Posted by: teldringhoff | November 16, 2008

Reaction to Obama

The election of Barack Obama has led to a number of incidents all over the country, some in my own hometown and school.  Each of them was prompted by some sort of racism, in my opinion.  I don’t understand it.  I have seen emails that contained jokes whose punchine was the assasination of the president-elect, heard about text messages saying the n-gg– needs to be killed, heard from people who’ve witnessed vandalism against black families, and read AP wire stories about the sudden increase in threats against the president, and a dramatic increase in bias crimes.

I am left ambivalent.  I am thrilled that our country as a whole has made a mighty move to put racism behind us; I am disappointed and afraid that a significant minority has and will become more vocal and demonstrative.  Here’s hoping that the better angels of our nature will prevail as they did on Nov. 4.

Posted by: teldringhoff | November 15, 2008


By the end of class on Saturday, Nov. 15, we will have talked a lot about myth.  I’d like for each of you to leave some comments about class here on this blog.  Maybe that will help our course move along and keep one another’s interest going between classes.

Posted by: teldringhoff | October 19, 2008

The Old Testament God

I often hear thoughtful people tell me or someone close by how the God of the Old Testament is an angry God, a jealous God, and not the God of the New Testament.  All of these remarks prompt a few observations.

First, of course it is the same God.  The God that Jesus calls his father is the God of the Old Testament, the only testament that Jesus knew.  Second, while one can find any number of examples in the Old Testament to justify the adjectives above, suggesting that those adjectives are exhaustive in their description of God is an error.  The Old Testament is replete with examples of a kind, loving, gentle, forbearing and forgiving God, too: God makes clothes for Adam and Eve, God protects and redeems Joseph, God protects Cain, God forgives David, God feeds his people in the desert, God commands Hosea to forgive an unfaithful wife, God tells the chosen people that they will never be forgotten, God consistently forgives and offers restoration, no matter how often the people have strayed.

If there is one lesson that students new to the Old Testament should prepare to learn, it is that it is one and the same God throughout scripture and history, and any attempt to characterize an entire testament should carefully read the whole thing before describing God with an adjective or two.

Posted by: teldringhoff | October 19, 2008

First post

Welcome to my wordpress site.  Here’s hoping I am diligent enough to keep it up to date, and that it proves useful for students.