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May 7 Gathering: The Binding of Isaac

Bible Stories for Grown-Ups Chapter 2

It’s certainly one of the most disturbing passages in all of scripture. Abraham, the first patriarch of the tribe that will become Israel, prepares to sacrifice his son Isaac to appease what he believes is the will of God.

Obediently, the old man (who the story tells us was already a centenarian by the time he had children) loads up his son with a bundle of firewood and sets out for the mountains to do the deed. And just when he’s about to put the knife to his son’s throat, a voice stops him. A ram caught in a thicket takes Isaac’s place, and the story has a much happier ending (unless you’re the ram).

Traditionally this story has been taught as one of faith and obedience. Just do what God says, regardless of whether you like it or not. Everything will work out. Just trust us.

But what if there’s a different lesson? What if it has less to do with obedience than provision? What if the story isn’t about Abraham and Isaac being rewarded for their faith, but about God showing them there was a better way than the system of human sacrifice that had been practiced in the region for ages by many different cultures?

What if, as author Josh Scott says in this week’s discussion video, this story is not about a God who demands things of us, but provides all things for us?

This week at New Wineskins we’ll continue our study of Bible Stories for Grown-Ups with a conversation on Chapter 2 of the book, which centers on the story of the binding of Isaac. We’ll dig into the questions of why God might make such a demand, what Abraham’s and Isaac’s perceptions of it might have been, and what we can learn from the story today.

Join us this Sunday, May 7, in the New Wineskins Virtual Theology Pub powered by Zoom as we unpack the story of Abraham and Isaac and see what kind of faith it invites us into.

6:00pm ET: Happy Half-Hour (informal meet & greet time)
6:30pm ET: Presentation & conversation begin

Click here to view this week’s video

(Free Amplify membership required to view videos. Use access code HKWRJN if prompted then enter your contact information to access the videos.)

Join us every week for a new discussion!

  • Sunday, April 23: Introduction
  • Sunday, April 30: Chapter 1 – Noah’s Ark
  • Sunday, May 7: Chapter 2 – The Binding of Isaac
  • Sunday, May 14: Chapter 3 – Jonah
  • Sunday, May 21: Chapter 4 – The Parable of the Talents
  • Sunday, May 28: Chapter 5 – Zacchaeus
  • Sunday, June 4: Chapter 6 – Healing the Blind Man
  • Sunday, June 11: Postscript – Where do we go from here?

Bible Stories for Grown-Ups is available through several booksellers. Here are some links to the most popular sites:

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Feature Image Credit: © Stig Alenäs 2021 via pond5.com

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