Abraham – The Binding of Isaac, week 1

We had a good discussion last week about Sarah and Hagar. For the next two weeks, and in wrapping up our discussion of Abraham, we are going to study the story of the Binding (or Sacrifice) of Isaac found in Genesis 22. This coming week, we’ll look at this passage from a close reading of the passage and the moral perspective arising from the horrific demands made by God upon Abraham and Isaac. The following week (September 24), we’ll look at this passage from a purely Christian perspective, since it is this passage along with the story of the Exodus and the Suffering Servant Songs of Isaiah which speak most directly about the Passion of Christ.

In preparation for this week, please read Genesis 22:1-19. Read the passage once today and let it settle in your mind, and then read it slower and more carefully this weekend. Think through the implication of God demanding that Abraham have sufficient faith to slay his own son. Attached are some additional perspectives on some questions to help you with your readings along with some other perspectives on the reading that hopefully will allow you to delve deeper into its meaning. Neither the questions nor the additional readings are required.

Beginning October 1, we will begin G.K. Chesterton’s book, Orthodoxy. Chesterton is one of two men (George MacDonald being the other), whom C.S. Lewis credits with his conversion from atheism to Christianity. In the introduction, Chesterton states the purpose of the book is to “attempt an explanation, not of whether the Christian faith can be believed, but of how he has come to believe it”  – which was not through logical proofs or biblical studies but simply as the answer to natural human needs. To borrow one reviewer’s comment: Lewis speaks of joy, but Chesterton writes with it. Orthodoxy is a fun book to read and an even greater joy to discuss. Kindle versions are free. If you want us to order you a copy (shipping is free), please let me know.

Therefore, my dear friends,  . . . continue to work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for God is at work in you both to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.

Phil. 2:12-13

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