Monday Morning Sneak Peek

A little snippet from Chapter 5 of The Boundary Breaking God for your Monday morning. In this chapter I talk about the expansion of God’s promise at Easter, but I also discuss the central role women played as the “unlikely heralds of the world’s best news.” Enjoy!

“The entire story of God is a journey away from the horizon of death and toward the horizon of life. Throughout the story, God uses people on the margins of society, outside of the powerful cultural mechanisms, to declare God’s coming Kingdom. Exiled murderers like Moses proclaim God’s freedom, pagan astrologers announce Jesus’ reign, and a handful of fishermen become Jesus’ understudies. Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist, is one of the many barren women—Sarah, Rachel, Hannah—who pop up in the story of God. Though their society looked down upon them, God looked to these women to propel the story of God forward. Not only do these stories reinforce God as one who can bring life out of emptiness, they also show God as one who remembers—and calls—those society has knowingly overlooked. God didn’t come to barren women just because bringing life out of a barren womb is miraculous. God came to them because they were forgotten.”


  1. Danielle, Attributing motives to God can be a tricky business. Do you have references for your two postulated motivies (“God didn’t come to barren women just [1] because bringing life out of a barren womb is miraculous. God came to them [2] because they were forgotten.”)? Or, do I have to “buy the book”? :) Thanks!

  2. Hey Bethany!

    Well, this could be a long philosophical/theological discussion, but my short answer is this: though I agree with you that attributing motives to God is tricky business, I also think we wouldn’t have much of a Scripture if someone didn’t go about the tricky business of attributing motives to God. The minute a person writes down something about God, you have to attribute all kinds of things, even when you’re working within the very real framing of your experience of the event.

    Matthew does this throughout his Gospel when he says things like, “This was to fulfill what had been spoken through the prophets…” etc. even though Jesus didn’t necessarily say so. He also tends to tell us things like “Jesus’ fame spread throughout the land” or “the crowds were astounded” even though we have no idea how/whether he can justify such claims. That’s just the example I thought of off the top of my head…

    I think the whole act of theology is a dangerous attempt to speak about and for an ineffable God. I’ll throw in a pitch for Pete Rollins’ book here “How (Not) to Speak of God” which does a great job of describing the philosophical dimensions of this. So, yes- I make all kinds of claims in my book as I interpret the stories of Scripture, much like rabbinical midrash has done for centuries. That’s what every theologian and pastor does. :) Whether one finds my claim compelling or not is another question!

  3. Nicely put.

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