Καταργέω And The People Of The Shining Face (2 Corinthians 3:7-18) -- By: George H. Guthrie
SBJT 19:3 (Fall 2015) p. 41
Καταργέω And The People Of The Shining Face
(2 Corinthians 3:7-18)1
George H. Guthrie serves as the Benjamin W. Perry Professor of Bible and Senior Fellow in the Ryan Center for Biblical Studies at Union University in Jackson, TN. He earned his M.Div. and Ph.D. from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and a Th.M. from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. Dr. Guthrie is the author or editor of thirteen books, including The Structure of Hebrews: A Text-linguistic Analysis in Supplements to Novum Testamentum (E. J. Brill, 1994), the NIV Application Commentary: Hebrews (Zondervan, 1998), the “Hebrews” section in the Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament, edited by Gregory Beale and D. A. Carson (Baker Academic, 2007), and 2 Corinthians in the Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament (Baker Academic, 2015).
In his book To Change the World: The Irony, Tragedy, and Possibility of Christianity in the Late Modern World, sociologist James Davison Hunter is concerned that the Church of the West now finds itself mired in a media-driven culture.
Reality becomes constituted by the ephemera of image, representation, and simulation. Pseudo-intimacy with well-known personalities provides the primary form and style of communication for a population hungry for significance.2
While not buying into his whole program (indeed, I do not recognize myself, nor Union University where I teach, in his description of evangelicals and their lack of emphasis on vocation), I think Hunter has an important point. In our celebrity driven culture, media drives celebrity and celebrity drive media. While media offers amazing means of communication for the sake of the Kingdom—I benefit greatly from well-done blogs that put me in
SBJT 19:3 (Fall 2015) p. 42
touch with important trends, books, audios, and movements—if we are not careful, our ministries can get inordinately fixated on the power of a uniquely “glowing face,” those persons who seem to be touched by God for broad impact. Personally, we may get so caught up in our public and publicized ministries, along with our associated “images” and carefully-crafted public platforms that we actually begin to disintegrate in terms more biblical forms of Christian life and ministry. Speaking of celebrity, Hunter notes that biblical leadership is
... the antithesis of celebrity, a model of leadership that many Christians in prominent positions have a very difficult time resisting. Celebrity is, in effect, based on an inflated bril...
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