During the month of August (with the exception of Aug 9), I will be presenting a sermon series called “Cringe-Worthy Texts.” There is a group of us who graduated from Phillips Seminary together, and we have been planning this series for a couple of months.
Let’s face it, there are things in the Bible that make us cringe. If you have not cringed a little when reading the scriptures, then you must have not strayed into the uncomfortable parts. And let me tell you…there are many uncomfortable parts. What do we do with these texts? How can we reconcile the awfulness of some scriptures with the love contained in other scriptures? If we are to take the Bible seriously, then how do we handle texts that make us want to run away screaming?
We all would feel much better if the Bible was one nice, neat, easy-to-read, continuous story with a couple of lessons and a happily-ever-after ending. I wouldn’t place the Bible in any of those simple categories. To take the Bible seriously means that we have to deal with the messiness, the discomfort, and the discontinuity of the collections of stories, letters, laws, and poetry that make up our sacred writings.
Therefore, the sermons this month will be a little different than we are used to. I will be attempting to unpack certain ideas and preconceived notions by contextualizing scripture and highlighting different interpretations of the text. It is my hope that this month will be thought-provoking and spiritually engaging. If we do this right, it will lead to more questions than answers…I can hardly wait!!