The Wicked Lack Courage

Famous books often have famous opening sentences. Pride and Prejudice‘s iconic, ironic first line comes to mind. Even those who haven’t cracked the cover of Melville’s Moby-Dick know its three word intro: “Call me Ishmael.” Well-crafted first sentences manage to set the tone, pique the reader’s interest, and introduce major themes. They serve as aContinue reading “The Wicked Lack Courage”

The Tabernacle Is a Parable

“In speaking of a new covenant, he makes the first one obsolete. And what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.” –Hebrews 8:13 As Americans living in a consumer-driven society, we understand the author of Hebrews intuitively. Our culture thrives on making the old obsolete by speaking of the new. ItContinue reading “The Tabernacle Is a Parable”

What Does Premodern Exegesis Sound Like from the Pulpit?

Premodern exegesis is sometimes summarized as the fourfold method of interpretation. This means my preaching… …is a slave to the text (Literal) …delights in the canonical context (Allegorical) …drives at the transformation of the soul (Tropological) …speaks of the Eternal (Anagogical) It’s important to realize that the premodern exegete doesn’t siphon his sermon (although IContinue reading “What Does Premodern Exegesis Sound Like from the Pulpit?”

Biblical Narrative Is Ambiguous (and Why That’s a Good Thing)

This might make your toes curl up inside your shoes, but the narratives of the Bible are ambiguous. Just to be clear, I am not saying that the Bible is false, untrue, misleading, or culturally confined. But its stories are ambiguous. Perhaps you remember being introduced to literary tools in your high school English class–simile,Continue reading “Biblical Narrative Is Ambiguous (and Why That’s a Good Thing)”

What If I Miss the Rapture?

So, I did a bad thing this past week. I googled “what if I miss the rapture?” For those who are not familiar with what I’m talking about, “the rapture” is a central piece of a dispensational reading of Revelation. The idea goes that when Jesus returns, he will come back secretly first and takeContinue reading “What If I Miss the Rapture?”