These days, when you see someone out walking a dog, it’s most likely at the end of a lead. In the case of some older, slower models, a lead hardly seems necessary: these dogs are clearly going nowhere fast. But there are other dogs, younger or simply more energetic, where a lead is obviously essential equipment for the sake of all concerned. You don’t take these dogs for a walk. They take you. For these dogs, the lead is of course intolerable, slowing them down, holding them back and generally cramping their canine style. When these dogs reach the great expanse of green opposite my house, when their owners reach down to their collars and finally remove the lead, well its only then, that the dog can truly be a dog: racing, swerving, fetching, and rolling in goodness knows what all.

I wonder whether it’s the same with the truth, especially as we find it in the Scriptures. I wonder what it would be like to allow God’s word to take us for a walk instead of us leading it where we want it to go. I wonder what it would be like to untie some of the thick theological ropes with which we’ve encircled the Scriptures.

What might it be like to allow God’s Word to slip free from the homiletical harnesses we strap on so tightly? What might happen if we decided to unleash the truth instead of tying it down?…

Dr. David Shepherd
Senior Lecturer in Hebrew Bible
Department of Theology and Religious Studies
University of Chester