Sunday, September 26, 2010

Podcast 25: Maher-shalal-hash-baz

Hey! Here we go with a bit more Isaiah!

Second topic this week is humility. No doubt we'll get hammered with humility once the angry letters come rolling in. As a special guest on this topic (for about 30 seconds) we brought in a ringer for the opposition -- Dre Deming.

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Thursday, September 23, 2010

next topic!

Alright ya'll. Warning you in advance that the topic for the next Rodcast is HUMILITY. Send us what you want us to say so that you don't yell into your earbuds when you hear us say the lame things that we say. We don't hear you when you yell into your earbuds.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Podcast 24: Scarlett

Isaiah 101. And we're off! Isaiah 1:18.

As a bonus topic we reminisced on our favorite pulpit stories. Laughter and death ensued.

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Hopefully Jim won't mind, but here are his great comments on the Isaiah lesson this week. We'll reference it next time. Enjoy!


If I understand correctly, the reading for this week is Isaiah 1-6. Here are some thoughts on the chapters as I read them.

Isaiah is a delicious book. I think that is undeniable. Many beautiful things are written therein, and it all begins in the first chapter.

In Isaiah 1, G-d speaks out against Israel, very much in the way He did in Hosea, Isaiah’s contemporary. He compares Judah to children just like Israel in Hosea (and once to a harlot.) And just as in Hosea, the message is more than a rebuke, but a message of hope.

For Judah, things are going difficult. Israel and Syria have been coming against them, with devastating consequences. During this time, 120,00 men of Judah had been killed in one day. (See Chronicles 28.) Here, in Isaiah 1, G-d tells them the reason for their suffering. They are being punished that they might learn. But they are not learning, and so they continue to be punished.

One problem is that the people have seized upon a foreign idea of propitiating G-d. In the pagan world, the gods were bought off by sacrifices. Their favor was not earned by moral living but by rituals and devotion. If one reads The Iliad or The Odyssey one is likely to find divine favor is capricious. Greek deities are bought off by sacrifices. In Iphigenia at Aulis, the innocent Iphigenia is herself sacrificed so that the gods will send a wind to carry the Greeks to Troy so that they may lay siege to the city. This idea of earning divine favor through sacrifice had crept into Jewish practice. Ahaz had begun sacrificing to the gods of Damascus “Because the gods of Aram helped them, I will sacrifice to them” (2 Chron. 28.23).

He has a totally wrong conception of G-d, though. G-d cannot be bribed. While he set up a system of sacrifices, they are largely disconnected from atonement. The blood of an innocent is not what appeases G-d. (Of the personal sacrifices, as opposed to national, only unintentional sins are atoned by a sacrifice, a sin sacrifice. And theft, I think.) In all of Leviticus, G-d does not spend time talking about the necessity of blood for atonement, because this does not interest him. The sacrifices are for us, not for him, a way for us to express our devotion and thankfulness. But G-d is not bought by sacrifices.

And this is the beauty of Isaiah 1. G-d corrects the view that He must be appeased with blood and through ritual. He desires something else: “Wash, cleanse yourselves, remove the evil of your deeds from before My eyes, cease to do evil. Learn to do good, seek justice, strengthen the robbed, perform justice for the orphan, plead the case of the widow” (Is. 1.16-17.) The atonement is reached through teshuvah, repentance. And we see here that it’s a two-fold process. Verse 16 is about purification and cessation of wrongdoing. Verse 17 is about doing good. It’s not enough to not do bad. One must do good.

And the next thing he says isn’t, “And then I’ll accept your sacrifices, that you may be atoned.” No, he invites Judah to argue with him and tells them that their sins will be whitewashed. All he requires is repentance, a change. (See also Ez. 18.) To do this, though, they will have to fix their conception of G-d. They will have to reject the notion that G-d’s favor is earned by sacrifice. They must return to a Torah worldview, rather than the pagan worldview. And then they will understand what G-d wants is repentance. “For you do not want a sacrifice, or I should give it; You do not desire a burnt offering. The sacrifices of G-d are a broken spirit; O G-d, You will not despise a broken and crushed heart” (Ps. 51.18-19.)

I think this is what G-d means, too in Is 5.13 when He says that His people go into exile for a lack of knowledge. They’ve not heeded the signs, their punishments. They seek to appease G-d and the gods of the nations with sacrifices. But if only they knew what He wanted of them, they could turn aside. A bad idea of Who G-d is can make a terrible mess of things. Judah will be exiled because they have a bad understanding of G-d. They think the rituals are for Him. But we can give nothing to G-d.

This isn’t the end of Isaiah 1, but already this is getting long, so I press on. Isaiah 2.1-5 is Messianic. And like the first chapter, the second chapter helps to correct a misconception about G-d, but this is the misconception of the modern scholar who sees Hashem as a tribal deity. (I do not say that this was the purpose of this chapter.) Here G-d clearly tells us that the “nations shall stream to” the Lord’s house (Is. 2.2.) This is a universal message, and it echoes Solomon’s prayer for the temple, that foreigners would pray toward the temple and be heard by G-d (I Kings 8.41-43.) Likewise, in the Messianic era, G-d tells us, again through Isaiah, that His house “will be called a house of prayer for all peoples (Is. 56.7.) G-d is concerned with all peoples. And so, he brings peace, not just to Israel, but also to the entire world.

Already this has gotten long. My apologies. I will stop here for the sake of brevity.



Jon's meat consumption for the week of September 12-18, 2010

Sunday, 12 September 2010
-Two platefuls of beef stroganoff at my parents' house

Monday, 13 September 2010
-One plateful of leftover beef stroganoff from the day before

Tuesday, 14 September 2010
-Leftover Ming's General Tao's chicken from the previous Saturday night (before our meat goals)

-A deep fried PB&J and half of Grant Baron's funnel cake at the Utah state fair (both were possibly fried in the same oil that much chocolate-covered bacon was fried in)

Wednesday, 15 September 2010
-One plateful of leftover beef stroganoff from three days earlier

-Half of Matsby's cheese fries at Wiseguy's (later found out there were bacon bits sprinkled on)

Thursday, 16 September 2010
-Half a plateful of leftover beef stroganoff from four days earlier

-Stroganoff on toast

Friday, 17 September 2010
-Maruchan instant yakisoba noodles (spicy chicken flavor)

Saturday, 18 September 2010
- 2.5 pork enchiladas at the Lowell Bennion service thingie

Monday, September 13, 2010

Podcast 23: Secret

First of all, here's Peter's autographed program for today (hope you don't mind, Megan).

Our discussion today was about Amos and Joel. They seem pretty on the ball.

Besides talking a little about the Iron Rodcast polls we also got incendiary with a continuation of the Word of Wisdom from last week. This time the focus was on meat.

Vote in the polls! We re-opened a couple of ties.

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Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Podcast 22: Whore

Your seminary teacher probably skipped Hosea when he taught your Old Testament class. Good reason too. God telling a guy to go shack up with a prostitute may be taken the wrong way by impressionable youths. I think we agreed that you're not actually supposed to do that. And ladies, don't become a hooker in hopes of marrying a prophet of God. The story of Hosea is probably more of an exception than a rule -- although it is the basis for the film Pretty Woman (as is my understanding anyway).

Whoring it up may be a sensitive topic, but it didn't stop us from having two girls join us. Welcome aboard Alexis and Mandi!

Our secondary this week was the incendiary topic of caffeine. We drink more than we should (and eat apparently -- there really is lots of caffeine in chocolate. No lie).

Vote in TWO new polls this week!

Download the podcast here!