Thursday, April 30, 2009

i love my classes

most of them :)

in particular, i'm thinking of Old Testament Historical Literature with Howard. I had him for Minor Prophets last semester and learned so much. i've enjoyed sitting under him as we've walked through the pages of 1 & 2 Samuel this spring. wow. in class today, i realized that i only have TWO more class periods with him. man...

today we wrapped up 2 Samuel. At how many schools and in how many classes can you discuss the meaning of 2 Sam. 24:1-17 for over 30 minutes?! Not many. I am so grateful. It's a familiar passage--David's census. It's the uncomfortable, mysterious account of God inciting David against the Israelites: "Go, number Israel and Judah" (24:1). David takes the census and then realizes he has sinned (24:10). He asks for forgiveness and God gives him an option of three possible punishments (24:11, 12). The REMARKABLE thing is that David puts everything back in the hands of God: "I am in great distress. Let us fall into the hand of the Lord, for his mercy is great; but let me not fall into the hand of men" (24:14). There are a million and one questions raised by this passage--many that can't be answered. There's a huge amount of mystery in it, too. What I find so overwhelming is DAVID'S response to everything. We look at the story and immediately question God--accusing Him of all sorts of things; assuming a lot of Him. But David's theology is large enough to accept the mystery while trusting in God. He acts in faith still. He puts himself in God's hand.

As we wrestled with this passage today, i was delighted to find myself increasingly at awe with God and encouraged by David. Howard has taught me to (1) know the goodness of God in a comprehensive way and (2) shown me how to read my Bible to understand the true character of God: developing theology with a rounded understanding of God's attributes. Again, its his biblical theological tendencies over and above systematics. I can't tell you how refreshing, liberating, and truth-telling biblical theology is to me. Not that systematics isn't truthful or, in some ways, "liberating." But they're different. And reading Scripture biblically theologically feels more honest, as it teaches to remain true to the text.

i had one of those afternoons that inspired me all the more to get my masters at a seminary. i've felt these quiet dreams growing into louder prayers recently.
we'll see. for now they are dreams and prayers and i have to go work on a speech for tomorrow...

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