July 31st, 2008

Roman

More biblical annoyances

I am just starting on CD no. 4 of A Year of Living Biblically. On the home stretch.

A.J. digs into the matter of the red heifer. The bible says to sacrifice an unblemished red heifer. And yes, there are teams out there working to produce such a beast. They think they are almost there. The heifer, though, must be born in Israel, so A.J. thinks it's not a great idea. Could start another war. Or continue one. Does he think how silly it is for people to be working to create a beast that did not exist in biblical times? Is there any reason to this kind of pursuit at all? Is there any way you can make the case that the commandment means exactly what it says?

But that isn't so much what bothered me this time. A.J. takes advantage of an opportunity to help his neighbor. The bible says to help your neighbor and he's damned determined. So he listens to his neighbor's request for help. She is writing a book and wants his help with it. "But not," she says, "for the sake of the bible project. Only because you want to."

A.J. is stymied. He admits he doesn't know what his motivation is. He's been living in bible land so long he doesn't know what comes from within and what comes from his desire to live biblically.

We'll give him points for honesty. But what does this situation say about him? I would know immediately if I wanted to help, if I really wanted to help, or if I just felt somehow obligated or required. Why doesn't he know? Could it be because he doesn't do this sort of thing normally? If he does, wouldn't he feel it, wouldn't he know it?

Let me know if you want these CDs when I'm done with them. I'll mail them to you free!!