Thursday, April 29, 2010

incomplete thoughts on Scripture

I don't think I've ever really believed that the bible is intended to be a factual and encyclopedic collection. I might have, at one time, if pressed, been willing to say that, but I don't think I ever really believed it.

Since the ELCA has been encouraging its members and congregations to study scripture more closely, we in the congregation I'm part of have been recently looking at what exactly the bible is ~ where it came from, who wrote it, what it means that it's the word of G-d, etc.

I'm coming to believe more and more that it's a much more serious and significant endeavor to not view scripture as inerrant. To take the bible as inerrant, a reference text to look at simply for problem-solving, is too simplistic for my needs. To take the bible as the stories and witness of people who, in many different contexts and times and places have met and been impacted by the living G-d of the universe is more meaningful to my own faith journey.

Of course, I am not willing to say that one group of Christians takes scripture more seriously than any other. I do wonder, though, how those who see scripture as a divine reference manual don't relegate G-d's activity to past history. "G-d did this, G-d did that, it's all recorded here in the Bible." That's all well and good, but the question I struggle with recently is, 'What's G-d up to these days? The Bible doesn't give me today's history."

Which leads to the question, if G-d is still as active today as G-d ever was, then is it possible for someone today to have a Bible-worthy experience? And this can't help but to make me wonder, whose story would you say might be scriptural?


1 comment:

  1. I've been looking up the "suffering produces ... endurance ... character ... hope" (but take the before and after of the quote too). Tons of sermons! None of them go back to biblical times / stories (but I did find one with links to a bunch of other bible passages which was fun). They're all about relating the quote to today, or the holocaust, or something else. So I think God is still up to hope, even if it's totally taken out of context and is that Bible-worthy? But I don't think it's a "God did this or that thing." Those Sunday school assignments on favorite verses!