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The Shadow Stories of Abraham

October 26, 2009

abraham2I’ve been re-reading the story of Abraham in recent days and been struck by the amount of the story that is untold, or at least unpreached.

I’ve been wondering why that is so? Why, though his life is the frequent subject of sermon series, do we manage to avoid so much of it? I think it may be because we have fallen into a trap of seeing his story solely in the light of good example. He is our great example of faith and we should therefore avoid the dark corners of his life, for fear that we might adopt a bad role model.

But is that really the way it is? Must we airbrush his life, making extensive use of our theological photoshop to make it as attractive as possible? And what does all of this say about how we read the bible?

I want to re-read the story, traversing some strange, unmarked territory, but also looking again at some of the familiar stuff all in an effort to find some humanity in the guy. Assuming it’s there.

From → Genesis, Theology

  1. Kierkegaard is a person who did this very thing in his work, studied abraham, and uncovered many of the riches in the stories, while not negating the positive influence abraham has had.

    I think that Abraham is at once a spiritual giant, and a human being we can relate to, as are many of the biblical characters of Jewish lore. They do not present themselves as ideal persons, but are made ideal through the character that emerges from them in time. We often forget the process of development that took Abraham from doubt to faith. that took Moses from muderer to deliverer.

    I’m glad you’ll be working on this project, and i hope it goes well.

  2. asharedadventure permalink

    Looking forward to reading about what you find:-)

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