Saturday, March 20, 2010

A Thought for Sunday (a tad early)

Before I put another book in the giveaway pile, there's a thought-provoking quote I thought I should record for future reference ('cause I like it and I agree):

I've resisted letting the Scripture speak to me as insight into God on a regular basis. And I'll confess that I've done this mostly because I haven't liked the way Scripture has been used on and around me in my life, the way others have read it in bits and pieces that corresponded to their worldviews, the way they have read those particular bits literally and focused on the things with which they agreed and ignored the things they didn't.

How can people of faith make the Bible an important part of their lives despite all the ways it's been read and misread, used and misused over the centuries?

We have to start with an understanding that what the Bible has to say is not just what its primary advocates in our culture think it has to say. And reading it in a way that pulls those other things--peace, justice, love, forgiveness, reconciliation, radical faith, daily practice--back to the forefront.

--from pages 84 and 85 of No Idea by Greg Garrett


  1. Amen!

    People who quote scripture "at" others are often pulling out of the context the piece that they're using. Or, as you mentioned in those post, using the words for their own purposes. I suppose that might be part of why the Catholic church didn't allow people to read their Bibles themselves at one time.

    I have to read my Bible every day, to myself, and pray that He speaks to me while I do. It was funny, because a woman at our church wanted to student teach with me next year which I was reluctant to accept. Then, I was reading in Matthew that night Jesus' parable about those who have talents, and the one who buried his He called a wicked servant. I was brought up short, and just knew I was supposed to share what I have with others. Like I didn't know it before...

    The Bible is good for being a faithful reminder to me on a daily basis, of what I should do and how I fall short left to my own self.

  2. Bellezza,

    I didn't realize that about the Catholic church not letting people read the Bible as individuals. Interesting.

    I'm so glad you found the right scripture for the moment, when you had to make that decision about your student teacher. That's so cool.

    This quote goes really well with a quote in one of John Scalzi's blog posts, which I'm reading in collected version (Your Hate Mail Will Be Graded). He calls people who pull out scriptures for their own purposes . . . I think it's "Leviticans" -- based on the most rule-heavy book of the Bible, of course. That particular essay is so good. He says "Leviticans" shouldn't be lumped in with the general "Christian" population because using the Bible to hate, for one's individual purposes, etc., is not "Christian" at all. Christ's emphasis was on loving each other. I may have to quote that essay, some time. I love it.

  3. Me, too, from what you've said here.


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