Thursday, October 12, 2006

Biblical Tourism

I don't know John. I haven't met him. And I probably will never meet him. John and his wife live and study in Atlanta... so we at least have that city in common. (My wife is from the great state of Georgia.)

But I think that John's post on reading the Old Testament texts (and especially via Ecclesiastes) is refreshing and worth reading:

(Re)Learning How to Read Scripture with Ecclesiastes

The post starts this way:

Describing the failure of modern preachers in critically engaging with the drama of the Hebrew Scriptures, Ellen Davis writes:

"Occasionally...a preacher may venture across that gulf [from the New to the Old Testament] and bring something back: a nugget, a small treasure, that is congenial with the gospel message and adds to it sparkle or depth of background."

I am convicted by this.

And also this:
We read these texts as if they were gift shops at the Vatican: browsing for a trinket, but only the one's that fit our luggage.
Worth a peak and a comment.

(John -- hope you don't mind.)



John P. said...

mind? i am humbled. thanks for the link!

byron said...

I enjoyed that post too.

Anonymous said...

justin i mean this - it's not flattery. you make the OT live when you preach. i totally thank you for helping me get into it (the prophets particularly). so hit us up with some of your sermons - the minor prophets series would be nice!
also, i was reading Isaiah. God hates his people's sin. But then says he blots our their sin. As NT believers, does god see our sin when he looks at us. And secondly if he does (but maybe he does't) is he angry all the time?
This is a genuine question...
love to the fam ..

Justin said...

Rhea, I never responded.

Thank you for your kind words. I love the Prophets.

Great quote:

At the level of words, what do they say, these prophet-preachers? They say this and they say that.
They say things that are: Relevant, Lacerating, Profound, Beautiful, Spine-Chilling and more besides. They put words to both the wonder and the horror of the world. And the words can be looked up in the dictionary, or biblical commentary, and can be passed on, understood […] But because these words are poetry, are image and symbol as well as meaning are sound and rhythm, [maybe above all] they are passion, they set echoes going the way a choir does in a great cathedral. Only it is we who become the cathedral and in us the words echo.

Does God blot out our sin so that he doesn't see it?

I take it that this is both a truth -- in the cross all sin is dwelt with. And a metaphor -- of which 'bloting out' is meant to be.

Does God ever remember than we sin? I guess he does. He is not studid. Does he 'remember it' as in 'hold it against us'? I take it he does not. Not in the cross.

Is he angry at a beliver's sin? I take it that he has settled his own anger in the work of Jesus. This is Isaiah 6, right?