a priest's musings on the journey

Thursday, June 14, 2007

The Bible meme

Thanks Huw
well, its late and Ive still got to finish a sermon.... but here goes.. maybe I'll revisit and offer more profound answers later.

1 What I know about the Bible?
2 How does what I know impact what I believe?
3 So does scholarship influence my faith?

The Bible.... well, I was raised in a church that encouraged memorization of biblical verses, complete with "Sword Drills" where we would see who could look up a given citation the fastest. (yes, I was good lol). I was taught that this Book WAS the word of God, infallible, unchangeable, and historically accurate. I'm not sure I 'know' any of that to be true about the Bible now. I am more comfortable honoring Jesus Christ as the Word of God, and it seems idolatrous for me to give this name to a book- albeit the holiest of books. It was written by humans, so, there are inevitably errors (duh)- althought having been inspired by the Holy Spirit, these words are a conduit for Holy Wisdom. I believe God is still speaking, and that if the Bible is alive and living, it must be flexible enought to speak to a new culture and time.... I am not sure how to always hold the tension between seeing the Bible as a literary book and as a holy book... but

I do know that when I read the Bible I encounter God; I can read the same story over and over and each time see a new insight.

2. I know that I encounter God in the Stories of the Bible. That really has no effect on what/how I believe. In some regards I remain a biblical literalist (I really do believe Jesus physically rose from the dead, for example); in other places I see things 'metaphorical' (creation, Jonah) or contextual and not for all times (levitical holiness code, Pauls thoughts on homosexuality). Whether or not I know the stories are 'historical record' or 'psychologically or scientifically accurate' I still believe that these words connect me to the communion of saints, whose story is told there, and to the God into whom we all are united.

3. It doesn't. It effects how I study Scripture, but it does not effect my faith. The very idea is even a bit offensive to me- so enslaved to modernity and the enlightenment.

ok i tag:

Bishop Marc
Fr Scott
Jane (although I know you're busy writing, so you may be excused for now) ;)
:: posted by Padre Rob+, 8:52 PM


Rob darling, I haven't even been checking your blog much. But give me a few weeks on this one, okay? ;-) I did just finally get the Eight Random Things Meme up on my blog, though -- late of course. You guys are gonna wear me out.
Blogger Jane R, at 5:29 PM  

I am new to the Episcopal Church, and happened onto your blog by pure chance. I very much enjoyed this post, and it's a perspective I hadn't really thought of before. Anyway, just wanted to let you know I enjoyed your thoughts on the Bible, and found them touching and very relevant to my current journey back into faith.
Blogger Chris, at 7:28 PM  
Thanks Chris... blessings on your journey
Blogger PadreRob+, at 7:53 PM  

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