Dec. 10 – Melissa Florer-Bixler – Fire by Night [Advent Calendar]

The Englewood Review of Books
Best Books of 2019
Advent Calendar
December 10

 

Fire by Night:
Finding God in the Pages of the Old Testament

Melissa Florer-Bixler

 
Paperback: Herald Press, 2019
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Rather than fall prey to the preacherly trap of delivering a sermon on an Old Testament text that brings in Jesus at the end like the dessert after eating one’s vegetables, Florer-Bixler does something much more nuanced: she reads these texts as a Christian, with a Christian lens, but steadfastly refusing a clunky coupling of Old and New. We see this careful and generous scholarship in a latter chapter, God of the Table, which centers around Abraham and Sarah’s hospitality toward three mysterious travelers. The Eucharistic resonances are there, but Florer-Bixler doesn’t need to connect the dots. Why should she? It’s the same God, as present at a makeshift tentside meal as in the Upper Room, as present in this bustling airport as God will be—and is—in the so-called holy sites I’ll be visiting this week. 

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