I’ve been thinking, always a scary thing. What should I do after Galatians? I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s time to walk through Hebrews. To me this is a big deal for a couple of reasons, first because Hebrews is a book that is often quoted, but these days it isn’t often taught. This is due to the fact that it doesn’t really flow with some of the popular theologies of our time. People who don’t want to deal with the issue of covenants avoid it because it really strikes at the differences between the Old and New Covenants, while also showing how they mesh together. This is difficult to handle from certain doctrinal viewpoints that tend to run counter to what is taught in Hebrews. Second, Hebrews is written to encourage Jewish Christians in Rome to persevere in their faith during the terrible time of Nero’s persecution of the church. Much of what is written in the letter is an encouragement to hold on to the faith, lest you lose what you have in Christ, and this is a difficult teaching from the point of view of much that is currently being taught. Finally, it also requires a little understanding of the Old Testament, and we are pretty weak on that subject these days.
Hebrews is one of those books of the Bible that I used to call a “big boy book.” If we approach it on the typical “Sunday School” level, we’ll never mine its riches. That is not to say that it is overly complicated, however. As is usually true with the Bible, when you come right down to cases, it is actually simple, it is simple enough to be sent in a letter, and it doesn’t require an advanced degree to understand, in fact an advanced degree will be more of an impediment to understanding it, because I’ve never seen an advanced degree in Bible or Theology that wasn’t attached to a lot of theological baggage that might actually make this book harder to get right. Oh, and by the way, it’s also my favorite New Testament book!
Well, I’m ready to start a new blogging adventure, so I hope you’ll drop by on Monday for our first trip into Hebrews!