Tuesday, August 29, 2006

the disciplines of Biblical texting

Are some Biblical texts more equal than others? I have been preaching through the Sermon on the Mount the last 3 weeks. It’s been hard. To preach the Sermon on the Mount has asked me to think deeply about big issues – both textual (relationship of Law to grace, interpretive approaches) and contemporary (restorative justice, peacemaking, economics, gender relationships). I have been tempted to move onto easier Bible texts. And I am stuffed; mentally and spiritually drained.

It has left me wondering if some Bible texts demand more from the preacher and more from the community. And if so, are we willing to embrace the disciplines of dwelling with the hard texts?

Earlier this year I had a bit of health scare. As a result, I took up jogging, hoping to improve my general fitness.

Jogging has had an unexpected byproduct. Here in New Zealand, we have been moving into spring. Warmer weather means lighter clothing. To my surprise, my last summers’ wardrobe is hanging a bit round my wasteline. I’ve lost weight (not that there is much to lose)! So there has been something about the discipline of running that has produced both a fitter, and leaner Steve!

I was jogging this morning, wondering if there is some link between Biblical texts and discipline. Could the discipline of staying with some harder texts produce a leaner, fitter pastor and a leaner, fitter church? Are we willing to pay that price?

Posted by steve at 04:59 PM


  1. Have learnt so much that is new from your preaching on the text of the Sermon on the Mount – be assured your efforts are appreciated.

    Comment by Janette — August 30, 2006 @ 10:14 am

  2. I reckon so – I’ve always taken heart from the verse “I beat my body and make it my slave…”

    Strong words but sometimes I just don’t want to hear what’s good for me – and even if I hear it (textually) then the resultant action(contemporary) isn’t always all that forthcoming…

    Everytime tho, no matter how reluctant I am, I find God to be generous and pleased to have me join in…

    “persistance gives rise to character” ‘n all that…

    Comment by Randall — August 30, 2006 @ 10:28 am

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