Well, I was going to stop for the night but I kept reading and just couldn’t. Oh my goodness, Mr. Bell.
p20 – Bell writes that Jesus talks about “what happens when a woman, an image-bearer, a carrier of the divine spark, becomes a ‘that’.” Interesting, I think to myself, what will Bell say? He brings up an example from Matthew when Jesus says that “‘anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.'” Maybe I’m being too picky, here, but it seems like this passage has nothing to do with turning a woman into a “that.” This looks like it has more to do with adultery than anything else. After all, turning a woman into a “that” has nothing to do with adultery…right? Maybe it does? But Bell doesn’t make the connection. I think that’s his job, not mine.
p20 – Okay…we get a Monty Python reference yet. Cool, maybe…except that it makes no sense here. He explains that the “‘if your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away'” passage from Matthew is a metaphor…that Jesus is using the “‘it’s merely a flesh wound’ picture here to point us to something else.” The problem is, in Monty Python, the exact opposite picture is being painted than what Bell says Jesus is painting. Jesus is not saying to gouge out our eyes, Bell says, but he is speaking in metaphor. The picture painted in the Monty Python scene is the opposite: LOTS of blood. The joke is that it’s not very much. I have no idea what the connection is between what Jesus says and the Monty Python quote. In a way, who cares. It’s a passing comment. At the same time, it shows that Bell is willing to use whatever he wants, despite the meaning of the thing, to elicit a response. He’s reactionary, not responsible. Maybe he thinks they’re both metaphors? That’s all I’ve got.