The Bible and Our Borders ...
This is a response I made to an article written by Scott McKnight over at beliefnet.
this isn't really a complete response - some key things are missing from it, but I'm too tired to put my thoughts all the way together ... something about practicing what Paul tells Timothy is religion that is Holy and acceptable to God.

In all of the discussion I find it most facinating that we think reading the bible in the most literal way does it the most justice because it shows our reverence (or the most reverence) for the Bible - which makes it the only right way to read it.

We tend to want to take a lot of what the bible says (especially those parts which can't be historically or scientifically validated) at face value, out of our desire to revere (or fear?) God. The motivation is thus very good. Reading the bible this way, however, leaves the door open for us to read into the Bible instead of letting the Bible read into us and pierce our own attitudes of the heart. It also leaves out a vast depth of Truth that dwells within the lines of the book - which comes to light when we approach the bible, thoughtfully, from the perspectives of literature.

Why are literal and legal hermeneutics the only ways that Christians are allowed to show their reverence for the bible? I think that having revernece is good, but to limit that display of reverence to a particular hermeneutic presents a serious problem and shows a deep disconnnect with the biblical message, which is ultimately a narrative of freedom, mercy and grace in all contexts (including the context of reading scripture). When we choose to read the bible in a single dimensioned hermeneutic, we are choosing to not read the bible in a multi-layered, rhobust hermeneutic of the Spirit of God moving within us.

That aside, if we spend all of our time patrolling our hermeneutical borders, what time will we have left for doing the work of the Father? What time will there be for living our eternal lives starting now? Here is a biblical statement: Salvation is as much a process that wells up inside of us throughout this life as it is the thing that secures our place in the eternal Kingdom. We should be more aware of the implications that salvation has on our lives right now, and although it is good to understand our eternal future in light of Christ's work on the cross, we need to stop fixating all of our energy into remembering, emotionalizing and intellectualizing the cross so that we can BE a light to the world because of the cross.


Anonymous said...

The hero's journey begins with finding the path, leads to understanding self, leading to the understanding of the Universe. The knowledge gained by the hero is passed on to others.

In essence, by helping our own understanding we do so in order to help others.

This is what it means to be a hero, this is what it means to be human.

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