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Thursday, 1 January 2015

Binary Opposites

Paul and the Politics of Difference: A Contextual Study of the Jewish-Gentile Difference in Galatians and Romans,
Jae Won Lee, Pickwick Publications, 2014, page 33

Jae Won Lee talks about a "drive towards unity", that "denies and represses difference".

In exposing and challenging the logic of identity, the postmodern projection of deconstruction has uncovered the construct of binary oppositions that have been built into the Western philosophical tradition. These binary polarities are characterised by dichotomies such as mind/body, spirit/flesh, male/female, universal/particular, white/black (colour), same (identity)/difference, centre/margin, Christian/Jewish (heathen), and Occidental/Oriental.

Now she gets to the point:

The crux of the Western logic lies in that inasmuch as the first side of the dichotomy is privileged over the second side, the second is relegated to the category of inferiority. Furthermore, these binary polarities are structured in correlation with good/bad, inside (inclusion)/outside (exclusion), and self (us)/other (them).

That's quite a challenge. Is it true? Is it true of the church or the Messianic Jewish movement?

Posted By Jonathan, 11:38am Comment Comments: 2

Thursday, 1 January 2015
Comment -

This concept of binary categories exists absolutely. I have seen many teachings (D. Juster, etc.) regarding this important concept. Dr. Juster labels it "distinction for mutual blessing." Here we read of the desire to repress those distinctions due to the potential for cursing.

Without the distinctions, if we are really the same, then logically we reduce the likelihood of discrimination. If we oppress someone, then we are ultimately oppressing ourselves, since we are in unity. This appears to be very logical to the unredeemed mind.

But the redeemed mind observes a foundational distinction that cannot and should not be ignored, namely Martin Buber's I-Thou description of our otherness with G0d. Out of that distinction, while we might also observe the potential for cursing, flows the potential for mutual blessing.

The solution is not to "wish away" the distinction, but rather to make a determination that blessing comes from aligning with the Divine author's purpose in establishing such distinctions.

Messianic Judaism restores the Jew/Gentile distinction in the body of Messiah while representing Yeshua-faith within the body of the Circumcised, i.e., k'lal Yisrael.

Posted By Scott Moore 12:34pm


Thursday, 1 January 2015
Comment -

I wonder if the question might better be phrased "to what extent is it true?" It is manifestly true in part in each of the examples given. But is the extent of the truth in each case culture-defining? Arguably, yes!

Posted By Timothy Butlin 01:51pm