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Q & R: A New Day?

Here's the Q:

I myself come from a Brethren background as well... I grew up in the Indian
Brethren and Indian Pentecostal churches at the same time, so I thought I had an eclectic upbringing denominationally, until I went to Seminary. I've grown so much by experiencing the different denominations and incorporating the good from them. I have sincerely appreciated your books, because for a while I thought being part of the Evangelical tradition, that I was the only one thinking along some of these lines...but am glad to realize I am part of a broader stream!

Anyways, I just wanted to comment on something you wrote in NKOCy. In the "Jesus Question" you talk about how the "Gospel fittingly ends not during a scenic sunset, but just after daybreak around a breakfst-cooking fire, the beginning, as it were, of the first day of a new world, a second Genesis." But, coming from a Jewish perspective, wouldn't daybreak signal the mid-day point? As I was reading this, I was thinking if daybreak symbolizes the middle of the day it still continues to harken a new Genesis, but rather than being at the start of the day... we're in the middle of it. Which goes with the tension of the already/not-yet tension of the Kingdom of God. We are in the middle of the already/not-yet and Jesus inaugurated us working in the middle of that... Thoughts?

Here's the R:

Thanks for your note. It's always great to hear from another person who shares a heritage in the Brethren tradition.

My hunch is that the Fourth Gospel (whose perspective is the least Jewish of the gospel writers) was probably suggesting a new beginning because it says morning of "the first day of the week" ... but this is one of those interpretive matters where it's impossible to be dogmatic, and "halfway into the new day" works well too.

I was just doing some further reflection on "already but not yet" in my current writing project on Christian identity in a multi-faith world. It's a fascinating phrase that can be used in a lot of different ways ... I was reflecting on the phrase in relation to Luke 4:21 ... Today, this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing. A lot of already there, and not much not yet!