Friday, June 30, 2017

[BTT026] Matt 1:18-23 / Isaiah 7:3-17

Previous: [BTT025] Cut Passages 002

1. Matt 1:18-23 / Isaiah 7:3-17


Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly. But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”
So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.”
Then the Lord said to Isaiah, “Go out now to meet Ahaz, you and Shear-Jashub your son, at the end of the aqueduct from the upper pool, on the highway to the Fuller’s Field, and say to him: ‘Take heed, and be quiet; do not fear or be fainthearted for these two stubs of smoking firebrands, for the fierce anger of Rezin and Syria, and the son of Remaliah. Because Syria, Ephraim, and the son of Remaliah have plotted evil against you, saying, “Let us go up against Judah and trouble it, and let us make a gap in its wall for ourselves, and set a king over them, the son of Tabel”— thus says the Lord God:
“It shall not stand,
Nor shall it come to pass.
For the head of Syria is Damascus,
And the head of Damascus is Rezin.
Within sixty-five years Ephraim will be broken,
So that it will not be a people.
The head of Ephraim is Samaria,
And the head of Samaria is Remaliah’s son.
If you will not believe,
Surely you shall not be established.”’”
Moreover the Lord spoke again to Ahaz, saying, “Ask a sign for yourself from the Lord your God; ask it either in the depth or in the height above.”
But Ahaz said, “I will not ask, nor will I test the Lord!”
Then he said, “Hear now, O house of David! Is it a small thing for you to weary men, but will you weary my God also? Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel. Curds and honey He shall eat, that He may know to refuse the evil and choose the good. For before the Child shall know to refuse the evil and choose the good, the land that you dread will be forsaken by both her kings. The Lord will bring the king of Assyria upon you and your people and your father’s house—days that have not come since the day that Ephraim departed from Judah.”

Right off the bat, we are hit with an extremely difficult prophecy. The relationship between the original prophecy in Isaiah and its fulfillment in Matthew is anything but clear.

Let's get the obvious objection out of the way. Matthew is quoting from the Greek Septuagint instead of the original Hebrew. In the Hebrew original, "virgin is "`almah" (עַלְמָה ), which can mean "young woman" in addition to "unmarried female virgin of marriageable age" - something which opponents of the Virgin Birth love to point out.

However there is no passage in the Old Testament in which 'almah is used in reference to an unmarried non-virgin, or even a married virgin. If anything, taking the Hebrew usage of 'almah into account makes the status of Mary even more appropriate - she was an unmarried female virgin of marriageable age when she conceived, fulfilling every single thing implied by the word 'almah.[1]

The issue is the original context of the Sign. Isaiah tells Ahaz to ask for a sign, but a sign of what? The issue on the table in Isaiah 7 is not the coming of the Messiah, but an alliance between Ephraim and Syria. Ahaz is not worried about salvation from sin, but salvation from a military invasion.

Isaiah's prophecy specifically says that within 65 years, Ephraim will be utterly destroyed, to the points that it will "not be a people." More importantly in terms of the sign, both Ephraim (Israel) and Syria will lose their kings - the kings plotting against Judah - before the promised Child is old enough to "refuse the evil and choose the good."[2]

This makes Matthew's interpretation of the prophecy problematic. If the Child is Jesus, the sign has come a bit late. While "Rezin…and the son of Remaliah" were most definitely off of their thrones before Jesus' birth, Ahaz was also long dead. How could the birth of Christ be a sign of political change in the days of Ahaz?

This seems to point to the idea that Isaiah is talking about two Childs (that's grammatically incorrect, but work with me here). The first Child was born in the time of Ahaz, the second Child was Jesus. The first Child was born as a sign to Ahaz and as a prefigurement of Jesus, who fulfilled the prophecy in its entirety.

But the matter is far from settled. As we have seen, the passage seems to indicate a Virgin Conception. If the passage can be interpreted as also allowing a non-Virgin Conception - i.e., a woman who at the moment of the prophecy was an 'almah got married and conceived in the usual way - then that means that the prophecy did not require a Virgin Birth. That would mean that either there is no Old Testament requirement for a Virgin Birth (making Matthew's citation of the passage incorrect) or that Ahaz could rightly call Isaiah a liar.

Alternatively, we could argue that the first Child was also the product of a Virgin Conception. If anything, this is even more problematic since it would imply the birth of Jesus was not unique. As far as we know from Scripture, only the Holy Spirit can cause a Virgin to conceive apart from the usual way. So was Jesus born twice?

Lastly, Isaiah says that the child's name will be "Immanuel," which, as Matthew reminds us, means "God with us." However, Gabriel instructs Mary to name the child "Jesus," or "savior."

So, looking at Isaiah, we would expect the following things:
1). An 'almah will conceive a child as a sign to Ahaz.
2). The child of the 'almah will be named "Immanuel," "God with us."
3). Before the child is old enough to choose the good instead of evil, Israel and Assyria will both lose their kings, who are plotting an alliance against Judah.
Looking at Matthew, we would expect the following things:
1). An 'almah will conceive a Child while still an 'almah hundreds of years after the death of Ahaz.
2). The Child of the 'almah will be named "Jesus," "Savior."
3). The Child will save His people from their sins.
To reconcile these two passages, we have the following options:
1). There were two Childs (Immanuel and Jesus), who both fulfilled the prophecy.
2). There were two Childs (Immanuel and Jesus), both of which fulfilled part of the prophecy.
3). There was one Child (Jesus), who provided a very poor sign to poor Ahaz.
Option two seems the most likely. For both Childs to fulfill the entirety of the prophecy, both Childs would have to be Virgin-born, both as signs to Ahaz. The more likely scenario is that a child named "Immanuel" was born as a sign to Ahaz, fulfilling that part of the prophecy and a child named "Jesus" was born to an 'almah hundreds of years later.

This is not a perfect explanation, but it provides us with a starting point. There are many themes here we will see repeated through the Plēroō Passages.

Point One: Prophecies may have multiple fulfillments

If not, this pairing of prophecy and fulfillment makes no sense whatsoever.

Next: [BTT026] Matthew 2:14-15 / Hosea 11:1-4

[1]See Gen. 24:23 and Sng. 6:8 for passages where 'almah refers to unmarried virgins.

[2]Of course, this will not prevent Assyria from invading and conquering Judah. Look, it's a complicated passage.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

[BTT025] Cut Passages 002

[BTT026] Cut Passages 001

Explicit Fulfillment, Ambiguous Prophecy
Matt 2:22-23 / Isaiah 11:1-2? Judges 13:1-5? Somewhere else?

But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning over Judea instead of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. And being warned by God in a dream, he turned aside into the region of Galilee. And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, “He shall be called a Nazarene.”

Isaiah 11:1-2

There shall come forth a Rod from the stem of Jesse,
And a Branch (נֵצֶר , netser) shall grow out of his roots.
The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him,
The Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
The Spirit of counsel and might,
The Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord.

Judges 13:1-5?

Now there was a certain man from Zorah, of the family of the Danites, whose name was Manoah; and his wife was barren and had no children. And the Angel of the Lord appeared to the woman and said to her, “Indeed now, you are barren and have borne no children, but you shall conceive and bear a son. Now therefore, please be careful not to drink wine or similar drink, and not to eat anything unclean. For behold, you shall conceive and bear a son. And no razor shall come upon his head, for the child shall be a Nazirite to God from the womb; and he shall begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines.”

Why was it Cut?

This verse does contain the word "plēroō," but it is not clear which Old Testament prophecy is being referenced. Theories abound on just what Matthew is referencing here. Some claim it is a reference to Isaiah 11:1 or Judges 13:5, although there are significant issues with these identifications. The Isaiah 11:1 theory is based on some fairly shaky etymology (netser is a pun on "Nazarene?") and Judges 13:5 clearly refers to the Nazarite vow, not to residence in Nazareth.

Others claim it is from one of the lost works of the Old Testament (the Book of Jasher, mentioned in Joshua 10:13; the Book of Shemaiah, mentioned in 2 Chronicles 9:29) or else an oral tradition passed down from one of the prophets. Obviously, it is impossible to prove this assertion - if a book is lost, that means we can't check it!

Whatever the true answer is, this ambiguity led to this passage being cut from the list. For what it's worth, I lean towards the theory that Matthew was referencing a prophecy now lost to us. While there is no clear evidence that the prophecy is from, say, the Book of Shemaiah, nothing in the Old Testament is a perfect fit.

There is precedent for extra-canonical quotations in other parts of Scripture. Jude and 2 Peter seem to reference the Book of Enoch, Hebrews may reference the Ascension of Isaiah, Jude may also reference the Assumption of Moses, and so on.

At any rate, while a prophecy is being fulfilled, we cannot say with absolute certainty what prophecy is being fulfilled. Since the whole point is to compare the original with the fulfillment, verses like this are unsuited to our present purpose.

There are also many passages where Jesus does this or that in fulfillment of prophecy without explicitly mentioning what specific prophecy is being fulfilled (see Mark 14:48-49 for a good example). While we should have no doubt that these are genuine fulfillments of prophecy, and we may even be able to determine which prophecy with a degree of certainty, these identifications remain ambiguous. As such, these verses were removed from the list.

Having looked at the passages which didn't make the cut, let's look at the ones that did.

Next: [BTT027] Matt 1:18-23 / Isaiah 7:3-17

Monday, June 26, 2017

[BTT024] Cut Passages 001

1. Specific Old Testament Prophecy, Ambiguous Fulfillment

Matt 2:1 -6 / Micah 5:1-4


Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.” 
When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. 
So they said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it is written by the prophet: 
‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
Are not the least among the rulers of Judah;
For out of you shall come a Ruler
Who will shepherd My people Israel.’”

Now gather yourself in troops,
O daughter of troops;
He has laid siege against us;
They will strike the judge of Israel with a rod on the cheek. 
“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
Though you are little among the thousands of Judah,
Yet out of you shall come forth to Me
The One to be Ruler in Israel,
Whose goings forth are from of old,
From everlasting.” 
Therefore He shall give them up,
Until the time that she who is in labor has given birth;
Then the remnant of His brethren
Shall return to the children of Israel.
And He shall stand and feed His flock
In the strength of the Lord,
In the majesty of the name of the Lord His God;
And they shall abide,
For now He shall be great
To the ends of the earth;
Why was it cut?

The short version is that this verse does not contain the word "plēroō." The long version is that while Matthew does seem to indicate that the chief priests and scribes were correct when they applied the passage in Micah to the birthplace of the Messiah, he does not state it explicitly.

There are many verses that use phrases such as "thus it is written" or "he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah" (see Matthew 3:1-3). In most cases, it is fairly clear that Old Testament prophecy is being fulfilled. However, we must avoid all ambiguity. Unless the author explicitly states that a fulfillment has occurred, there remains a possibility that the author is simply referencing the Old Testament.

That said, I do want to discuss this passage in particular. It is telling that the chief priests and scribes were able to intellectually deduce that the Messiah's birthplace would be Bethlehem, which was indeed the birthplace of Jesus. Apparently these chief priests and scribes were able to get this one correct.

Even if the chief priests and scribes got pretty much everything else about the Christ wrong - He came to die for sinners, not to wipe out the Romans - they got this one thing right. This should give us both hope and humility. Hope, because if even the chief priests and scribes were capable of understanding prophecy by studying Scripture, then it stands to reason that we can as well. Humility, because even if they got one detail right, they misunderstood the most essential things about the Christ. Worst of all, most of them did not recognize Him when He came.

Let us "surpass the Pharisees" in this as well. It is good to study prophecy; it is better to recognize Jesus as who He says He is. No man can claim to understand prophecy while denying the widow and orphan justice, while oppressing the poor, while living in open defiance of the will of God. Those who understand prophecy understand that Jesus will return as "a thief in the night" - and woe to the ones not ready.

[BTT025] Cut Passages 002

Friday, June 23, 2017

[BTT023] How Does the Bible Interpret Prophecy?

[BT023] Doing A Better Job

When we look at the Scriptures, we see two ways in which the meaning of a prophecy is revealed:

1). Prophecies which have their meanings revealed almost immediately afterwards.

In other words, the prophet Abrabimilechaham has a dream or vision, he can’t understand it, and God reveals the meaning of the dream within the same chapter.

A good example of this is in Daniel 2, where Daniel interprets Nebuchadnezzar's dream. In that case, Nebuchadnezzar has a prophetic dream, and Daniel provides the interpretation almost immediately after. There can be no doubt of what God was trying to tell Nebuchadnezzar, because the interpretation follows in the text immediately.

2). Prophecies which do not have their meaning revealed until much later.

In other words, the prophet Enochathan has a dream or vision, writes it down, and it is not until hundreds or thousands of years later that the meaning is revealed.

An example of this is Jeremiah 31:31-34, where Jeremiah prophecies of a day in which God will write His law on the hearts of His people, which Hebrews 10:15-18 says is fulfilled in Jesus. There's a fairly significant gap between these two, so there were hundreds of years where it was not fully understood.

Now naturally, the first type of prophecy takes care of itself. There’s no need to interpret a prophecy that comes with its own interpretation! It’s the second type that we’re concerned with.

For that reason, we’re going to focus on a very, very specific type of prophecy: Old Testament prophecies that are explicitly quoted as being "fulfilled" in the New Testament. This is to filter out literary allusions and references to the Old Testament, leaving only indisputable fulfillments of prophecy.

These limitations were chosen because the New Testament authors were interpreting prophecies from a book – the Torah. This closely resembles our situation today. We are not interpreting new dreams and prophecies received from God directly, but prophecies that have been written down and passed through the ages. We want to see how New Testament authors dealt with this same situation.

Additionally, since we believe that both the Old and New Testament are the inspired word of God, we can have full assurance that when the New Testament says 'this was in fulfillment of prophecy,' this interpretation is correct.

In order to do this, we will limit our study to New Testament passages that use the Greek verb plēroō (πληρόω, "to fulfill") in conjunction with a direct quotation of Old Testament prophecy. Plēroō can also be used in the sense of "fulfilling" or "filling" other things – Jesus fulfilling the requirements of the law, Christians being filled with love/grace/the Holy Spirit. Since we are only interested in prophecy at the moment, we will not look at verses that use plēroō in these other senses.

Additionally, we will not be looking at isolated verses, but the passages in which they appear. This is necessary to understand precisely what actions and events are fulfilling the prophecy in question. We will also look at the Old Testament prophecy in its original context and compare how the New Testament fulfillment compares.

By my count, there are 17 passages in which a specific Old Testament prophecy is explicitly fulfilled (plēroō) in the New Testament. Before looking at these passages, we will look at some examples of passages that were rejected to better explain why we are looking at these 17 passages in particular.

[BTT024] Cut Passages 001

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

[BTT022] Doing a Better Job

Previous: [BTT021] Nothing New Under the Sun

It’s not that Christians get everything wrong when it comes to prophecy. We do a pretty good job with prophecies that have already come to pass. That "born of a Virgin" stuff? Yeah, we got it. "Bruised for our transgressions"? Okay, figured it out. But stuff that hasn't happened yet? We have a pretty terrible track record.

There are many reasons for this, one of which is that it’s easier to understand in hindsight things that have already happened compared to understanding things that have not yet happened. That’s a problem in many fields other than Bible prophecy.

Have you ever played around with day trading? It’s not easy to pick which stocks are going to do well and which ones are going to drop. Economists have very elaborate, convincing models for explaining financial history, but the moment you ask them to pick future winners, the models stop working.

Or take history – it’s easy to look back into history and say, “of course that’s why Rome became a great imperial power” or “Of course the Nazis were bad.” It’s not so easy to predict who the next President will be or who we should choose as allies.

This difficulty is natural in secular disciplines. No one expects a historian to predict the future. But when you’re making claims about future events like prophecy, it’s kind of important to get them right. Otherwise, we punch ourselves in the face – publicly and embarrassingly.

So the question becomes, how do we do a better job?

The good news is, we already know what a bad job looks like – it’s the scattershot, schizophrenic model-less model of the TV preacher and the street corner messiah.

You know what we're talking about. It's the advanced calculus needed to equate "Adolph Hitler" or “Barack Obama” with "666." It’s seeing Armageddon in ever border skirmish and the Bowl Judgments in every hurricane. It’s the desperate desire for any sign of the end that leads well-meaning Christians to match random Bible verses random current events.

But is this the only method of interpreting prophecy available to us? Are Christians forever doomed to arranged marriages between random Jerusalem and Reuters? I'm going to argue that the answer is "no." And we're going to find a different way of doing things by looking at the Bible itself.

This is the question we are going to ask: How did the authors of the New Testament interpret prophecies from the Old Testament?

Next: [BT023] How Does the Bible Interpret Prophecy?

Monday, June 19, 2017

[BTT021] Nothing New Under the Sun

Previous: [BTT020] All Things Made New

Part V: Towards a Model of Prophecy

Nothing New Under the Sun

You’ve probably seen this scene – a bully grabs a smaller child, twists his arm, and starts punching him with his own hand. What does the bully yell out? “Stop hitting yourself, stop hitting yourself!”

Of course, the smaller child isn’t hitting himself, though he is being struck with his own hand. The bully is forcing him to. It’s an old joke, as old as it is cruel. Maybe Cain did it to Abel – “stop murdering yourself!”

If you saw this happening in front of you, you’d probably break it up, right? Any decent human would pull them apart. But if you pulled the bully and bullied apart, and the bullied child just kept punching themselves in the face, what would you think then?

The bullied punches himself for one year. Four five years. For ten years, thirty years – he’s not a child anymore, but he keeps hitting himself. One hundred years, two thousand years. There’s something wrong with this kid, and not just the fact that he’s apparently immortal.

It’s ridiculous to punch yourself in the face for two seconds, let alone two thousand years. And yet, this is what many Christians do when it comes to New Testament prophecy. No one is forcing us to get prophecy desperately and terribly wrong, harming our testimony in the eyes of the world, and yet we love to do it to ourselves.

I’m sure you already know some examples of this, or at least, I’m sure you can think of some. How many times was the world definitely certainly without a doubt supposed to end within your lifetime? How many “prophecy experts” had definite conclusive biblical proof that the Anti-Christ was living among us?

Unless you’re a newly formed zygote, you can probably think of a few. Within the last decade, we’ve had Ronald Weinland, Jack Van Impe, and Mark Biltz all fail publicly and spectacularly to predict the date of the Second Coming. Go back a few decades and you have books like 88 Reasons Why the Rapture Could Be in 1988 and 1994? (proposed subtitle: No).

And this is far from a recent development in Christendom. The world was supposed to end in 1972, 1935, 1901, 1891, 1861, 1844, 1700, 1673, 1533, 1370, 1260, 1000, 793, and 500. And that’s the short list.

But Christians have been getting the words of Jesus wrong all the back from the beginning, even in the Bible itself. Check out this exchange from the gospel of John:

Peter, seeing him, said to Jesus, “But Lord, what about this man?”
Jesus said to him, “If I will that he remain till I come, what is that to you? You follow Me.”
Then this saying went out among the brethren that this disciple would not die. Yet Jesus did not say to him that he would not die, but, “If I will that he remain till I come, what is that to you?”
-John 21:21-23

There were so many people who thought John would live until the Second Coming in the early church that John had to write in a note about how that wasn’t true in the Bible itself. This means that stupid theories about the Second Coming are older than the New Testament. In fact, given the timing of this conversation, it’s entirely possible Christians were formulating bad theories about the Second Coming before they were called “Christians” (see Acts 11:26).

Next: [BTT022] Doing a Better Job

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Distributed Thoughtware: Southern Baptists vs. The Alt-Right

On The Anti-Gospel Of Alt-Right White Supremacy

I'm not going to dive into the text of the Southern Baptist Convention's recent resolution against the Alt-Right/White Supremacy, but if you want to read it for yourself, the link's up there.

Here's my summary:

1). We are not racists.
2). Boy, we sure are not racists.
3). Okay, so we were racists for a while there, but we have a lot of black friends.
4). But boy, White Supremacists and Alt-Righters sure are racists.
5). Boy, are they ever racists.
6). That's bad.
7). But not us.
8). We are not racists.

Note the bait-and-switch in the resolution, though. The title leads with "Alt-Right" with "White Supremacy" being a subset of the Alt-Right. But the resolution itself mentions the "Alt-Right" specifically only twice and "White Supremacy" five times and "Racism" eleven times."

In other words, the title claims this is a resolution on the Alt-Right, but the text is mostly about racism and White Supremacy.

It's a resolution on racism being bad that claims to be a resolution on the Alt-Right. Why? Because the point of the resolution is to paint the entirety of the Alt-Right as goose-stepping 1488ers. Why? So that the Alt-Right might be driven forth from the SBC without trial or (God forbid!) a chance for Alt-Righters to explain their positions.

There's a hilarity in the resolutions listing of all the previous resolutions (1995, 2014, 2016) that have already made their stance on race abundantly clear. The only reason for the 2017 resolution is to attack the Alt-Right, an amorphous entity that they do not even attempt to describe (other than as White Supremacists).

I mentioned in an old post (okay, two or three posts) that church splits were coming. I was probably incorrect in assigning too much emphasis to Trump's performance as a variable. I also was incorrect in assuming the push for division would come from below. It's coming from above, and this is the first major manifestation of it.

How many SBC members voted for Trump? How many identify with the Alt-Right (in its Alt-Light form in particular)? I'd be willing to bet the answer to the first question is "close to, but less than 80%" (reflecting the percentage of White Evangelicals who voted for Trump). The second is harder to say, but low enough that the SBC felt comfortable enough to attack the Alt-Right, but not comfortable enough to go after Trump directly.

Two last comments:

1). I'm sure that the SBC can now look forward to waves of hardened atheists embracing faith in Christ and flocking to their churches now that the SBC has bravely proclaimed that they are quadruple not racists.

2). I will be truly shocked if this ends here. Remember, as Alinsky told us, victory is the worst thing that can happen to these people since their power comes from conflict.


Also of interest: the PCA (Presbyterian Church in America, one of the groups that split off from the PCUSA when they went crazy with ordaining lesbian abortion doctors)  is taking steps towards opening ministry roles for women. As usual, it's being pushed from the top. God have mercy.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

The State of the Blog (06/09/17)

You may have noticed that I'm not particularly feeling it lately.

Now that the Rules for Radicals series has finished, I'm going to post a series on Bible Prophecy. There may be some occasional Archetypes Vs. Women stuff. But it was the culture wars stuff that was drawing most of you to this blog, and that's something I've lost my appetite for (at least, for writing about). I think it's right to be upfront about that.

-The Rev

Monday, June 12, 2017

The Rev Reads It For You: The Way Ahead in 1971 (Rules for Radicals)

As we reach the end of Saul Alinsky's 1971 work, we also reach his take on the future. So the fun here lies in seeing how 2017 stacks up with 1971.
"With rare exceptions, our activists and radicals are products of and rebels against our middle-class society."
This was largely true through the mid 2000s, but with the falling out of the Middle Class, it would be more accurate in our times to say "products of and those denied our middle-class society." Those who were raised in the middle class but are unable to achieve that life-style. There's also a fine layer of upper-class shitlibs on top and a crust of lower-class rioters at the bottom.
" is useless self-indulgence for an activist to put his past behind him. Instead, he should realize the priceless value of his middle-class experience...Instead of the infantile dramatics of rejection, he will now begin to dissect and examine that way of life as he never has before. He will know that a "square" is no longer to be dismissed as such—instead, his own approach must be "square" enough to get the action started."
I'm torn on this one. There's definitely still an attitude of "infantile dramatics," but that itself has become part of the middle-class experience. It is dramatics for attention-grabbing rather than rejection of middle-class values. What values are really left with the middle-class anyway?

"Turning back to the middle class as an organizer, he will find that everything now has a different meaning and purpose. He learns to view actions outside of the experience of people as serving only to confuse and antagonize them others. He will view with strategic sensitivity the nature of middle-class behavior with its hangups over rudeness or aggressive, insulting, profane actions. All this and more must be grasped and used to radicalize parts of the middle class."
If anything, effectively communicating with the middle class requires skillful manipulation of rudeness, aggression, insults, and profanity. You want just enough to seem urbane but not so much as to seem uneducated.

We'll continue with the White working class after the jump.