Shon Hopkin – What are Millennials Asking?

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Search Isaiah ask Shon Hopkin, what are questions are Millennials asking about Isaiah.

Ken Krogue:  We’ve been watching who is going to our website, who is reading and right now, it’s us old guys.  Old gals. We’re trying to get to…you’re teaching this younger generation.  What are the main, maybe two, three questions that they bring up as you’re teaching Isaiah?  What are the things in their heads that you have to help them get around quickly?

Shon Hopkin:  Well, so this is one of them, right.  It’s very hard…

Ken Krogue: Related to us in our days…

Speaker 2:  Yes.  Because we are most geared…so if you’re talking Nephi’s language likening, or you’re talking types of shadows, right, we care if y is similar to x.

Ken Krogue: Yeah.

Shon Hopkin: Well, we care more about y, because y is us, right?

Ken Krogue: Yeah.

Shon Hopkin: And to try to help them start with x and move to y, but they just want to see y, you know.

Ken Krogue: Yeah.

Shon Hopkin: There’s great power in doing both, I think increased power in doing both, but that’s not to say, well how do I understand, is Isaiah seeing me or is he seeing his day or is he seeing both, and I don’t answer that question fully for them, because I don’t want to control the way they read the scripture text, right.

Ken Krogue: Yeah.

Shon Hopkin: But that is a challenge, right, understanding is Isaiah talking in my day.  And the answer is absolutely yes.

Ken Krogue: Yes.

Shon Hopkin: Right.  Is Isaiah talking to his day, and the answer from my perspective is absolutely yes, right.  But anyway, so that’s one.  We learn pretty quickly some tools and skills, how to read the way Isaiah is talking, and then all of a sudden, things that seem so mystical and so foreign make sense.  And that’s one of the values of seeing the historical context, you’re like, well what weird things is he describing here.  Well, actually you can pretty well see what he is describing when you start with x then move to y.  So, we work on those things.  There are other challenges.  It is hard for modern readers to read what feels like harshness or violence, the strength of Isaiah’s condemnations, but I show them some things, ok, look, this chapter has a chiastic balance and so you’ve got condemnation for wickedness on the corners, but in the middle is what Isaiah really cares about.

Ken Krogue: So, Isaiah is calling us out?

Shon Hopkin: He is, and really a truth teller, this is not somebody who is like, hey, you guys are awesome, it’s all good.  This is somebody who is saying, sin hurts you, and God loves you, therefore he hates sin.  He is angry against sin, because He loves you.

Ken Krogue: Yes.

Shon Hopkin: It’s not because He hates you or…He wants to bless you.  So, the thing that I was talking about in Isaiah 16, actually Moabites historically sinned to Judah saying please help us and there’s this beautiful Messianic prophecy, His throne will be established in peace, but then the very next verse, Judah says no, I refuse to help you.  They don’t help and so I asked them would God ever say no when we come for help.  And as we talked about it, I think what the students came to is, well, no, He always longs to help, but He is not playing the short game here, just hey, you need me in this moment, so let me be the genie in a bottle and give you the stuff you want.  He is playing the long game with us, that sometimes when the parable of the ten virgins, and the five come and knock on the door, He is going to say, we need a relationship here.  He’s playing the long game, so He says no, but not because He doesn’t love us, but because He loves us so much that He is not willing to just give in to our short-term view.  He loves us more than our short-term view.  He is playing the long game.

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I’m a connoisseur of the esoteric, whether in scripture or desserts. Isaiah’s air of mystery reaches through the ages to draw me in and compels me to uncover his ancient mysteries. While design is my calling, occasionally I lend my words to Searchisaiah.org.

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