William Morrow (Ph.D. 1988) taught biblical studies in Queen’s Theological College from 1987–2012, and in the department of Religious Studies of Queen’s University until 2019. His research has focussed on biblical law in its ancient Near Eastern context, the history of complaint prayer, and the effects of violence on the development of biblical religion.
Active in leading biblical studies in area churches as well as in academic circles, his latest book is An Introduction to Biblical Law (Eerdmans 2017). First ordained to the Presbyterian ministry (1978), since 2015 he has been a priest in the Anglican Church of Canada. In 1976 he had the good fortune to marry his best friend Ruth; they have two adult children and two grandchildren.
Surprised by God: Preaching from the Old Testament
In terms of the logical development of biblical religion, the Christ event came almost as a total surprise. No one really anticipated that the long awaited reassertion of divine presence in history would come through the likes of Jesus of Nazareth: crucified yet risen from the dead.
This observation can serve as a guide for preachers who seek to proclaim the presence of God using the body of scriptures the Church calls the “Old Testament.”
In this series, I will argue that a helpful way of appropriating this biblical heritage is by looking for how God’s people were surprised: surprised by the events that scripture purports to record and by the writings in which those events are recounted.
Since most mainline denominations use a version of the Revised Common Lectionary, my lectures follow some of its major foci:
Monday: Surprised by Biblical Historiography
Tuesday: Surprised by the Latter Prophets
Wednesday: Surprised by the Covenant