on 31 December 2009
How do you see the God of the Old Testament? Fierce judge, capricious tyrant, jealous tribal head? Bob Ekblad will help you to see a truer picture of the God of Grace.
What was God's first command? `Don't eat from that tree?' Until I read Reading the Bible with the Damned that would probably have been my answer. Bob points out that there is a prior command: `Eat, eat, of all the trees in the garden.' So reads the Hebrew, often translated as `You may freely eat...' Somehow the traditional translation relegates this first command of all, to a permission, a suggestion. The focus is on the second, negative command. `Whatever you do, don't eat that tree, but, if you really want to, you can eat from the rest.' The image of God is mean, restricting. Read it again. `Eat, eat of every tree in the garden. I want you to eat freely, all over the garden. Don't just stay in the banana grove because you like bananas. Wander, travel, keep trying new foods. Enjoy all the foods I give you. And don't eat the fruit of that one tree. It's deadly poisonous.' What image of God comes to mind? A Jewish mother pressing her children and guests to eat more.
Bob Ekblad points this wonderful truth out gently to groups of in-mates at Skagit County Jail, Washington State, where he is Chaplain. He keeps pointing them to the text, asking relevant questions. `Was that really God's first command?' `Why would God want people to eat from every tree? How does God seem to you now?' Sometimes Bob leads up to the Bible Study with genuinely interested questions about their own lives. Through Reading the Bible with the Damned new discoveries are made about the Grace of the God of the Old Testament, and the New Testament. Bob charts his Bible Studies of the whole of Genesis, Exodus, Isaiah, Psalms, the Gospels and Paul's letters.
Bob's first chapter outlines in some detail his Bible Study process and its rationale. This chapter is hard going and only comes alive when he gives examples. Keep reading, take time to mull over the Bible passages, enjoy the heart-warming stories, and allow your preconceptions to be challenged and changed.
on 19 July 2013
I bought this book feeling really excited and hopeful as to what Bob had to say but was
left feeling disappointed and let down because I know that God is able to do
immeasurably more than what Bob gives testimony to !!!!
It is absolutely wonderful that Bob spent and spends time with those who most people would
want to avoid !!!!!!!!!!!!
The same people who Jesus didn't avoid and wouldn't have avoided !!!!!!!!
But having read books by Jackie Pullinger and others in relation to their work with drug addicts
and others, and how they testify to real change in people's lives and even when they slip at times
it only made them persevere all the more, I found in reading Bob's book that there was no
hope for change in the people he ministered to as he told of whole families who went
in and out of prison on a continual basis.........
If you want Encouraged, don't read this book !!!
If you want patted on the head and someone going oh there, there, yet not giving them a hand up, then do.........