The book of Hosea begins with Hosea marrying a prostitute.
Hebrews chapter 11 has been a particularly compelling passage throughout my life. In college, my sophomore essay on faith investigated it in-depth, and I’ve read and re-read it countless times both before and after I wrote that essay. It’s encouraged me to investigate what merits my trust and to place my trust in the sources that merit it without hesitation. In the twelfth chapter, there are a few verses that have similarly stuck with me in life–which should come as no surprise to you, considering that the author’s primary topic here is my favorite food, discipline.
I recently dreamed that my brother, two friends, and I were talking in my dorm room at college, except that it was a dorm room I’d never actually lived in, made up for the dream. “So I read your latest Chocolate Book post,” my brother told me. “And…are you still a Christian?” One of my friends came to my defense with a few words about faith which, while intended to put my questioning in a positive light, didn’t really have a whole lot to do with what I’d actually said. So I sat down on the side of my bed. “I think faith is–” I started to tell my brother, but I got choked up and had to give the definition through tears. “I think faith is admitting that you don’t know what you need to know, and you don’t know how to find out.”
Remember Hebrews 4 from our Sabbath study? We looked at Heaven as the supreme Sabbath, or to put it in the author of Hebrews’ terms, God’s goal of rest for his people. I suggested that the rest that the author discusses has not fully arrived, but as I read the passage today, I’m prepared to reverse that conclusion, or at least to amend it: there’s a sense in which we can, and should, enter God’s Sabbath rest for all creation right here and now. See, there is more to this passage than we originally surmised. On Chocolate Book, we are not content to remain in our former ignorance; we learn as we go.
In the past two chapters, the author of Hebrews has been making the point that Jesus is better than angels. In this chapter, he makes the point that Jesus is better than Moses.
Angels. What are they? Where do they come from? What’s their deal? Today we are going to answer none of these questions, because the first two chapters of Hebrews don’t answer them either, except as they relate to humanity and Jesus Christ. Angels, for the author of Hebrews, are not that important in themselves. But understanding angels can shed some light on other important topics, so we and the author of Hebrews alike shall concern ourselves with them.
Are we finished with All the Paul? To be perfectly honest, I’m not sure, and that’s because of the letter to the Hebrews. The author doesn’t identify himself, and while some scholars think Paul wrote it, others think he didn’t, and still others, even after all their studies, maintain there isn’t enough evidence to reach a conclusion either way. Personally, I’m disinclined to think that Paul wrote it, based on style, tone, the way the author uses Old Testament quotations, and what I would consider a less Greek-influenced theology. But just in case, we’re going to include it in our All the Paul study–or, more accurately, we’re going to start a new study titled “Possibly More of the Paul.”