As I look back on my nearly 20-year teaching career at Pacific Union College, one class stands out as my favorite--Argumentation and Debate. I doubt the students benefited anywhere as much as I did from the experience. Certainly good presentation skills and excellent research were helpful, but the real benefit was, I believe, found elsewhere.
Episcopal bishop John Shelby Spong is noted for warning that in fundamentalist organizations, the mere asking of a question may be considered tantamount to heresy. He would know, his positions have resulted in death threats. While not wishing to retain that moniker when my name is considered, I still feel that this Sabbath’s lesson forces me to ask the question, “So why do we keep the Sabbath?”I don’t ask it rhetorically, as I hope to address it in a way that will at least satisfy me.
The first hint that the creation of our world takes place within a dangerous universe comes in Chapter One, verses 3-5. On the first day, God creates ‘light’ and calls it ‘good’; God then ‘separates’ the ‘light from the darkness’ and names the light ‘day’ and the ‘darkness he calls ‘night’. Curiously, God offers a positive evaluation of ‘light’ without providing any parallel evaluation of the quality of ‘darkness’. Simply put, although the narrative, at this stage, resists adopting the normative binary opposition of light/dar