Thursday, March 1, 2007

Reflections & New Reading List

I was once again able to stick to my reading plan for the month of February, although I found myself skipping many days and then reading big chunks of the text to catch up. I am not sure if this was helpful or not. I definitely felt out of rhythm with my reading, but it is also good to read the Scripture as a whole and not individual bits.

In reading the first 3 books of the Torah, I found myself wrestling with the same sort of issues that I had with the Gospels. It was a major struggle for me to reconcile the image of God that I had in my mind and the character of God as presented in the text. Since I finished Leviticus last night it is still fresh on my mind. Major chunks of Leviticus are basically God telling Moses that, "If a person does this particular detestable act, then he or she must be put to death." I found myself struggling to reconcile words such as these with the loving God who is full of grace and wants to give you another chance.

Perhaps I am becoming focused on the wrong things. Maybe instead of focusing on killing someone for doing something wrong, maybe the focus should be on the ways that God wants us to live. Since God is the true and only source of life, then living apart from God is death, right? However, once you get to this point, you still need to discern which commands are cultural, which are no longer needed under the New Covenant, and which are still applicable. I found that the text was humbling me and stripping away any authority I assumed I had in reading the Scripture.

For the month of March, I will be finishing the Torah, and then jumping over to the New Testament for Acts and Romans.

March 1: Numbers 1-4
March 2: Numbers 5-8
March 3: Numbers 9-12
March 4: Numbers 13-16
March 5: Numbers 17-20
March 6: Numbers 21-24
March 7: Numbers 25-28
March 8: Numbers 29-32
March 9: Numbers 33-36
March 10: Deuteronomy 1-4
March 11: Deuteronomy 5-8
March 12: Deuteronomy 9-12
March 13: Deuteronomy 13-16
March 14: Deuteronomy 17-20
March 15: Deuteronomy 21-24
March 16: Deuteronomy 25-28
March 17: Deuteronomy 29-34
March 18: Acts 1-4
March 19: Acts 5-8
March 20: Acts 9-12
March 21: Acts 13-16
March 22: Acts 17-20
March 23: Acts 21-24
March 24: Acts 25-28
March 25: Romans 1-4
March 26: Romans 5-8
March 27: Romans 9-12
March 28: Romans 13-16

2 comments:

Erik said...

Todd,

Hey dude, i finally just finished Leviticus as well, still thinking on it.

The first half was the driest bit of scripture I have ever read. There has to be some goodness to it but I couldn’t find it in all the instructions. Finally when it started getting into the day of atonement, the festivals, and the holiness stuff there were definitely some good nuggets there. But your right on (at least with me)… what do you do with a God who so matter-of-factly kills disobedient people. That was really hard for me to reconcile at places as well. And you can make the OT / NT argument but then you still have to deal with the NT stories where the same kinda thing happens, (Act 5 comes to mind). Hard to deal with for sure!
And then you have the laws against homosexuality, I want to say “see there it is” but it’s preceded by the law that says you shouldn’t wear clothes of different threads or something random like that. I don’t feel smart enough to put all that together, to reconcile it through the lens of Jesus in our current context. I feel like I need to do some hard work / study and really get my mind around that.

Anyway, I hear your struggles and I am with you!


Be peace
~~Erik

Erik said...

Todd,

YO! I am reading Numbers, i would be interested to hear some of the insight you pulled from your reading. Some of this OT stuff seems hard to grab significance from. Like big chunks of Leviticus and now chunks of Numbers, what do we get from this stuff??? If that’s even a good question to ask (it's probably not, hmmm...) OR what do we do with it? How is it useful for the people of God now? I guess is the big question I am asking.

I am going next Wednesday to hear a messianic Jew talk about the usefulness of the Old Testament for Jesus followers, pretty stoked about that!

Anyway,

Shalom
~~Erik