Archive for March 6th, 2023

Post-Christendom Exile


Written by J. Andrew Dearman, a contemporary professor of Old Testament studies. This is an excerpt from his work “Exile and New Life.”

The topic of exile and new life intersect with several pertinent matters today. The Assyrian and Babylonian exiles (or as some historians now describe it, “forced migrations”) are the primary example of corporate failure in the Old Testament. These events, moreover, play a major role in the shaping of the Old Testament canon. One of our most influential biblical theologians, N.T. Wright, has proposed that a continuing sense of exile in the post-exilic period among Jews is the matrix in which Jesus announced the advent of the anticipated Kingdom of God… Some of our contemporaries have suggested that the Babylonian exile is particularly worthy of study as a way to think about the broader phenomenon of post-Christendom and minority status in western societies. One American Christian has said recently, “Let’s stop the pity party and instead say, ‘We’re in exile and this is not the first time God’s people have been in exile”… Speaking personally, I want to cling to the prophetic model, whereby a historic moment of failure ushers in dramatic new ways of presenting the divine-human relationship, ways that are surely congenial with the paradigm of cross and resurrection in the New Testament. Good Friday’s death leads through Saturday’s deathly exile to the resurrection of Easter morning. I can hold also to the Torah’s proclamation that when my tribe and I are in exile, God can perform a miracle on our collective heart. But there is something both foreboding and formative about looking systemic failure squarely in the eye and admitting that I am complicit and feel helpless. 


Written by Christopher McCluskey, a contemporary Christian coach and author.

Heavenly Father, we know we’re in a fallen world. We know that we’re to be cooperating with You and the ongoing redemption of this world until all things are made new. But Lord God, we find ourselves in a very unique and extremely painful and shameful state now, as we see ourselves sliding into a time of barbarism again, and anger and destruction on a scale that we’re not used to seeing present-day. Lord, we know that this grieves You even more than it grieves us, and we’re overwhelmed by it every day in the media. Heavenly Father, by your Holy Spirit, hear the prayers and petitions of your children. Heal our land. Heal our culture. Lead us into a greater capacity for listening in your Holy Spirit, by your Holy Spirit. Grant us the ears to hear as You hear and to hear what You’re wanting to say to us, and then and only then, use us as those mouthpieces, those vessels that You have in this broken world to bring healing. We pray in Christ’s name. Amen.

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