Thursday, March 30, 2006
Thoughts That Sometimes Scare Me.
So I started reading A New Kind Of Christian again the other day. It is amazing how much I have learned since the first time I read that book, just... two? three years ago?? This time around I understand much more of what McLaren is saying and so much makes sense, and rings true with my experience and the experience of the people around me. But the other day I was reading the chapter where Brian and Neo are talking about Scripture and I have to say it makes me kinda uncomfortable.
I guess is that it has a lot to do with growing up as an Anabaptist, a people of the Word. And so when I start reading about people who don't see scripture in the same light as I have grown up being taught, it makes me a little uncomfortable. On the other hand if the scriptures aren't "God's rule book," if the scriptures aren't "A collection of facts" but are rather a love letter or some other form of invitation to know someone, then doesn't that actually make it an even greater book? I've been thinking about one of the texts we read in Contemporary Thought. It is called The Promise by Chaim Potok. It is about these Jewish Rabbi's and scholars as they try to make the Torah relevant to a modern society, to a scientific world view, and how they must struggle to find how it fits. Maybe that is the problem? Maybe the Bible isn't a "modern" book. Maybe, we have been reading it wrong all these years? What if we can't fit the Bible into a neat little category? What if the Bible isn't right about all the dates, times, and facts? Does that change the fact that it is still a book of infinite worth? I do believe that science and faith do mix. However, the bible and science don't always fit the way we might want. But that doesn't need to discount the Bible, because it's not a modern book..... ok so I'm rambling... Anyway, I guess I'm just thinking about how we need to hold the scriptures in a increasingly postmodern world. The Bible has been used to justify all sorts of horrible actions in our history, slavery, crusades, wars, treating women as inferior, racism, consumerism, destruction of ethnic culture, hate of homosexuality, just to state a few. And in every case people have held up a passage of scripture and said "This is what the Bible says!!!" There is something wrong with this. Is it our interpretation? Is it how we read the Bible? How can we avoid making the mistakes of the past?