How shall one preach given the lateness of the hour? This question forms a haunting refrain in Richard Lischer’s book, which is based on his Lyman Beecher Lectures at Yale Divinity School. Like the title of the book, the question has more than one meaning.
In the spring of 2003, Washington Post reporter Anthony Shadid noted that, for Iraqis, the Arabic word for occupation is ihtilal. The word is "shadowed by humiliation, notions of resistance, and still resonant memories of the occupation by the British 85 years before.” Yet that same year the U.S. secured sweeping formal authority from the UN Security Council to serve as the principal “occupying” power in Iraq. John Negroponte, U.S. ambassador to the UN, declared that “the council has taken decisive action to help the Iraqi people.” This was not the way many Iraqis greeted the news.
Davis addresses “the gravest scandal” in the church—“the shallow reading of scripture.” Conservatives and liberals alike fail to be genuinely curious about scripture, to peer into its depths for surprising beauty and unexpected meaning, and instead use it to illustrate what they already think.