Here is a small taste.
In our year long survey through the key passages in the Old Testament form Joshua through Job we find ourselves in 2 Chronicles and the Exile in Babylon.
So why should any of us give more than a passing thought to ancient history (586 BC is more than a jog back in time) when so many other stories in scripture just jump out and dazzle us?
We love us some John 3:16 and the Psalm 23 and all that stuff about shepherds and lost sheep being found.
Here is a prelude:
• If we are going to confront some of the more difficult passages of scripture we better go in prepared or we are going to get lost. If we are going to dive into passages that extol violence as a central attribute of God, the murder of innocents as part of God’s plan, the treating of women as lesser objects, then we better be prepared or we are going to get lost.
• And we need to confront such passages or else we open ourselves to both a false understanding and false witness to the God we worship and love that comes to us (as we Christians believe and confess) in and through Christ Jesus. We need to confront the narrators and narrative arcs of the stories of scripture when such promote an ethic that is not centered in self-giving love as Christ Jesus embodied for us.
• Even today, the scriptures when left un-confronted by the way of Jesus, the way of love and compassion, even and perhaps especially for the love of the most unlikely of people, then the Scriptures become a license to objectify, to erase the image of God in the other, to ignore, to hate, even to kill.
Open your newspaper (or your newsfeed) and you will discover that we Christians have accepted by our own passivity a narrative of hate over and against a narrative of love.