I am taking another class this semester, down in New York City. This one is an Old Testament class, because I found that I just don’t know enough, as I think and pray and try to learn. Not so much that I’m denying God anymore- I’ve come back to acknowledging God’s presence in my life with a vengeance- but the context and stories, the history of the scriptures, and even just the locations of stories.
On the first day of class, one of the questions that was raised, is “Why bother studying the Old Testament?” It’s rather interesting that there are a fair number of respectable theologians that are almost dismissive of the Old Testament. Their view is that it’s not as relevant to the newer reality of Jesus and his saving grace, that it’s an area that can be, if not ignored, at least not focused on.
Interesting way to look at it, but I don’t think that you can fully understand and participate in, and appreciate, the miracle of the resurrection, without the context and history of the people that surrounded that event. The professor on Thursday night also had a way of looking at it. Paraphrasing here: The God Jesus called Father, is the Yahweh of the Hebrew Scriptures; thus, who are we to discard what Jesus himself did not?
Seems like a simple enough reason to incorporate the Old Testament into spiritual life, and looking for more than just a dismissal of an entire body of work as irrelevant, seems to me to be pretty arrogant. There were a couple students in class, whose comments left the impression that they would just as soon not be looking at this either, but it is a required class for M.Div students, and I think for the M.A. students as well. It will be interesting to see if peoples’ views change, as we go along.
But for now, I’m trying to get my textbooks; I went in on Saturday, specifically and only to get them, to find that the bookstore lady was “Having troubles getting in”, and the store never did open. Naturally, they don’t open on Sundays, and of course I can’t get there between 10 and 5 during the work-week. Sigh. I’m hoping I can order them on the phone, and have them shipped. That will get them to me tomorrow, which will give me tomorrow night and Wednesday to catch up on the readings.
Luckily, much of the reading this week is from articles that I have, and the Bible itself, which of course I have.
Another step on this journey, which still has no end in view, but it’s all fun.