Wednesday, November 21, 2007
  Amos 5:18-26 - 7:1-17
Writing an interpretative contemporary adaptation of Scripture is a good way to test our understanding, and to sharpen it. Dale Campbell, youth pastor at Northcote Baptist Church (perhaps the thousands of visitors who arrive panting at the site following this link will encourage them to finish it ;-) so perhaps if you all link to the BBC site we will get a similar wake up call ;-) anyway, Dale has written such an update on Amos 5:18-7:17 (targum) and since it is really stimulating, and since he just finished my prophets class, I suggest you take a look and leave him a comment!

I'll give you just a taster to whet your appetites:
(Judgment against hollow worship - 5:18-27)
"You want Jesus to come back? Yeah right! You know when He comes, He's going to judge the wicked, don't you!!?? It's not going to be fun for you! God says, 'Nothing makes me sicker than your conferences. I want to vomit during your church services. Even though you offer your so-called 'worship' I couldn't care less! I don't listen to junk like that! Will you please just shut up already?? I don't want to be your boyfriend! I want you to be passionate about justice! I want you to live lives that are righteous! Hello? Did you organise music festivals, worship conferences and other such 'Christian' things? I'll make your 'Hill' songs into 'Valley' songs – for the 'god' that you are worshipping is the music god you've made for yourself!!! I'm going to make you completely and totally irrelevant and non influential in your own culture. No one will care AT ALL what you have to babble on about!
Incidentally I tried the same sort of thing for Amos 4:4-5 today? and I began to write an "Out of my Mind" column for the NZBaptist in 2003 using a quote from Joel Drinkard's article in which he rewrote the whole book. I planned the piece to begin like this:
This book should be banned. It attacks freedoms fundamental to our way of life, it ridicules our leaders, it seeks to undermine the very fabric of our society. It’s on sale openly in many NZ bookshops. What’s worse it’s available for free on the Internet. At least it’s not yet being taught in the schools my children attend – though I’ve heard that it might be taught in some schools.

Any book that lays siege to the way Western democracies live as blatantly as this one is probably written by a supporter of Osama bin Laden. To show you what I mean here’s an extract from near the beginning:

For three transgressions of America and for four
   I will not revoke the punishment
   because you spent millions to store surplus food
and permit varmints to eat that which could feed   thousands of starving children,
because you pour milk on the ground,
   saying the price is too cheap,
when infants in Ethiopia die without milk,
because you squander the world’s resources
   thinking only of your own comfort,
because you turn to soap operas for your moral values
   and seek success as your most important virtue.
So you shall suffer for your sins.
   Your mammoth aquifers will be squeezed dry,
your bread basket will become a dust bowl,
   your cities and your countryside will become
      polluted by sin,
   your national symbol will become the vulture
instead of the eagle.
You are big –
   you will fall hard.

Thank goodness the anti-terrorism bill was recently passed by the NZ parliament. Perhaps now we can see that such works are not distributed more widely.

Joel F. Drinkard “Thus says the Lord” Review and Expositor 92, 1995, 222.


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