jesus as God’s Messiah is. When we see Pharisees, as characters, appealing to their understanding of the law in their various confrontations with Jesus, we should be most interested in their resistance to Jesus and how it is met.
   That falls more in line with the literary purposes of Gospel as Greco-Roman “life” (i.e. biography). To try to see Jesus attacking Pharisaism as legalistic is to read into the text an idea foreign both to the words of the text and the world it is describing.
   Also, by the way, Paul never repents from being a Pharisee. In his letters he voices ho problems with Pharisaism. Paul does show repentence from being a persecutor of the church. He does say that being a Pharisee is nothing worth bragging about compared to knowing Christ.

Thursday 17 February, 02005

by Matthew Bartlett @ 8:00 pm

Gideon Strauss: Thirteen and the Church
This time last year in Eastbourne

by Matthew Bartlett @ 6:22 pm

Said Andrew Basden in a recent Thinknet post:

To understand ‘the chief end of man’ we cannot use philosophy but must make a theological decision and commitment of belief (though philosophy can enrich our view once we have made that decision). I reject the Westminster Confession statement (“the chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy him forever”) on the basis of Gen. 1:26-8 linked with Ezek 34, Eph 1:10, Col 1:20, Heb 1:2, Rom 8:19-23.
   From these, the chief end of man is to represent God to the rest of the creation, so that when it experiences humanity it will be not unlike it experiencing God (i.e. joy that leads to seas roaring and trees clapping their hands; “vegetables may be said to experience the sort of joy” said CS Lewis, “that a vegetable would feel”). A joyful whole-creation is to be what Christ will inherit and what will be complete in him. And we are part of that whole-creation. Our specialness within the creation is not for our sake but for the sake of the rest of creation so that Christ’s inheritance and its own joy and completion may be furthered.
   By contrast, Westminster sees the specialness of humanity is for the sake of humanity and in order to serve God, with no mention of the rest of creation. The Westminster view is not false, so much as a limited subset of the Christo- and cosmo-centric view that I now adhere to.

Wednesday 16 February, 02005

Church BBQ postponed

by Matthew Bartlett @ 9:47 pm

The Brooklyn Reformed BBQ out at Kaitoke regional park has been postponed to next week Saturday (26/02/05).

Tuesday 15 February, 02005

by Matthew Bartlett @ 11:00 am

Reducing comment & referrer spam
Escher sketcher [java req’d, via RDB]

Saturday 12 February, 02005

by Matthew Bartlett @ 12:00 pm

Peter Leithart’s translation of 1 Kings 17
D Nichols: Jihad vs Pornocracy

Tuesday 08 February, 02005

by Matthew Bartlett @ 11:18 pm

The age of lust is giving birth, and both the parents ask
the nurse to tell them fairy tales on both sides of the glass.
And now the infant with his cord is hauled in like a kite,
and one eye filled with blueprints, one eye filled with night.

O come with me my little one, we will find that farm
and grow us grass and apples there and keep all the animals warm.
And if by chance I wake at night and I ask you who I am,
O take me to the slaughterhouse, I will wait there with the lamb.

With one hand on the hexagram and one hand on the girl
I balance on a wishing well that all men call the world.
We are so small between the stars, so large against the sky,
and lost among the subway crowds I try to catch your eye.

— from Leonard Cohen’s song ‘Stories of the Street’