IVP - Online Pulpit - Luke: The Gospel of Amazement

December 8, 2011

Luke: The Gospel of Amazement

Thanks to Al Hsu for this contribution. Al is an editor at InterVarsity Press and has written multiple books, including The Suburban Christian and Grieving a Suicide.

Sometimes people “get it” when something just “clicks” and everything makes sense. More often, though, people may understand something in their head but it doesn’t stick with them. It doesn’t transfer into life change or true Christian discipleship. Why is that?

Well, it might be the same reason why you can’t remember what you had for dinner last Tuesday but you can remember all the lyrics from that song from your senior prom. When you hear the song on the radio, not only do the lyrics come to mind but the whole experience comes rushing back. You remember where you were, who you were with and how you felt, whether good or bad. Something happened that moved those song lyrics from your head into your heart.

Something similar needs to happen in our teaching and preaching of Scripture. Maybe that’s what it means to hide the Word of God in our heart and not just the mind. Singer/songwriter Michael Card says that the missing element connecting the two is the imagination: “We regard the imagination as a bridge between the heart and the mind.”

lukeOP.jpgMichael Card has been thinking imaginatively about Scripture ever since he studied under New Testament scholar William Lane in college. It’s the approach that has shaped his music career and his distinctive style of musical teaching. Now in Card’s new Biblical Imagination series, he looks at the Gospels with the head of biblical scholarship but also engages the imagination to envision what it might have been like to experience what the disciples experienced as they walked with Jesus. In the introduction to Luke: The Gospel of Amazement, Card writes:

“Some of us embrace the Bible with our hearts, which is right to do, and yet we do not bring disciplined minds into the process. Sometimes the reverse is true: we apply first-rate minds to the Bible and yet fail to be sensitive to what the Word is whispering to our hearts. In the end, it is not a heart problem, nor is it a head problem. It is an integration problem.” (p. 13)

So Card asks imaginative questions about what it would have been like to be Luke as he interviews eyewitnesses of Jesus. How did being a doctor help him notice certain details? Why is Luke attracted to particular stories and people? What would it have been like to stand in the crowd, to hear Jesus’ teaching, to feel his healing touch?

If you want a fresh engagement with the Gospel of Luke, check out Luke in the Biblical Imagination Series. You might, like Luke himself, find yourself amazed anew at Jesus.

Posted by Nate Baker-Lutz at December 8, 2011 12:03 PM Bookmark and Share

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