Category Archive: Bible – OT – Leviticus
If you’ve ever tried to read through the Bible in a year, chances are you bogged down, if not in the tabernacle instructions at the end of Exodus then almost certainly in Leviticus. You’re not alone. But Leviticus is essential reading nevertheless. In this article, on the Theopolis Institute’s blog, I talk about the benefit of studying Leviticus.
A thesis for discussion: The modern exegete’s reluctance to deal with symbolism and typology and his quest for quasi-scientific certainty in exegesis (i.e., a strict grammatical-historical approach) has produced few, if any, helpful, Christ-centred commentaries on Leviticus.
This evening, I attended a lecture at the Canadian Reformed Church in Coaldale. The lecturer was Cornelis Van Dam and the topic was “The Year of Jubilee.” Dr. Van Dam gave a fairly good explanation of Leviticus 25 before moving on to show how Christ fulfilled the Year of Jubilee and how the Jubilee applies to us in Christ.
He emphasized that because of Christ’s coming we are living permanantly in a Jubilee situation and must then live lives characterized by mercy toward others. We have been redeemed, liberated from burdens and bondage, and our lives ought to reflect that freedom. Part of living in liberation includes our attitude toward our work. Work is not to be our master. We ought to take time off, to make time for enjoyment, and to spend time with our families. I was interested to discover, during the question and answer period afterwards, that Dr. Van Dam thought the Jubilee Project, involving the forgiveness of third world debt, was a good idea, grounded on some principles of the Year of Jubilee, though not a direct application of the Jubilee law.
Afterwards, I joined Dr. Van Dam and John van Popta, the pastor of the Canadian Reformed Church in Coaldale, for a glass of sherry at Rev. Van Popta’s place. Dr. Van Dam is the chairman of the Theological Education Committee of the Canadian Reformed Churches, and I’m the chairman of the corresponding committee in the United Reformed Churches, so it was nice to be able to meet, especially since the goal of our committees is to work out an agreement about theological education between our federations as we move toward unity. Not that we talked much about our committees this evening. For that matter, I haven’t even called the first meeting of my committee. Guess I should get started on that soon!
And now I’m back home, typing this up before sitting down to finish Colin Dexter’s The Jewel That Was Ours. I’m a sucker for an Inspector Morse mystery! In other news, the wind is blowing, the temperature is dropping, my power is flickering a bit, and it looks as if we might be in for some snow.