from the teachings, theories, and ideas of Jason English

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a quote from Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchik

Joseph Soloveitchik died in 1993.

He was a teacher. A philosopher. Orthodox Jew. Mentor.

There are many works attributed to his life’s work. The quote I want to share with you is from a book that was formed out a collection of Rabbi Soltoveitchik’s lectures. It was collected and published in 1989.

While there is no indication that Joseph and I have come to the same conclusion regarding Jesus of Nazareth as the Messiah, Rabbi Joseph came to amazing conclusions regarding the fate of mankind that are harmonious with the hope of the Gospel…specifically the restoration of the world. Redemption. He believed that God was going to  fix that which is broken. That Adam (the first man), and therefore all of humanity was invited to participate with the Divine to steward God’s creation. We are not left alone to accomplish this task. We have the power and presence of the Almighty One. It is actually God’s garden. We are invited to preserve life as well as till and plant in order to form new life.

Before you read this quote, note two things:

  • Joseph’s wife died in 1967. Joseph lived another 26 years without being able to be arm and arm with her.
  • Though he is known as an American Rabbi, he was born in the Russian Empire and received a PhD in Germany in the early 1930s. Think of that: a Jewish philosopher in the midst of some of the most horrible things known to man that were done by the Russian Empire and Nazi Germany. Think of the difficult emotions he must have experienced towards his seemingly fellow man.

Man’s singularity is derived from the breath “He [G-d] breathed into his nostrils at the moment of creation” (Genesis 2:7). Thus, we do share in the universal historical experience, and God’s providential concern does embrace all of humanity.”

-Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchik

Rabbi-Joseph-B.-Soloveitchik

Table of Contents for ‘The Whole Thing’ (Day 85 of 70)

Hi.

Please tell me what you think. Even if you don’t know where I’m headed with this book.

Actually, especially if you don’t know where I’m headed with this book.

I want to know if the chapter titles need to be longer. Should I make them all into short phrases as to bring more intrigue? Should I have the title of each chapter, and then short, smaller font sentences explaining what that chapter is about?


The Whole Thing: The Bible Captured in 6 Images


Table of Contents

  • Image 0 – Darkness Over the Surface
  • Image 1 – Finger
  • Image 2 – Hand
  • Image 3 – Heart
  • Image 4 – Face
  • Image 5 – Feet
  • Image 6 – Body
  • The Whole Thing
  • The Whole Thing in One Page
  • The Books of the Bible in One Page

Questions? Comments?

What is the Whole Thing? (Day 83 of 70)

I seem to have typed out an initial…..something. To call it a draft isn’t accurate. To call it a draft is overstating what it is. It’s a bunch of stuff that needs to be developed.

It’s formless and void. Darkness seems to be over the surface of the deep of this draft.

But I am hoping that the Spirit is hovering over it.

And I am hoping that He will speak light into it.


There are so many notes like [DEVELOP MORE] and [FIND REFERENCE] and stuff like that.

I am going to post an initial draft of a Table of Contents by the end of the week {and would love some feedback}.

I still have so many references to find…so much rearranging…so much more to do. I’m sure I have even more to do than I realize. But I’m doing it.

I have a question for you.

What is the point of the Bible?

What is the whole thing about?

Feedback Requested – Book Title and Description – (Day 75 of 70)

I would love some feedback on this.

 

 

Feel free to reply here on WordPress, or…for those who know my email or cell or Instagram or Twitter… that’s fine too. Or, in you see me, talk to me about it. Thanks.

 

Tentative Book Name: The Whole Thing 

Tentative Subtitle: Understanding the story of the entire Bible using 6 images

10 Sabbaths – Day 70 of 70 – This would have been the final day…It is not.

This was supposed to be the last day of my little expedition.

Multiple family sicknesses have given me the ‘get out of jail free card,’ and thus I am giving myself permission for this to be delayed a couple of weeks.

I was trying to exercise every day for 70 days, excluding the Sabbath each week. I did not.

I have, however, exercised a vast majority of the days. Almost 6 days a week.

A considerable amount more than I have in years.

It feels good.

I was trying to read through the entirety of the Bible during these 70 days. I did not.

I have, however, read a considerable amount. It has been beautiful, reading a fresh translation to look with fresh eyes.

I purposefully haven’t been reading with pen in hand. No notebook. No highlighter. I have very deliberately read with a posture of receiving, and not one of teaching preparation. That said, my soul has received so much newness from old stories, that this will most certainly influence future teachings.

I was trying to have an initial draft of a book by the end of these 70 days. I do not.

I have, however, written….a lot. Way more than I ever have before.

There are so many little side notes like “[RESEARCH MORE]” and “[DEVELOP MORE]” and “[WHICH BOOK DID I READ THIS IN?]” throughout my typing as of late. Instead of pausing and potentially losing momentum, I type on. I type and type and type…thoughts.

I read through notes from old teaching preparations. I attempt to word things in ways that might make sense in written form that were originally intended for the spoken word.

My updated date: March 31. It’s a Tuesday. It give me a few weeks more to get this initial draft. It gives me a few more weeks to read the fresh ancient words.

(Exercise continues, simply because I want to.)

More reading to do. Quite a bit, actually. But it’s so good.

More writing to do. More organizing, actually. But it’s so exciting.

I am hoping to produce something that will benefit people who are interested in a simplified understanding of the narrative of the entire Bible.

More to come.

10 Sabbaths – Day 69 of 70 – where or who?

The word ‘Everlasting‘ is based on starting now and going forward.

The word ‘Eternal‘ is based on there not being a beginning and there never having an end.

The narrative of the Bible, and the cultural understanding of life with God was one based on the eternal much more so than the everlasting.

God is an eternal God. To speak of life in and with an eternal God…this is not a life that starts now and leads to going somewhere else later.

To act and speak and partner with a God who always has been and alway will be. This is eternal.

It’s not just about where you are going later. It’s about who you are.

10 Sabbaths – Day 68 of >70 – Mapping

Since I won’t quite finish my original goal by Day 70, I went away for a little while to get some isolated time of study.

I am mapping out Sunday teachings over the next several months. Namely,

a walk through 1 Peter….

followed by a fresh look at The Lord’s Prayer…

and then possibly followed by Idioms of Jesus.

I am also attempting to put a little bit of structure to the book.

Writing has most certainly proven to be daunting.

I’m really been attempting to be honest with myself and my friends about this writing endeavor. It’s hard.

I have plenty of people in my life that encourage me in the role of teacher. Many having suggested that I will be a good writer.

I certainly have burning ideas. I have a community of love around me.

But writing is hard.

I don’t mean that I don’t like it. I actually love it.

The hard part, for me, is mostly related to the lack of knowledge concerning the quality of the writing that I’ve been doing.

What if I’m not good at this? What if the way that my brain works doesn’t translate to “ink” well?

But, I type on. I will not let these fears win.

I am writing. 

I believe, through my loved ones around me, that this is worth it.

I love you.

10 Sabbaths – Day 67 of +70 – What is the product?

I’m afraid that the American Christian has somehow been reduced to convincing someone to believe what is believed to be the gospel.

And there is no product there.

I’m afraid that not only do most not know what the product is, but people have actually been trained to pretend to be friends with people, and then try to sell them something….without even knowing what that something is.

How ridiculous is that? To not even know what the gospel is, and then befriend someone for the sole reason of convincing them to believe in that gospel.

What are we doing?

Did the story end?

In the book of Ephesians, we see that work of Jesus removed the dividing wall in the Temple courts. Previously, Jews and Gentiles were not in the same area of the Temple. Jews considered Gentiles to be dirty. They didn’t touch them. They didn’t approach them. They didn’t speak to them. Some wouldn’t even touch the shadow of the Gentiles.

Jesus’ death removed that barrier. And now there is one new man in Christ. No more dividing barrier between Jew and Gentile.

We aren’t selling an empty product. We aren’t selling anything.

This isn’t about convincing people to agree with you.

 

This is about people being reconciled to God.

This is about people being reconciled to one another.

 

He didn’t come just for you to get your golden ticket to heaven and sell golden tickets to heaven to others.  He came to bring reconciliation where there is division.

10 Sabbaths – Day 64 of 70+ Unnecessary Compartmentalization

Why all the compartmentalizing?

 

How could anything be given to God? How could anything be held back from God?

 

Everything was made by Him.

Everything was made for Him.

Everything was made through Him.

 

It’s silly to think that anything that you have or anything that you are isn’t already fully His.

It’s silly to categorize your things into yours or His.

 

(John 1)


Quick Update on the book writing: There are 6 images that I am focusing on, as a way of attempting to simplify the narrative of the Bible. I’m about a fourth of the way through Image 5 in my initial typing. I am going to take a lot of isolated time writing over the next two and a half weeks in order to attempt to at least get a pre-pre-pre-product completed.

10 Sabbaths – Day 62 of 70 – Jesus before Jesus of Nazareth

In a culture that was waiting to see God’s right hand…

…waiting for that moment when the invisible would finally breakthrough and prove Himself…they were waiting and frustrated.

Jesus claimed that back when they were waiting in the wilderness and received bread from heaven…

when they finally saw something that was tangible for their faith, that was Him!

If He was in the wilderness in the form of bread from heaven…

Jesus existed before the baby was born in Bethlehem.

Jesus existed and has always been, before needing to be trained to be a Rabbi. He has always been the bread.

When the Israelites picked it up and said “What is it?” (Which is what “Mann” means)…. It was Jesus.

Jesus is: the visible, tangible evidence that God is active in your life….

The right hand that shows the visibility of God’s invisibleness is the Son of God. That’s Messiah.

He is not a created being.

Everything that has ever been made has been made through Him (John 1).

As it turns out, the whole time we were waiting on Him, everything that was made was made through Him.

The invisible One reveals His visibleness through the visible aspect of His invisibility.

That is Messiah.

He is demonstrating that which can seemingly not be demonstrated.


I won’t complete this initial draft of a book by March 11. But I’m still working hard.

I got sick yet again. Flu this time. I knocked me down for about 3 days. I still don’t quite feel 100%. But I’m going.

And our youngest got another ear infection.

I’m going to give myself a few week add on. The new date is March 30. It’s a Monday.