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"Why does Peter offer to build three dwelling places? Frankly, I have not found a plausible historical suggestion for this."
Mark and Luke stated that Peter was babbling, But Matthew doesn't. That is because Matthew had a Jewish background; Mark and Luke didn't.
There is a simple explanation to Peter's comment about booths. It was about six months before the Crucifixion and it was during Sukkot, The Feast of Tabernacles. Sukkot is the Hebrew word for tents, booths, and tabernacles. Jews today still build temporary shelters in their backyards and live in them for seven days.
Not only that but the Jews since Zechariah's day have pointed to Zechariah, chapter 14, as proof that the Messiah will come during Sukkot. Peter thought that Jesus was finally revealing himself as the Messiah, and the only thing he could think of was erecting three sukkah.
BTW, Messianic Jews, because of this prophesy in Zechariah, believe that Christmas takes place during Sukkot. And that Jesus was conceived during Chanukah, when they celebrate Light invading darkness.
Hope this sheds some light (pun intended) on Peter's babbling.

I want to reinforce David's point for we have a problem with liberal theology (and I say this as one whose tradition comes out of liberal theology but is process/relational theology) is that too many are informed by what is called scientific naturalism - which is atheistic - Of course scientific naturalism does not need to be atheistic but it is how many work, including clergy. William James talks about deep empiricism as a way to see the thin places where we can experience the aim of God. David is calling us to keep open space where we can experience the reality of God and our preaching ought do that.

Hi John, I realize that there are many scientists who do believe in God and many who are talking about God within their scientific framework. My comment about CLASSIC modern science though still stands - the whole scientific method is based on the presumption that there is no God actively present in any way that could possibly be measured or be having any impact on observed results. Results must be explained ONLY by referencing various material laws and constants.

We're not really in any disagreemnet I believe.

My post about science in the pulpit is just that too many of my liberal colleagues get spooked by the Bible's "miracles" because they are not "scientific."

I want us to be bold - and rational - and not give "science" the sole authority to determine what is really real.

You say: We have modern science and yet here we are in church still talking about God - a reality that classic modern science totally rejects.

Modern science most certainly does not reject any talk of God. Some scientists do. Just as some fundamentalists reject science. But they are the exceptions. Check out www.ordainedscientists.org

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