One Life


At the office recently I've been reading A Time to Keep by Ephraim Radner. Since Cabe and I saw him give the Palmer Lectures at Seattle Pacific University he's been a theologian I turn to often. The book is a proud meditation of the shape of human life, but one paragraph near the start of the book has hung with me. Radner says:

The Bible, however, does present a single picture, complex though it is, of at least one human life: the “image of God” that is granted in the creation of Adam and then presented as the created divine power itself, the Son of God, Jesus the Christ. There is, in other words, one life that the Bible presents as a whole. And the bits and pieces of biblical narrative, of law and praise, of prophecy and warning or encouragement, are all aspects of this one life, rather than atomized indicators of diverse and specific truths, whose job it is for readers to organize, order, categorize, and rationalize. The one life that is the Son of God’s is the context for understanding Scripture’s own discussion of human life.

This suggestion that all of scripture is really testifying about Jesus shouldn't have surprised me as much it did, but it has helped me think about my devotional life. What happens when I open up any part of the Bible is this disclosure about this one life has caused a shift in me. And this past Sunday as I read the Psalm at the start of our worship at Defiance Church I thought about how this Psalm shows the life of Jesus.

Radner makes this point in the context of how difficult it is to discern the current discussion around human sexuality, but of course it's relevant to so much. As V&B gets going, we hope it is our task to open up the scriptures for families, individuals, and congregations to see this one life, and what this one life can mean for us.

Matthew SheddenComment