HOW TO READ THE BIBLE TO HEAR GOD SPEAK
"For years now I have greatly benefited from the writings and keen insights of Calvin Seerveld. How to Read the Bible to Hear God Speak is a wonderful exercise in learning how to listen to God out of God's whole story. In a day when the church is listening once again to the whole story, the compelling guidelines offered by Seerveld are most welcome!"
Myers Professor Ministry
Dir. of M.A. in Worship and Spirituality
Northern Baptist Seminary
"Seerveld's revised and expanded edition on hearing God speak in Scripture is an important addition to the ongoing work in hermeneutics. He differentiates four common approaches to interpreting the Bible: fundamentalistic, higher critical, dogmatic and simple and provides helpful pros and cons on each. Seerveld provides very helpful insights into the connection of the Numbers passage with the ongoing redemptive historical message of the covenant God, begun in Genesis. 12. Though the text discussed is a highly specialized part of OT study his work reaches far beyond that particular passage to provide general insight on reading the whole of Scripture. For example, he writes, 'A person must avoid the temptation to oversimplify of the whole Bible. You try to catch whatever the clear, poignant point of Scripture is in a given passage, yet let the overtone sounding throughout the whole booked word of God resonate in what you hear in the specific pericope.'
"The writer is both a careful scholar and a master wordsmith and his work contains many helpful and useful gems. His critique of the higher critical way of reading Scripture, while appreciative of some contributions, should become required reading in all seminary hermeneutics courses. He also offers valuable comments on the literary forms of Biblical truth.
"The section headed 'Afterward' should be read and reread because it is the heart and soul of his reformational way to read Scripture. This section is loaded with valuable insights to be pondered and digested. Extremes of head and heart are a dime a dozen in the evangelical world. Seerveld's work is a rare blend of both, which all true scholarship should be. One of many insightful summaries is, Once one knows the Bible is God-speaking literature, Paul's cautionary note about 'not going beyond what is written' (I Cor. 4:6) provides the insight on how we readers are to remain subject to the writing, rather than presume as Spirit-filled believers we stand over the text as its master-interpreters. The right attitude for reading the Bible is to take seriously that we are spoken to, we Bible-readers are listeners, the subjective objects of God's face-to-face, as it were, talking to."
Dr. Donald A. Leggett
Professor of Old Testament
Tyndale College, Toronto
"The Bible is the most important text we will ever read, so we better get it right. In getting it right we need all the help we can get. Dr Seerveld's help is as good as it gets-and not in the form of rules and principles, but by plunging into one of the more interesting stories in the Bible and showing us how it works."
Eugene H. Peterson
"Calvin Seerveld knows only too well that it is one thing to confess the Bible to be the Word of God and often quite another to read it as such. Taking up the delightful but difficult story of Balaam and his donkey, Seerveld looks at how others have read this story and how we should read it to hear God speaking to us today. This is biblical hermeneutics at its best - all Seerveld's aesthetic and philosophical insight is brought to bear in an accessible way on how to listen to God in the Holy Scriptures and this story in particular. This new edition - the original edition was published in 1968 - in an extensive Afterward reflects on how recent developments in hermeneutics such as deconstruction and liberationist approaches help or hinder us in hearing God's Word. The Afterward itself, with wonderful artwork, is itself worth the price of this volume. Take and Read!"
H. Evan Runner Professor of Philosophy
Redeemer University College, Ancaster, Ontario
"I hope this little book gets a wide readership. Cal Seerveld not only provides an extremely insightful and stimulating reading of the Balaam stories, he also shows us how to understand a passage like this in the larger context of the larger promise-and-fulfillment drama of Biblical revelation. In these pages we are given a much needed-and exciting! -refresher course in how to read the Bible."
Richard J. Mouw
President, and Professor of Christian Philosophy
Fuller Seminary, Pasadena, California
"The longer I teach, the more I become convinced that stressing how not to read Scripture needs to be combined with how to read Scripture. Without this contrast, students' reading habits do not change. In this book Seerveld demonstrates what good "how to read Scripture" teaching requires by describing and modeling four different ways of reading the Bible-and then recommending one. I look forward to using this book with my students."
Syd J. Hielema
Chaplain, Redeemer University College