Thursday, September 25, 2014
In an effort to save the Scriptures from what we have done to them with our wildly divergent interpretations I have personally undertaken in recent years an effort to understand how the beauty of the ancient texts have been co-opted into such a labyrinth of disjointed principles. I have read a number of newer books on how we read the scriptures from fine scholars from different perspectives like Scott Mcknight, Brian Mclaren, Christian Smith, and several by Peter Enns. Trust me, all of these writers love and honor and respect the scriptures for the inspiring and trustworthy nature of what they are. OK, don't trust me, because those who have been taught that every english word is literally inerrant have also been taught in most cases how those words fit into a system that explained everything.
Each author has provided helpful concepts to help us read and allow the story of the Bible reach us in its beauty and transformative power. The idea of a Jesus centered spiritually is appealing to me when reading old and new covenant contrasts. The idea of rejecting biblicism, which means that every sentence rises from the text with literal enforcability, no matter its context appeals to me. The idea of seeing the books of the Bible as a library rather than a constitution appeals to me.
The idea that God allows ancient authors to have ancient cosmologies and limitations but that this does not take away from the beauty of the story appeals to me.
If the people of Isreal were told by God to do something, it might be possible if we understand the nature of the revelation to not make that image of God fit with other ideas that are later revealed.
We might even allow Paul to blast the violent Jews and persecutors of the church in II Thessalonians to be trumped by Pauls calmer and more theological statements in Romans about Gods ultimate plan for them.
We might be able to see Isaiahs glorious picture of the future to trump Revelations dark picture of global destruction and mass annihilation.
These are the things of the new reformation that are being and will be discussed, non violently I hope. Like the strange sign help up at a recent pro islamic rally. Behead all those who say Islam is a violent religion. I hope Christians will stop defending the Bible so they can read it. A thought I own to Peter Enns most recent book. The Bible Tells me So.