I recently read Rob Bell's Jesus Wants to Save Christians: A Manifesto for the Church in Exile and it opened my eyes to a slew of connections between the Bible's Old and New Testaments. The first half of the book runs, at lightning pace, through the entire Bible paying particular attention to the passages regarding the never ending cycle of exile from God. The second half brings the story home to us, rich Americans living in the United States.
Having studied the Bible for my bachelors degree I was quite surprised by the material of Bell's book, especially the numerous connections between the Old and New Testaments. Now, I knew Jesus pulled from Old Testament scripture a lot when he spoke, but it never really hit home until this book. I never caught the intricacies of what Jesus was doing and saying in comparison to what God had done with his people in the Old Testament. I never made the connection.
And then this weekend, at the Risen Conference, I heard Jonathan Stoment, of Richland Hills Church of Christ, speak. He brought up even more connections. It was amazing stuff and it lead me to wonder why I didn't learn more of this in school? Did I miss class on the day they covered this material, or is this a style of preaching and teaching that is becoming popular for this generation of ministers and theologians? I'm sure it's been around since the beginning of the Hebrew scripture, but it's the first time I'm hearing this kind of study and it's blowing my mind. I love it, and want more of it.