Saturday, July 24, 2004

The Contemporary Pulpit: Midrash at its Best! 

Instead of all the commotion some are causing in reformed-evangelical circles about the use of Second Temple and Rabbinic Judaism sources and whether or not they are helpful to current Christian discussions, one might begin by thanking these Jewish exegetes and preachers for the helpful framework and tradjectories they provided us with.  Can anyone truly admit that contemporary Christian preaching is anything other than midrash?  Richard N. Longenecker says that midrash is

"...exegesis which, going more deeply than the more literal sense, attempts to penetrate into the spirit of the Scriptures, to examine the text from all sides, and thereby to derive interpretations which are not immediately obvious." 


"Midrashic interpretation, in effect, ostensibly takes its point of departure from the biblical text itself (though psychologically it may be motivated by other factors) and seeks to explicate the hidden meanings contained by means of agreed on hermeneutical rules in order to contemporize the revelation of God for the people of God."  

Sound familiar?  We are post-modern midrashic preachers of Chirst!