Showing posts from May, 2012

The Role of Ancient Narratives in Faith Development

The Bible is full of great narratives. Writers of biblical narratives freely implemented the basic components of contemporary story-telling such as plot, tension and resolution. The biblical writers weren't just spewing out theological truths. They utilized the best literary tools available in their societies. Psalmists used parallelism, acrostics and other highly refined poetic skills. Prophets spoke with hyperbole and syllogism (of a sort) to communicate their messages. Narrators who authored books like Genesis, Exodus, and Kings did the same.

What do I mean that the Bible is full of narratives? Story (or narrative) and history are not two separate poles. Rather, people generally recall history through the means of stories. Stories necessarily include the perspectives and interpretations of the story-tellers, but this does not make stories fictional.

Theology must shape the local Christian community. I believe that ancient faith narratives are absolutely critical in development …

Studying through the Life of Moses

I'm fortunate to be in a church that values solid biblical instruction. We have adult Bible classes every Sunday following worship. About 75% of folks stay for classes.

We're currently going through a three-month-long study in which my sermons and all adult classes focus on the same material. This is the second time we've tried this approach. Last spring, we went through the gospel of Luke. It met with such a positive response that we're repeating the concept.

This time around, we're looking at the life of Moses. It allows us to highlight important material from the Pentateuch. We spent the first month in Exod 1-15. We've moved on into the wilderness. Over the final six weeks, we'll touch on material from Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. If not for this study, when would I ever preach from Leviticus?

I've learned (and said) that this study is less about the man Moses than about the formation of God's people. How God forms a people is something cr…