Isaiah Week 13

The End of the Beginning: Isaiah 63:1–66:24

“It ain’t over ’til the fat lady sings.” I’ve been to only one opera, and although I did enjoy it, I would have liked something to signal its end, since it was quite long (it had two intermissions!). Isaiah has been a long read, 62 chapters so far. Full reading and audio »

Isaiah Week 12

A Return to Justice and Righteousness: Isaiah 56:1–62:12

Religion or activism, which does God truly desire? Recently a video titled, “Why I Hate Religion, But Love Jesus,” which argued that Jesus came to abolish religion, went viral on YouTube. Another Christian responded with a video titled, “Why I Love Religion, And Love Jesus,” which argued that Jesus came to establish religion. So which is true? Full reading and audio »

Isaiah Week 11

Suffering and Vindication: Isaiah 52:13–55:13

An Ethiopian eunuch in a chariot reading from Isaiah — this is who Philip stumbles upon in Acts 8:26–40. It seems Philip knows all too well that this is a difficult book, and asks the eunuch, “Do you understand what you are reading?” Full reading and audio »

Isaiah Week 10

The Servant of the LORD: Isaiah 49:1–52:12

Unfortunately for some, the term “missionary” suggests not an agent of liberation but an agent of oppression. Some view Christian missionaries as knowing and unknowing perpetrators of colonialism, racism, and imperialism. Full reading and audio »

Isaiah Week 9

The Return of the King: Isaiah 40:1–48:22

“If Jesus showed up today, would you recognize him?” It is certainly a fascinating question. Yet Jesus’ second coming will look very different from his first. So perhaps the more appropriate question is, “If you were living in first-century Palestine, would you have recognized Jesus as the Messiah?” Full reading and audio »

Isaiah Week 8

Zion’s Final Destiny: Isaiah 34:1–39:8

Like many, I was tempted to watch the television shows Lost and Battlestar Galactica (2004–09) when they aired. However, the reason I never did is that Battlestar Galactica ran for 75 episodes, and Lost for a whopping 121! Full reading and audio »

Isaiah Week 7

Hope for a Righteous King: Isaiah 28:1–33:24

Trust. For some the word may seem antiquated. They may say, “Trust [in others] is for the naïve, the foolish, the weak. Trust will only lead to disappointment and hurt. Suspicion and autonomy are for the strong. The only one you can trust is yourself.” Full reading and audio »

Isaiah Week 6

Isaiah as Apocalypse: Isaiah 21:1–27:13

One theologian has said that apocalyptic is the mother of all Christian theology. Really? Shouldn’t Christology (the doctrine of Christ) or soteriology (the doctrine of salvation) be the mother of all Christian theology? Full reading and audio »

Isaiah Week 5

Yahweh as Lord of the Nations: Isaiah 13:1–20:6

When one thinks of Israel’s status as God’s chosen nation, one might assume that Israel was to have little or no interaction with foreign nations, particularly when Israel was called to be holy — that is, set apart. Yet this is not the case. Full reading and audio »

Isaiah Week 4

Immanuel Revisited: Isaiah 9:1–12:6

“For the time comes of the Dominion of Men, and the Elder Kindred shall fade or depart …. The burden must lie now upon you and your kindred.” Thus the stage is set for the drama in Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings; the fate of Middle-earth will rest in the race of men. Full reading and audio »

Isaiah Week 3

Fear or Faith Factor: Isaiah 5:1–8:22

Several years ago a “reality” TV show aired called “Fear Factor,” in which contestants were challenged to overcome their fears through participating in aerial stunts, enduring vehicle crashes, or bathing in a tub of live worms. Full reading and audio »

Isaiah Week 2

A Tale of Two Cities: Isaiah 1:2–4:6

Besides God, who or what is the central focus of the book of Isaiah? Is it Isaiah the prophet? Is it the Messiah? Is it the Servant? Nope. Isaiah appears occasionally in Chapters 1–39, but is completely absent in Chapters 40–66. Full reading and audio »

Isaiah Week 1

Isaiah as a Christian Prophetic Book

“What books have been most influential to you?” This is a question commonly raised in interviews for faculty and ministerial candidates, because it helps identify the voices and ideas that have shaped the individual. Full reading and audio »