We already have witnessed the significance of Ruth being a Moabite who expresses allegiance to the God of Israel, an adoption of God’s people, and a love for her mother-in-law, Naomi. But there is much more to notice.
Moab is mentioned in six verses of the book of Ruth (Ruth 1:1, 2, 6, 22; 2:6; 4:3), Naomi’s sons are said to have married “Moabite women,” and Ruth is called “Ruth the Moabite” four times (Ruth 2:2, 21; 4:5, 10). That Ruth is so identified is no minor matter. There is a long history of conflict between Moab and Israel. Moab has a terrible reputation in the Bible.
In his Handbook on the Historical Books, Victor Hamilton notes that Ruth 4:15 presents “the only instance in the Old Testament where one woman is said to love another woman” (192): “for your daughter-in-law [Ruth], who loves you [Naomi].”
We recently worked through the book of Ruth at church and also in our weekly home group Bible study. I preached on the fourth chapter (to be posted soon). I’d like to offer a series of reflections on our studies.
Ruth: Of Jews and Gentiles – Part 1 In the Time of the JudgesRuth is set in the time of the judges (see the book of Judges 1:1-21:25, the sixth book in the Old Testament). This was a horrible time in Israel’s history, one characterized by widespread apostasy, a sort of rhythmic rebellion against God. And it was a time where rebellion was answered with God’s wrath, this leading to periodic repentance, then to a temporary time of peace. And then rebellion again.
In Judges there is no permanence, no stable justice or peace or righteousness. There are reasons for this.
Really? That is quite a headline. Has the LDS Church changed its doctrine? As we shall see, not at all.
Apparently this article attempts to mute official elements of Mormonism that are more easily objectionable or capable of caricature. In other words, it is a lesson in obfuscation. Please read the article first and then consider the analysis below.
Summit Oxford is a study abroad program offering summer, autumn, and spring terms. The program combines an advanced worldview course with tutorials with Oxford scholars. The purpose is to cultivate scholarly skills and virtues for the good of the church and the advantage of our culture.
For those familiar with Summit Ministries‘ summer seminars, imagine combining the content of the classroom lectures, the discussions of the open forum sessions, and the intimacy and solidarity of the small groups. Then imagine ramping it all up a few notches. That is Summit Oxford.
In addition to significant readings (see examples here), our sessions are highly conversational. It is not uncommon for discussions focused on specific and pressing issues to last two or three hours without a break. The momentum enjoyed in such conversations enables us to excavate the foundations of our convictions, to explore the substructures of various perspective, and then to seek to clarify our own approaches and views and intentions.
So, last night, while I was not sleeping very well (blasted cold and all), I decided to increase my discomfort and watch the Bill Nye vs. Ken Ham debate. The debate was to regard this question: Is creation a viable model of origins in today’s modern, scientific era? In reality, it was a debate about Ken Ham’s understanding of creation and his reading of Genesis 1-3. One only wonders whether viewers will be willing and able to keep in mind that this was the limited scope of the debate. In other words, it did not regard any other theistic view of creation or the existence of the Creator. And while Nye is an atheist/agnostic, he politely kept referring to Ham’s view.
Here is a link to the video, if you care to watch. I’m not really recommending it, mind you. It is long and you’ll never get that time back (at least not in this life, I assume).
As with so many critiques of “the market,” one must never turn a blind eye to corruption and cronyism. And if you don’t know what crony capitalism is, then you should look it up. Trust me, it isn’t the free market.
I’m currently preparing a sermon on the fourth chapter of the book of Ruth for our church, St. Leonard’s Church, in Eynsham. We’re also studying the book of Ruth in our weekly home group Bible study.
There are a variety of resources that I have accessed. The one below has proved to be strikingly helpful. I’ve not read the entire book, mind you, but I’ve spot read it and have appreciated all that I’ve read thus far.
I did notice that some longer books (e.g., Leviticus, which is 27 chapters; 7 pages) get relatively short treatment when compared to some shorter books (e.g., Ruth; 4 chapters; 9 pages). Of course, such an observation may have no correlation to the quality of content, though it makes me suspicious.
What I can say is that the content regarding the book of Ruth, while relatively brief when compared to a commentary (see the 150 pages in Daniel I. Block’s excellent commentary, Judges, Ruth, or the 100 pages in Leon Morris’s commentary on Ruth, inJudges & Ruth), is both notably concise and very helpful.