Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Day 32, Summit Semester

Today art class was a little different. Last week we talked about what it meant for something to be “sacred” and how to define “sacred arts.” We read a chapter on “midrash,” the Hebrew concept of inventing stories about the silences in Scripture to understand the text better. Most of us agreed that while that could be helpful to a very limited level, it’d be pretty easy to take that concept way too far. Anyways, our assignment was to create some form of art based on Genesis 22, the story of the sacrifice of Isaac. We could draw, write, sing, put together a play, sculpt, just about anything. It was interesting to see what people came up with. I did a sketch of sorts, using the words and the context of what we know about Abraham and the promises he had received before this. I used different verses, from Genesis 12 through 22, and a couple random ones from Hebrews and Samuel, to illustrate the scene. The history of what Abraham and Isaac have been through add so much to the story – you really have to get the background to understand the story at all.

This evening we had Jeff Ventrella come speak. He’s the vice-president of Alliance Defense Fund, an organization and network of Christian lawyers working to support Christians legally and especially protect free speech and First Amendment rights as it relates to Christianity. Jeff is in charge of their education department, which includes speaking to groups and overseeing Blackstone Fellowship, a nine-week internship they have for first year law students, to train them in a Biblical perspective of law.

He talked about natural law, and how that’s the foundation for private and social life in Western Civilization. Natural law isn’t innate moral knowledge, biological instinct, matters of consensus, the physical laws of nature, or moral law as known through the Bible. He defined natural law as “a notion of law that is both transcendent and imminent, and is therefore binding and knowable.”

He explained why we have to have natural law from an experience he had in a debate hosted by the Museum of Tolerance in San Francisco. The Museum of Tolerance was originally an organization created after the Holocaust to prevent that from happening again, but has since been hijacked by the Left. His opponent declared that there was no natural law, but that all rights came from the state. Jeff refuted this quickly, arguing that if the only source of rights is the state, and the only law is positive law, what we create, then Dachau was right and Nuremburg was wrong, because the Nazis did everything according to their positive law. There has to be a law above our law.

Wednesday morning, we had “Bible with Eric and God, “ our Bible survey class. We had read the book of Deuteronomy, and we talked about the Law and how we’re under the New Covenant. Bauman came back, but he didn’t teach because we had another lecture with Jeff Ventrella on law.

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