After spending a few weeks on thinking about who God is, Steve begins to dig into what this means for us. In the Old Testament “LORD” is often capitalized to signal the translation from Yahweh. But there’s more.
From the first books of the Bible onwards, it’s clear that the Israelites were always battling the temptation to serve many other gods. At the heart of this behaviour, Steve concludes, is not simply to do away with worship altogether, but to constantly struggle with what to worship. The desire to worship a god, whether it’s the one true living God, is intrinsic to all human beings.
Looking at how much we idolize sex, money, power, and success in western culture, our desire to worship something is abundantly clear today. As Carl Jung puts it, “You can take away a man’s gods’, but only if you give him others in return.”
So, who is this Yahweh – the God of the Bible that Shema calls us to ‘love with all our heart and soul and strength’?
How do we resist the temptation to remake Yahweh as a reflection of our own thinking and culture?
What do you think are the big issues in our culture – both inside the Church as well as beyond it – that fly in the face of the character of Yahweh?
How do we create church communities where we can, as the Shema tells us; “Talk about all this”; openly, how do we discuss and debate it all honestly together, without fear of rejection or exclusion?