What if when we try to interpret the virgin birth or the resurrection as historically true (rather than symbolically True) we’re just completely misunderstanding the original intent of these stories? What if people in antiquity were way more sophisticated than we are, and they would think we were impossibly thick to be interpreting their beautiful stories this way?
[Grammar Note: Yes, that title ends with “is.”]
I’ve read some of the most scandalous passages in the bible to men in prison or with the poor and, for whatever reason, they don’t blink an eye. With liberal, educated audiences such passages would completely hijack the conversation. And no judgment about that, these passages hijack the conversation for me. But I’ve noticed that they don’t hijack the conversation at the margins.
Whenever I hear complaints about the bible being horrible I’m generally talking to a person of advantage and privilege. Generally White. Generally educated. Generally rich (by the world’s standards).
And it’s likely that my privilege is blinding me in certain ways in how I’m listening out of the margins. I may be really missing the boat on this.
Image source and article: http://experimentaltheology.blogspot.com/2013/09/not-getting-how-horrible-bible-is.html
Studying the Bible and Israel’s past is a regular reminder to me that my object of trust is God, not the Bible. That’s not knocking the Bible. It’s acknowledging that the Bible–even where it talks about God–is not a heavenly tablet dropped from heaven, but a relentlessly contextual collection of ancient literature that takes wisdom and patience to handle well.
Image source and article: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/peterenns/2013/09/god-is-bigger-than-the-bible/
Clearly and beautifully written. LOVE this piece!
“As we read the Bible, we forget that the Bible is actually reading us. We are not finding the truth as much as the truth is finding us. We get so busy trying to discover the truth of a text that we forget to observe how the text is reading us. Are we bored? Are we angry? Are we sad? These are all ways in which the text reads us. As the text triggers our emotions, the text is teaching us. Or are we blocked so we cannot understand the text? This is also a means in which the texts is trying to tell us something.”
Image source and article: http://www.wideopenground.com/how-the-bible-reads-us/
Oooh, this is REALLY good and important!
“Humility is less about thinking other people are “better” or “more important” than you are. Humility isn’t about a morbid ego or a low self-esteem. Humility is, rather, a form of honoring and care-taking.”
Image source and article: http://experimentaltheology.blogspot.com/2013/07/in-humility-hold-others-above-yourself.html
“Liberal Christians aren’t liberal in spite of the Bible, but because of it. They don’t pursue justice for LGBT people because they haven’t read Scripture, but precisely because they have. And in the arc of the narrative of God’s interaction with humanity, liberal Christians find a radical expansiveness, an urgent desire to broaden the embrace of God’s hospitality to include those whom the religious big shots are always kicking to the sidelines.”
“Short answer: yes.
But a longer answer is called for. And the longer answer includes the fact that you need more than one PhD to understand the Bible.
…But I am convinced that you don’t need a PhD to tell right from wrong, and to see what a false teacher like Ken Ham is up to.”