Archives For Ellen Davis

 

The Surprising Nature of Scripture.
 
A Review of

Preaching the Luminous Word: Biblical Sermons and Homiletical Essays
Ellen Davis 

Paperback: Eerdmans, 2016
Buy Now: [ Amazon ]

 

Reviewed by Joseph Johnson
 

This Book was Featured as one of 
Our Best Books of 2016

 
Near the beginning of Preaching the Luminous Word, Ellen F. Davis describes herself as “an exegete who teaches Old Testament and preaches, in that order” (xxiv). I’m grateful for that. It means the sermons gathered together in these pages are born out of a love for exegesis and attentive theological study, and it allows her to open up the unendingly rich and surprising world of Scripture in ways that invite her hearers and readers to slow down and linger with the text. Though her main academic background is in the Old Testament, Davis’s sermons in this volume reflect her engagement over the years with both the Old and New Testaments, delivered on a variety of occasions and in the midst of the seasonal rhythms of the Church’s liturgical calendar.

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“Of Mules and Mission”

A Review of
Scripture, Culture, and Agriculture:
An Agrarian Reading of the Bible
.

by Ellen F. Davis.

Reviewed by Stan Wilson.

Scripture, Culture, and Agriculture:
An Agrarian Reading of the Bible
.

Ellen F. Davis.
Paperback: Cambridge UP, 2008.
Buy now: [ Amazon ]

Ellen Davis - Scripture, Culture and Agriculture

I am a Mississippi Baptist pastor who has begun to see the world differently because of the work of agrarians like Wendell Berry, Norman Wirzba, Barbara Kingsolver and Wes Jackson. Thanks to them our family has changed the way we eat and obtain food. A few years back we started to garden, and now we are enjoying fresh eggs from our own backyard hens. We are coming to see connections between the care of the land, our health and the wholeness of our community. When we say grace at each meal, our prayers now include people, animals and soil that we know.

So, when I was given a sabbatical this past summer, I chose to focus it on sustainable agriculture and the Church. In addition to working our garden, I traveled to a few small, organic farms and most memorably, graduated from “Mule School,” which is what I called my three days learning the basics of farming with horses and mules at Russell’s Workhorse Farm in Poplarville, MS.

After a summer of travel and study I can report that there is officially a movement. Everywhere you look CSAs are emerging, farmers’ markets are sprouting, community gardens are blossoming, and young people are flocking to summer internships on small, organic farms. I was not the only student at Mule School.

As a pastor, I am wondering what this movement means for the Church. Are there agricultural dimensions to the Church’s calling to serve and celebrate the kingdom of God? I wonder if this surprising movement of young people into farming could be a movement of the Spirit. Do these fields, white with harvest, have anything to do with the mission field?

For all these reasons and more, Ellen Davis’ extraordinary book Scripture, Culture, and Agriculture: An Agrarian Reading of the Bible has been a timely and important study.

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