CrossTalk: Where Life & Scripture Meet by Michael R. Emlet
In his book Cross Talk, Emlet really delivers what the subtitle suggests, he shows where life and Scripture meet. He brilliantly and plainly. CrossTalk: Where Life and Scripture Meet by Michael Emlet . My thanks go out to New Growth Press for providing me a review copy of this. Emlet notes that while there are multiple books about biblical interpretation, few help readers with the “spiritual task of connecting Scripture with life” (p. 2).
Since all of Scripture points to Jesus, it is a necessity to read the entirety of Scripture in light of that fact.
Book Review: “CrossTalk: Where Life and Scripture Meet” by Michael R. Emlet | Gather to Go
Furthermore, for those who view the Old Testament as a product of a by-gone era, Emlet challenges those who take that route to take a different tact. Nothing should be overlooked or viewed as unimportant to what God is revealing in His word to His people. Yes, this means reading through those seemingly monotonous lists of names in the book of Numbers and reading through the Levitical laws.
It means not skipping over Acts in order to get to the Pauline letters. All of Scripture is profitable, a point Emlet consistently drives home and rightly so. As believers, it is essential to understand we live in community. No man is an island to himself as the old saying goes. Thus, when applying Scripture to our own lives and when praying for or talking with someone who is going through a rough patch in life, it is important to understand people, their worldviews, and how those worldviews impact how the people all around us view life.
Emlet proposes the concept that people can be divided into three categories: Saints are those people chosen by God from before the foundation of the world.
Saints are also sufferers. Jesus, in John I have overcome the world. So how does this all play out in the grand scheme of Scripture then?
CrossTalk: Where Life and Scripture Meet by Michael Emlet :: Fundamentally Reformed
In order to connect this story of saints, sufferers, and sinners to everyday life, Emlet provides a model that can be applied for those in ministry as well as the layman who encounters situations in their own life or in the life of those around them where the truths of Scripture need to be spoken to. Emlet provides a series of questions that can be asked in order to understand the issue at hand facing the saint, sufferer or sinner.
Far too many people flail around trying to apply Scripture in ways quite frankly it was not intended to be applied. They often forget the entire biblical drama is Christocentric, or Christ centered.
Reading Scripture and applying its timeless truths is not for the faint of heart. I received this book for free from New Growth Press for this review.
It opens with a chapter outlining a number of scenarios to highlight both the challenges in applying Scripture to life and some of our preconceptions about how this should be done. Instead the Bible is a story: To apply the Bible life, however, requires not only reading the Bible as a story, but being able to read people.
CrossTalk: Where Life & Scripture Meet
In the same way he moves us away from trying to understand people through disconnected words or actions. Not simply a story to tell but a story or stories to live, a plotline that is going somewhere.
Emlet suggests that we should view people in the categories of saints, sufferers and sinners all of which will simultaneously be a reality for most people. In ministry we must always have one eye on the biblical text and one eye on the individual.Superbook Reaches Refugees with the Gospel
Or better, our gaze constantly shifts between the two. In the final chapter Emlet emphasizes that the use of Scripture is a process, not a one-time event. Personal ministry is a dialogue, and that conversation occurs over time. He concludes by reminding us of the need to immerse ourselves in the word and rely on the Spirit rather than trusting a methodology.
But if they are then CrossTalk would be a great place to start, to start learning how to use Scripture rightly in pastoring one another. There are a couple of pages on the role of the community in pastoral care, but they are very brief and it would have been good to see this developed more.