Have been writing daily on the Bible Gateway Verse of the Day (VoD) for three key reasons. First, saw Donald Knuth speak about the Bible years ago, and he pointed out that the Bible is too big to address all at once, so he focused on specific pieces of the Bible — specifically the third chapter and sixteenth verse of each book, so he could be guaranteed at least once choice passage (i.e., John 3:16). Have been using the same technique but used Bible Gateway as a randomization function to choose the verse. Over time, have noticed some books appear more frequently than others, which is a rough indicator of relative importance.
Second, have been using Fee and Stuart’s How to series to provide additional insight into the VoDs. Was impressed with their philosophical, analytical, and evangelical perspective, which is both unusual and powerful. Specifically, they emphasize the importance of exegesis — that is, understanding the motivations underlying the original writing — before moving on the heuristics — that is, applying the to one’s present circumstances. The common mistake, as pointed out by Fee and Stuart, is to perform heuristics without exegesis, apply versus to the present without understanding the past. This is done explicitly by Strauss and Cropsey in History of Political Philosophy, which is informs current working definition of conservatism.
Third, there are three additional concepts that inform this interpretation: 1. complexity; 2. totalitarianism; 3. nationalism. Complexity implies humans are boundedly rational creatures. This wisdom books of the Old Testament — Proverbs, Ecclesiates, and Job — make this point explicitly, and modern math and science demonstrate this to be true. Second, totalitarianism in the Hannah Arendt sense is at the core of the Bible generally and the New Testament specifically with the relationship between Rome and the first century church. Third, nationalism is also addressed in the transition from the Old Testament, which is of Jewish origin, to the New Testament, which explicitly addresses the incorporation of Gentiles into the Biblical story.
This is all prelude to the the story of Jacob and Esau, which is addressed in Romans:
Just as it is written: “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.”Romans 9:13
This New Testament verse of course alludes to the Old Testament passages in Genesis. From a Christian Complexity (CC) perspective, the passage is interpreted in terms of the long-term between humanity and God’s creation. Which perspective best supports the long-term transmission of the Spirit from from generation and generation and the viability of the natural environment? After all, Jesus said a tree is known by its fruits (Matthew 7:15-20; Luke 6:43-35), so the fruits of Jacob and Esau must be viewed from God’s perspective. In this matter, human intentionality is judged to the extent by which aligns with God’s creation. This is not a decision humans themselves get to make.