Monday, December 10, 2007

The Angel of the Lord Revealed

9 When they reached the place God had told him about, Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it. He bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. 10 Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. 11 But the angel of the LORD called out to him from heaven, "Abraham! Abraham!"
"Here I am," he replied.

12 "Do not lay a hand on the boy," he said. "Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son." (NIV)

Abraham's readiness to sacrifice his son Isaac is depicted in this painting by Jacob Jordaens. Abraham violently brings down the knife, intending to strike the killing blow, when he suddenly is stopped by the mysterious Angel of the Lord. The Angel of the Lord not only tells Abraham not to lay a hand on the boy, but provides for him the alternative sacrifice of the ram caught by his horns in the thicket.

Who is this Angel of the Lord? In our most recent episode of Radical Grace/The Lutheran Difference, Matt Pancake, Bob MacLellan, Troy Curtis, and myself spend the first half-hour interviewing Rev. Peter Kurowski, author of the new book, The Everlasting Angel and the Mountains of Fire. This is a fictional and theological retelling of the appearances of the Angel of the Lord to Abraham and to Jacob, and is filled with fascinating insights.

Interviewing an author on our show was a first for us, and we hope once you've listened to the interview you'll agree that Peter Kurowski will one day, perhaps soon, be the newest top-selling author in Christian fiction. But there was another first for us in this episode, and I feel I ought to bring it up.

We offered Pastor Kurowski's book as a thank you gift to anyone sending a donation to support the show in the amount of $50 or more. Up to this point, we've not come out and asked for your support. But we realize many people now to look to this ministry to deliver a fresh perspective on theological questions, while showcasing what the difference is and why it matters. Some of you not only enjoy listening for your own benefit, but you also share the podcasts as a way of witnessing to others. Thank you. That's exactly what we'd hoped would happen.

We extend to you also the invitation to become a partner with us by helping support the show. More information will be coming about ways you can help, but in the meantime, making a one-time donation of $50 or more would be a real blessing. And for your support, whether you're supporting us from Spain or Australia, or here in the States in Phoenix or Kalamazoo or St. Louis, we will also rush a book to you. It's a great book, and it's a great way for us to show our appreciation.

You can make a donation check payable to Risen Savior Lutheran Church, put "Radical Grace" in the memo line and mail it to:

Risen Savior Lutheran Church
2220 Port Malabar Blvd., NE
Palm Bay, FL 32905

More great episodes are going to start coming even more frequently. Keep listening!

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