Paul appeals to the Old Testament in order to support what is hardly an obvious notion to Jews at the time: that Jesus, a crucified and risen son of a working-class family, is the long-hoped for Jewish messiah and that Gentiles as Gentiles are full and equal partners along with Jews in this messianic age.
And that is where we find “resurrection” in the Old Testament: returning to the land, where God and his temple are, where there is peace and security, the land promised to Abraham, the land “flowing with mik and honey.”
They have lost interest in what amounts to a shallow, quasi-biblical expression of Christian faith, one that focuses far too much on the not yet. Ironically, in their critique they are putting their finger on something central to the Good News.
I knew back then, as I do now, that the model of biblical interpretation I had been taught was not going to cut it if I was going to try to explain how my Bible works rather than defend a Bible that doesn’t exist.
Now, I know you believe, as we all do, that the Bible, being God’s word, is perfectly consistent all the way through, meaning it doesn’t mean one thing in the Old Testament and another thing when you quote it. It goes without saying that you respect the intention of the original author more than anyone, and you’d never mistreat the Bible like that.
We tell our story to connect to anyone who feels they are no longer welcome in their church community, a house they helped build through tears, laughter, prayer, confession, breaking of bread, and week after week of showing up to serve. We want to tell a broader story that says “You belong.”
The scandal of the Evangelical mind is that doctrine determines academic conclusions. Degrees, books, papers, and other marks of prestige are valued—provided you come to predetermined conclusions.
The Old Testament models an intentionally innovative, adaptive, and contemporizing theological dynamic—a recasting of the past to speak to the changing present and for a vision for the future.
If you are someone who has the same question about where the boundaries are now that the landscape looks different, perhaps answering that question should not be priority one.
The thing is, I’m getting bored. But I’m not blaming anyone. It’s more about gaining insight, seeing more clearly the lay of the land, and proceeding forward with that understanding and owning it rather than being oblivious to it.