Today my cohort has started a course with Daniel Block called “Spiritual Leadership in the Old Testament”. As I type we are discussing how Christians in North America (which includes me!) tends to ignore 75% of the Bible. Much of the N. American church focuses its attention on the New Testament books written by Paul, without embracing the very foundational texts Paul was absorbed in. We neglect to learn the Old Testament the way that Paul did… and so we neglect to fully understand Paul. Block says that we read the Old Testament through the New Testament rather than letting the Old Testament be read for itself. As a result, many churches struggle to comprehend the Jewish and Old Testament perspective of the Gospels… and especially wrestle with the Hebraic bent of James and Peter. We don’t even realize how much of Paul’s perspectives we fail to see because we have such a poor grasp of what the Old Testament is about. We have created a divorce between the Old and New, when they were actually wedded together from before the beginning of time.
More than a collection of Jewish stories and strange laws and awkward prophecies and harsh disciplines, the Old Testament is the Word of God revealing God’s Gospel. It was the Bible of Jesus! It was the Bible of Paul. It was the Bible of the early church even as the New Testament was being written. We just don’t comprehend very well how Mosaic Paul’s writing is… and how Pauline Moses’ writing is. The Old and New Testament is the same revelation… together the Word of God, one not being the fixer of the other. And it is through this focus that we’ll derive some new perspectives about leadership and spirituality and implications for the Church. As you can see, then, I’m looking forward to the freshness this course will bring me.