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Toe Praise

In the early years of the twentieth century, missionaries from the British “Brethren,” came into central and southern Africa.  Here, the Good News of Christ evoked celebration and responses largely unknown to the stalwart and strict English evangelicals.  One of the missionaries, Dan Crawford, (in his book, Thinking Back ) recounted watching an African woman break into exuberant dancing during the church service:  

“The amazing, maddening mix-up of the prayer in the heart, and the prance in the feet! Asked her what it meant at all at all, and she quaintly replied, ‘Oh! it is only the praise getting out at the toes.”

Sometimes you just gotta let it flow.

The Downside of Exegesis

This is definitely not how early 
Christians experienced the Word 
It is no surprise that the cultures that were basking in the glow of the Enlightenment and the emerging
disciplines of scientific research would be at the forefront of modern approaches to the process of exegesis.  While much of this was framed in a broadly anti-supernatural and naturalistic set of presuppositions (emerging in what might be broadly called theological liberalism or modernism), conservatives flocked as eagerly to the seductive appeal of immersing their approach to scripture is quasi-scientific methodology as their modernistic antagonists.

The Gospel?

Do we even know what the New Testament means by "the gospel?"  I'm not so sure.

Do we even know what the New Testament means by "the gospel?"  I'm not so sure.

Ask most evangelicals to define the "Good News" (or "Gospel") and you will likely get a quick and confident answer.  But, however much the common-sense everybody-knows-that definitions pour out of our mouths, it would do well to hold them up against the actual biblical material.

Demythologizing Esther

Esther is a great story of redemption - one that comes about in a great crisis forced upon Esther. But, we often re-tell it as a Christian fairy-tale - one that equates her beauty with goodness (just like all fairy-tales seem to do).

Of the course, the storyline framework of "pretty girl" equals the "good girl" and star of the story has all kinds of problems, especially if you think about the consequences on young girls. The truth is that Esther enters (some may read it as she is coerced into entering) a contest that is not about simply being the prettiest or with the best homemaking skills. The contest centers on a series of comparative sexual performances for the Persian monarch.