Wednesday, 20 September 2017

A New Blog Project

Image result for new project
I have been blogging here for a bit over two years now and I have found it valuable because it has been a great way for me to work through a number of theological matters "out loud." By making my thinking and research 'public', it has forced me to make sure I am being thorough and honest with the Word. But it has also been good to get my theological views out there, in the hope that it will make some people think about how they engage with the word. I also hope that in my writings I have been gracious.

Some interesting stats:

  • I've been read in 10 countries.
  • I had more readers in Kenya than Germany
  • My most popular post was on what Jesus taught about the Law.
  • The second most popular was Part 1 of my response to John Piper on the food laws.
To sum up the purpose of Berean Baptists, these have mainly been apologetic works that argue for a place for the Law in the 'New Covenant.' But I am wanting to go in a new direction beginning early next month. This time I want to take an exegetical angle going through the first 5 books of the Bible, which are often referred to as The Pentateuch, or The Law, connecting them meaningfully to The New Testament. 

How will I do this? Well I'm not going to go through verse by verse like a commentary, but rather I will be basing my posts around what are known as 'Torah Portions.' According to tradition, after the exile Ezra divided the Law into 54 different segments that are to be read each week. The oldest tradition suggests this was a three year cycle, but now most follow a one year cycle that begins after the Feast of Tabernacles. The legitimacy of whether Ezra invented them is difficult to establish, but none the less, they make for a useful annual reading plan. So each week, I will be picking highlights from each portion and looking at what they have to say to us today.

I would love for you to be involved, and there are a number of ways you can do this:
  • Help me come up with a title. I was thinking of Niphlaot, which is the Hebrew behind "Open my eyes, that I may behold the wondrous things out of your Torah" (Ps 119:18), but I'm not 100% happy with it. So for those with a more creative mind than mind, I'd love to hear your ideas.
  • If you consider yourself a writer and have experience in exegetical preaching, and you would like to make a contribution, let me know and we can organise a passage for you to write on. You don't even have to write something I'd completely agree with. As long as you're using scripture honestly, I'd be happy to post it.  I think there is value in sharing different ideas as you may have insights I don't, thus creating a richer collection.
  • Subscribe, and follow along with the reading plan which is available online in many places. Even the busy Christian can fit 4-6 chapters in a week.
  • Engage with the posts by:
    • Sharing in the comments what part of the portion spoke to you, 
    • Read ahead and make suggestions
    • Ask questions that I can try and address in the Blog Page
I believe this is a project that can help us, including me, grow in our knowledge and understanding of God's Word. All Scripture is useful for the followers of Christ, which includes the Pentateuch, and by studying these books which lay the foundation for our knowledge of the person and work of Jesus our Messiah, we can grow in our wisdom and appreciation of our Creator.

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