Wednesday, 1 August 2007

birthday anniversary

1st august marks the anniversary ay of one of the old testament greats, walter eichrodt. he is best remembered for his majesterial 2 volumes old testament theology (3 volumes in the german original) centering on the theme of covenant. he is also remembered for his commentary on ezekiel.

go to for a list of photos of some of the old testament greats in the past and present century.

Monday, 30 July 2007

Song of Songs

just finished my fourth and last session on the Song of Songs in KL Wesley Methodist Church evening services. Shared on the last 2 chapters, chapters 7 and 8. It was an interesting and enriching experience because to share the whole book means i have to first work through the book myself. this forces one to go through every verse as well as to clear some assumptions about the book. it means i have to work out first for myself what is my own position about the book e.g. authorship, dating, structure, themes etc.

the congregation totalled around 120 people yesterday and were appreciative of the effort to go through systematically a book which can be enigmatic for many people. many confessed that they did not really understand beforehand what they were reading especially as it is sometimes hard to decipher who is speaking in the different poems of the book.

i ended with picking up some key themes on love, marriage, the need to keep alive romance and passion in marriage and drawing parallels with our own relationship with God the Beloved. as an appropriate way to end the series, we sang the chours 'i keep falling in love with him'. the song appropriately summarizes our need not to lose our first love with God.

what's next? maybe i can get down to putting all my notes collected through the 4 weeks and edit them to make my next book entitled 'song of songs made simple' in my 'old testament made simple series'. but time is short and i got to work on my thesis next month with the hope of finishing everything by the end of the year. maybe, the book can wait a little more.

Sunday, 29 July 2007

just returned from kl wesley where i preached the final section on the Song of Songs on chapters 7 and 8. it had been an enriching 4 weeks as preaching through a series has its advantages for both preacher and the audience. for me, it forces me to work through the whole book unlike usual sermons where we focus on just a few verses. not only do i have to work through some basic assumptions e.g. authorship, dating, structure etc, i have to make sure i am consistent each week as i cover the 2 chapters. i cannot be found contradicting myself if i preached one week that i believe the book is about solomon and the next week where i think otherwise.

for the audience, it helps them to go through a biblical book. most sermons today in churches either follow the lectionary readings. while this practice is good, most preachers tend to use only the gospel readinsg to preach. so the churches get to hear only the gospel message year in and year out. some pastors work through a biblical book but it is hard work. churches will be blessed in many ways as they will get to see the wider perspective as well as the importance of reading and systematiclly working and wrestling through the whole book. if they are fed on piecemeal each sunday, their knowledge of the Word would also be piecemeal.

well, what's next after the series? hopefully, if i can find time, i will put together what i have worked through these 4 weeks and add some more stuff and maybe a book in the old testament made simple series may come out.