Daily Dose, Aug. 2

    The Lord had said to Abram, “Leave your native country, your relatives, and your father’s family, and go to the land that I will show you. I will make you into a great nation. I will bless you and make you famous, and you will be a blessing to others. I will bless those who bless you and curse those who treat you with contempt. All the families on earth will be blessed through you.” (Genesis 12: 1-3) There’s a view of the Bible that has been around for a very long time, which, if I had my druthers would be put to rest today. It’s the view that insinuates that the Old and New Testaments are really two quite distinct “books.” This view is commonly expressed when someone begins a sentence with, “The God of the Old Testament…” and contrasts that statement with a statement about the “God of the New Testament.” Here’s the version I heard in a recent sermon (don’t worry, it wasn’t from our clergy!): The God of the Old Testament loves Israel, but the God of the New Testament loves the world. It is exactly this notion -- of a two-book Bible and a two-faced God -- that Abram’s call narrative resists. We discover from these few verses that what holds the Old and New Testaments together is the one story of the one God who chose one person to give rise to one nation from which would come One Savior, whose one desire it is to reconcile everyone to himself. That is what it means when God says “that all the families of the earth will be blessed” through Abram. The “God of the Old Testament” is none other than the “God of the New Testament” -- same heart, same mind, same mission. One story. -- Wes Maston, Director of Discipleship