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The Scriptures are an essential aspect of the Christian faith. But we have often equated them with the living Word Himself, even elevating them above the One to whom they point. In doing so, we have distorted their central message—and our view of God. Tragically, this has caused multitudes of people unnecessary doubt, confusion, and pain in their encounters with the Scriptures.
Many people understand God as being truly loving and good. Yet, they struggle with depictions of God in Scripture as wrathful, violent, and genocidal. These “toxic texts” have caused some to set aside their Bibles as R-rated and unreliable. They have led others to completely reject their faith.
Author and theologian Bradley Jersak has wrestled deeply with such passages over many years. He has experienced the same questions, doubt, and pain. In A More Christlike Word, he offers a clarifying and freeing path forward. Whether readers consider themselves believers, doubters, or skeptics, all are invited to a more beautiful and ancient way of reading the Scriptures. Bradley calls this path the “Emmaus Way” because it demonstrates how Jesus regarded all Scripture as fulfilled in himself, the final Word of God who reveals the true nature of the Father.
After deconstructing the modern biblicist/literalist approaches to Scripture interpretation that have failed us, Brad turns to the early church for a hermeneutic of prefigurement, treating the Bible as the grand narrative of redemption, told through a polyphony of voices and worldviews, culminating in the arrival of Christ as the eternal Word of God—what God has to say about himself.
The interpretive system of the church fathers and mothers who gathered the New Testament and preached the gospel from the Old Testament has largely been ignored or dismissed by both evangelical and liberal movements, the twin children of modernity. The patristics explain and model the apostles’ Christ-centered interpretation of the Scriptures. Brad applies their approach to “unwrath” sample passages from each genre of the Bible, showing how even the cringe-worthy texts have an important place in the Christotelic saga of divine love.
Your journey on the Emmaus Way will open up to you the fullness of the Scriptures, and, most important, lead you to the God who deeply loves and welcomes you.
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