News by Jake Lefave
On June 7th we’re hosting Dr. Carmen Imes as she walks us through two of her recent books, “Bearing God’s Name: Why Sinai Still Matters” and “Being God’s Image: Why Creation Still Matters”. Register here if you haven’t already.
While I’ve yet to read “Being God’s Image” (it comes out June 6th), I thoroughly enjoyed “Bearing God’s Name” as a super accessible introduction to the relevance of the Old Testament today. Below I’ve listed three things I really appreciated from Dr. Imes’ book.
- This book tears down any thought of the law being opposed to grace.
Early in the book Dr. Imes references an infamous event involving pastor Andy Stanley, where he urged his congregation to “un-hitch” themselves from the Old Testament and the, apparent, lack of grace that exists there (p.2-3). Dr. Imes, however, is persistent throughout the book that the law comes to Israel full of grace and that, “Whatever Sinai represents, it cannot be a prerequisite for salvation” (p.12). What’s more, through showing us how other groups around the times of Israel’s departure from Egypt would relate to the gods (Imes quotes a particularly desperate Akkadian, “Prayer to Any God” on p.34), I increasingly came to realize that God’s self-revelation to sinful humanity shouldn’t be assumed. God is under no obligation to reveal himself to us, let alone what he requires of us. And yet, in His grace, He does.
- This book helpfully shows us our responsibility today to bear Jesus’ name.
Towards the end of the book, Dr. Imes shows us that the way we faithfully bear (see: represent) Yahweh’s name today, is through faithfully representing the name of Jesus. We, you and me (the church), are responsible for the ongoing ministry of Jesus. As Dr. Imes writes:
Jesus finished all the work God gave him to do, but he did not finish all the work. He sent his disciples to do it, and he never promised it would be easy (p.157)
By drawing this thread, from bearing Yahweh’s name to bearing Jesus’ name, throughout the Bible, I see more clearly now my role as an ongoing ambassador of the Kingdom of God. This helps jolt me out of my lazy stupor when I’m tempted to remember only what God has saved me from, and forgot what God has saved me for.
- This book is written for everybody.
Dr. Imes has the rare ability to write about extremely complex and scholarly things in a way that will be accessible to most (if not all). Where else can you find, in an Old Testament primer, references to Darkwing Duck (p.151)? Or encounter so many personal and relatable illustrations to help make a point clear?
It’s for this reason I’m so excited about Dr. Imes coming on June 7th. It doesn’t matter if you’ve read the Bible a hundred times or once, Dr. Imes commitment to accessibly communicating the glories of God’s Word will ensure that, no matter how you come, you’ll be greatly encouraged and strengthened as you seek to faithfully bear Jesus’ name in our world today.
If you haven’t yet registered for the evening, you can do so here. The event will be hosted at Christ City South Vancouver (5887 Prince Ed.) and will be from 6:30-8:30 P.M.