The Hardest Question was an experiment in preaching the Revised Common Lectionary. All posting is finished, but the content will continue to live here in archive form. You can discover new content by former THQ curator Russell Rathbun at Question the Text.


About THQ

What Is The Hardest Question?

The most difficult question for lectionary preachers and teachers is simply this: What fresh and compelling word of the Lord for my congregation can be found in the lectionary readings of the day? Perhaps you’ve been through Years A, B, and C for more than a few cycles. Or maybe the demands of ministry in the trenches have left you short on both time and inspiration. Whatever the cause of hermeneutical malaise, The Hardest Question is for you.

THQ curator, Russell Rathbun, and the guest bloggers for THQ, have both the eye and the heart for looking at the text in new ways via a pair of weekly blog posts on two of the lectionary texts and a video commentary on those texts in “THQ: Beyond the Blog.”

Because this is a blog, we desire your interaction through the rabbinic question, “How Do You Read?” — your insights and comments could very well become the homiletical boost your peers are seeking. Blog curator, Russell Rathbun has this to say about asking The Hardest Question:

“Questioning the text is important, because the Bible is the witness to the Living Word of God. We are called into relationship with God through Jesus the Christ, The Word. Relationships, at their best, are dynamic, growing, deepening, revelatory, generative and transforming. A primary way we pursue relationship with the Living Word is through the study of scripture, so it must be taken seriously, approached with a robust confidence and a passionate vulnerability.

We ask the text the hardest questions because we can. It does not break, it is not offended, and it does not judge our desire for understanding. The ancient rabbis say that when we study the Bible we release God’s mercy into the world. It is important to question the text, because the world needs as much of God’s mercy as possible.”

Building a Midrashic Community

The Hardest Question is intended to be much more than a blog that asks tough questions of the Bible text and allows the Bible text to ask tough questions of us. THQ is also envisioned as a unique kind of Christian community, a community not unlike that which is found in Jewish midrash. That being the case it is expected that all those who participate in this community would relish the idea that the promise of THQ can only be fulfilled if…

  • We welcome more than one view to be offered.
  • We welcome the ingenuity of explanations and expositions of The Hardest Question.
  • We welcome both bloggers and readers to understand a text in light of their own experiences
  • We welcome the notion that rivalry = excellence.
  • We welcome an awareness that through midrash the text continues to be created.

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