- I enjoyed the work of commentators who could give me accessible historical, cultural or linguistic background. Key word here: accessible.
- I valued the authors who tried to let the text speak for itself, instead of insisting it serve their own theological or political agenda.
- I was challenged by the work of commentators who wrote with a pastor’s heart – those willing to apply the text to their own lives as well as the lives of their readers.
- I appreciated the writing of commentators who could contextualize their words for their particular culture and time while simultaneously affirming the timelessness of God’s story.
- I gave bonus points to commentators who could actually write, versus spewing breadcrumb-dry academic-speak.
Our aim with this distinctive new genre or approach is to have one finger in the ancient Scriptures, another in the daily newspaper, and another finger touching the heart, all while pointing to Jesus Christ…Each contributor to Resonate seeks to bear witness to Jesus Christ, the living Word of God, through the written Word in and through their own life story and the broader cultural context. So often we go around Scripture to Jesus or stop short at Scripture, not penetrating it to get to Jesus’ heart – which is the Father’s heart too.
…the very means Jesus uses to heal the man of his blindness should tell you that his life is about to get messier…Jesus spits on the ground to make mud, places the mud on the blind man’s eyes and has his go to a pool to wash (John 9:6-7). Couldn’t Jesus have chosen some other means? Knowing Jesus, however, he wouldn’t chose some other means. Why would he, given how he and his Father tend to operate? Just think for a minute. Jesus’ whole life is a bit messy, from beginning to end – from being a baby thought by many to be born out of wedlock on a not-so-silent night, to being a supposed messianic pretender dying a criminal’s death on an old rugged cross.
Life was so much easier for the man born blind before meeting Jesus. He depended on his parents from birth, and on the Jewish welfare system too. He didn’t have to do much, just as he didn’t have much to do. But now his life changes drastically, suddenly. It gets messy.
* I received a comp copy of this volume from the publisher.