For my first ever blog post, I would like to explain the title of this blog. The title of this blog comes from Origen’s commentary on the book of Genesis where he describes Lot as being somewhere between the perfect and the doomed. On the one hand, he was tormented in his soul because of the lawless deeds that he heard and saw in Sodom (2 Peter 2:8). On the other hand, his character allowed him to take up residence in the dwellings of Sodom.
Back in 2010 I used this tension as a major theme for a paper I wrote on Origen’s interpretation of the story of Lot and his daughters in his commentary on Genesis and in Contra Celsum. My conclusion was that Origen’s interpretation was somewhere between the perfect and the doomed. On the one hand, Origen exemplifies what it means to wrestle with the text in order to understand it as Christian scripture. On the other hand, many of his remarks on the literal, moral, and spiritual levels of the text cannot hold up under closer scrutiny.
My hope is that this blog will show my own personal struggle to read the Old Testament in its own historical and theological integrity and, at the same time, to faithfully read it as Christian scripture according to the rule of faith. If writing this blog helps me toward that end, it will have served its purpose. If it helps anyone else toward that same end, it will have gone beyond my greatest expectations.
I will try to blog at least once a week, reflecting on the work I am currently doing as I finish my final comprehensive exam and move on to my dissertation proposal and on other theological topics that I encounter during the week as I read scripture, minister in the church, and read or hear what other people have to say. And hopefully, the appearance of the blog will improve as I learn how to do this better!