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We Still Need Sinai: An interview with Carmen Joy Imes

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Carmen Joy Imes (PhD, Wheaton) is associate professor of Old Testament and program coordinator for Bible and Theology at Prairie College in Alberta, Canada. Today her book Bearing God’s Name: Why Sinai Still Matters releases from IVP. Here we talk about her work.

Welcome! So let’s dive right in. Why did you write this book?

The church today desperately needs to understand what to do with the Old Testament (OT). We vacillate between two extremes—either neglecting the OT entirely or fixating on it in unhelpful ways. With my book I’m trying to address the need for Christians to recover the OT and read it well.

What’s the big idea you want to get across?

We cannot fully understand our vocation as Christians without understanding what happened at Sinai. We tend to think of the OT law as a negative thing that didn’t work, but if we read it in context, …

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On Narratives and Central Propositions

By Arts, Beauty, Books, Writing No Comments
Someone asked me this question recently: “Do authors (of classic literature, broadly, and the Bible, specifically) have an agenda/thesis/big idea/etc. in mind before/when they write? Or do they start writing and let an agenda emerge?”
And I said I think it depends on the genre.
If someone picked up a modern hymn book and tried to find a thesis, they’d be hard pressed to do so. Yet they would find a certain organization. I think the same is true with the Psalms. The psalms are a collection. Same with Proverbs. People look for outlines and central ideas on those books and…nada. That may even be the case with Song of Songs. For sure I think those who see a beginning-middle-end structure to Song of Solomon are pressing a later Greek storytelling structure on a 10th-century-BC book that was more likely chiastic if there is actually even a story to it.
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