The Chair and the Desk, 9/16/15

The chair:

24 Now Thomas, one of the Twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.” 

26 Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.” 28 Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” 29 Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

-Luke 10:24-29

Anyone reading (or writing) this today has not seen Jesus, at least not how we see the other people walking past us each day. Therefore, we are each left with the single, timeless, decisive question: Do I believe that Jesus was raised from the dead? Seminary student, custodian, politician, or general manager, we are each faced with the irreducible question of faith.

The desk:

“…why must we accept all or nothing? It uses the notions of language event, ‘world,’ and ‘common understanding’ creatively. Yet Fuchs insists that the resurrection of Jesus Christ is a ‘linguistic event’ rather than one of ‘objective’ history. May it not be both self-involving and ‘factual’?”

-Anthony Thiselton, Hermeneutics: An Introduction, 2009 ed., p.193.

I know this quote seems like a string of random characters to most non-nerds, but it represents why I want to both preach and teach, why I describe myself as both evangelical and critical, why I will stay connected to Gordon-Conwell and currently attend Princeton. He’s talking about a school of thought called “The New Hermeneutic,” which many evangelicals bristle at and many mainliners frame over the mantle, but asking, “Why must we accept all or nothing?” I still haven’t heard an answer to that question, which is why I believe preachers must aim to both say what the text says and do what the text does.

“The chair” is the one Annie aptly chose for the corner of our living room, and it’s where I am committed to daily hearing from God’s Word–the Word I above all else hope to speak to others. “The desk” is the one by my coffee grounds and spare charger (if I get to the library early enough); it’s where I have the privilege of reading and thinking all day, where I intend to learn for others’ sake.

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