“From page to page, chapter to chapter, book to book, we encounter the human and divine in the same verse, the same ink, as one bleeds into the other.”
I sat down with Melissa Florer-Bixler to talk her new book Fire By Night: finding God in the pages of the Old Testament. This is an exceptional, exciting, and accessible work, drawing us into the nuance, beauty, and challenge of the OT in order to draw us deeper into the life of God. We talk about reading slowly, how difficult texts often reveal parts of ourselves we’d rather turn away from, holiness, justice, Sodom and Gomorrah, and how the Mennonite practice of testimony fits well with the nature of debate and conversation within the pages of the OT. Also, we recorded this a day after the Oscars, so we talk about our desire for a Jael movie.
Melissa is is the pastor of Raleigh Mennonite Church, and a graduate of Duke University and Princeton Theological Seminary. She studied in Kenya, worked on an archaeological dig in Israel, worked as a barmaid in East Oxford, and lived with the L’Arche community in the Pacific Northwest. Now she prefers the Eno River and her raised beds in the Piedmont. She writes as a feminist working to dismantle whiteness, a disposition that emerged from sticking near to Jesus Christ for almost four decades. She is the chair of L’Arche North Carolina. She and her spouse parent their three children in Raleigh, NC.
About the Book: Page after page, in stories and poems and prophecies, the Hebrew Scripture introduces us to a God who is unwieldy and uncontrollable, common and extraordinary, and who brings both life and death. The same passages that confuse and horrify and baffle us can, if we are paying attention, lure us closer toward God.
Follow the show: @RinseRepeatPod Follow Me: @liammiller87
Liam Miller is the Northern Hub Mission Resource Worker for the Sydney Central Coast Presbytery and a ministry candidate.