If you’ve at all noticed how often I blog, you can see that I’ve lost a lot of my "mojo" for blogging. One reason is that I have too much to say! I just can’t sit down and get all my thoughts out easily. It takes enough energy that even though I’m excited by something enough that I want to express it, the expression itself matters enough to me that I tend to see it as a mountain that I just don’t have time to climb at the moment.
Anyway, this morning, I was listening to a teaching, as usual, while washing the dishes and I figured, that if I just started typing, I could get some of my excitement out before I thought about how big a task it is! (I’m trying to trick myself! )
I was listening to a series of teachings/discussions by a guy named Skip Moen on the book of Matthew. Skip is a theologian/Bible scholar who, while still teaching various theological courses at a university level, is also endeavoring to reach a broader circle of Christians with the message of what a Hebrew/Old Testament contextualization of the New Testament does to help us better understand Jesus, God, His Kingdom, etc. I learned about Skip Moen because Bill Johnson from Bethel Church in Redding, CA mentioned him in a sermon about 6 months ago or so.
The plug from Bill interested me because he made reference to some word/concept in scripture and then what the Hebrew behind all that really means and it really brought it to life. I’ve experienced that before when I’ve discovered the original language meaning and cultural context of something in the Bible – typically something I thought I already knew/understood. I’ve also experienced that in a more modern context by simply living in another country where another language is spoken – even though there is no disconnect in the temporal context.
Language and cultural context are enormous! I don’t know how I can stress that enough – other than to say that I understand as well that it really has to be experienced to be fully understood (which is, itself a concept taken from a Hebraic world view!) These recordings of this study of Matthew are interesting because you can hear the discussion and the questions of the people in the discussion on the recording. When he presents something that creates a cognitive dissonance in them that I don’t personally feel, I realize just how far God has brought me these last dozen years or so outside of the American and English context – and how valuable that journey has been.
So, all that to say go have a listen yourself and expand your dimensions of understanding and knowing God and His plan for us and His Creation.