Saturday, April 02, 2005

"learning to read scripture"...

...in contrast to "learning to dissect the bible."
this is a challenge i feel almost daily in the mirey clay of (post-)western mission. i've been programmed to mine the text for historical fact. i really need to be transformed by the reality of this confronting (afflicting!) good news. i need help.
...and so i have been reading lots of books.
but i discover that i still need help and that books don't have nearly enough skin and blood and breath and dirt.
it has become clear to me that the most startling moments of shoe-dropping, ahah-gasping, mind-messing scripture encounters have happened when i have been among a group of other acting/reflecting missionary-people.
(there's more)

still, i find we get so caught up in trying to match "actual history" with "biblical truth" and i'm wondering if they are not always the same thing. by learning to read scripture in a theological way (not just in a historical, cultural, biographical, etc, etc, way) i hope that we can learn to read our own life-stories theologically (or perhaps it is the other way around). this will involve storytelling that recounts our dangerous stories of loving mission in Lexington. as we all become missionary-raconteurs we will be moving with less tension between the "the text and the world". by Yahweh's grace, we might be further caught up in the missio dei.

a couple of brief writings that have recently helped me wonder about the whole history/truth/reality complex have been written by a guy called pete rollins from ikon in belfast. see what he has to say here.

also,
check out Will's recent comments about choices and following Jesus.

3 comments:

Linda said...

I hope you don't mind, but I created a link to your blog ... :)
Found you in a search engine under "ashram". It is my dream to create an ashram within Lincoln, Nebraska ... a spiritual oasis of sorts. Linda

ryan k said...

The thing that sticks out most about my reading and investigation of late is terror. Jesus keeps scaring the hell out of me by showing me what this will cost. His call is frightening. It is a stumbler. If we are called to carry a cross and follow Him to our deaths too, then how do I call myself a follower when I live so well, so comfortably? My reading of late makes me want to be more humble, more wary, more grateful, and more patient.
Ryan K

geoff said...

linda, we don't mind at all. the ashram is a wonderful image for us too.

ryan, this is okay (i think)...i sensed some of what you were talking about yesterday when i was reading luke 17...the story about the servant who doesn't dare to imagine he is doing anything beyond what is expected of him. i struggle with this kind of faithfulness as i tend to drift into a mood of entitlement. i like to think i deserve certain things when really i ought not be so concerned with outcomes and just be more faithful to what i know. i'm glad we are experiencing dialogue with scripture...even if we don't feel comforted every time we dive into it. i hope our "reading in communion" is a balance to what we might do with scripture (and what it might do with us!) if we are left on our own to read it.