“This is a book about getting, and staying, involved with God—what it takes, what it costs, what it looks and feels like, why anyone would want to do it anyway. It is at the same time a book about reading the Old Testament as a source of Good News and guidance for our life with God. The key piece of Good News that the Old Testament communicates over and over again is that God is involved with us, deeply and irrevocably so.” —from the Introduction With sound scholarship and her own vivid translations from the Hebrew, Old Testament professor Ellen Davis teaches us a spiritually engaged method of reading scripture. Beginning with the psalms, whose frank prayers can be a model for our own, Davis reflects on the stories of the patriarchs and the pastoral wisdom of the book of Job, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and the Song of Songs in helping us cultivate those habits of the heart that lead to a rich relationship with God.
Ellen Davis continues the core task of biblical exposition for the sake of the church. . . . Through it all Ellen Davis utilizes her considerable gifts of sensitivity to the text, attentiveness to the spirit at work in the text, and care for the church that it may grow closer to the God given in the text. Of special interest to me was her fresh reading of the Song of Solomon, which offers 'the ecstatic aspect of the love that is the main subject of the whole Bible.' Readers will dip in at any point in this book and be invited to thinking and praying again and obeying differently and freely. -- Walter Brueggemann, Columbia Theological Seminary Ellen Davis' work in this dazzling book can be compared to that of an exceptional rock climber putting up new routes on the world's most challenging walls. Combining ease with skill and nerve with artistry, she tackles some of the most difficult portions of the Old Testament. Professor Davis is working on the razor's edge of current hermeneutical practice, but she knows exactly how to speak to the ordinary Christian in a sparkling prose style. If you want to be up to date on the very latest developments in postmodern biblical interpretation and at the same time be thrilled and delighted with rich insights into the life of faith, this is the book to have right now. -- Fleming Rutledge Ellen Davis has recovered a long-lost theological genre: brilliant, probing, scholarly interpretation of the Bible that flows into proclamation and challenges us to return to the text itself in a continuing engagement with the God who shares our pain. -- Brevard S. Childs