Friday, February 29, 2008

[THO] Vineyard and the Bible

I'm having an odd conversation with a Vineyard guy in the States. In light of the test Hank pointed to I am wondering a few things. Where do you lean in regards to the Bible? My score on the test was 70, but like Byron I really didn't find that the alternatives were that satisfactory. Take the test and see what I mean. Post your results and lets chat.

For me a fundamental concern is that no matter where we land (conservative through to progressive) it is important that we learn to respect and honour each others views. I'm not sure I've done that real well in my discussion with Evan (the Vineyard guy), and I know I haven't felt like I've recieved respect either.

Funny sidenote, I just exchanged emails with the author Scot McKnight a few days before Hank posted the link. Hope your vacation was grand Scot!

11 comments:

John said...

I scored a 62. Moderate!

Michael Samson said...

Hey Frank! How goes it bro? I took the test and scored a 67, progressive. WOW! Who would have thought??? Three years ago I probably would have scored a .05 LOL!!! So, let's chat...

One of Freedom said...

There was a time when I would have scored pretty low too. As someone who has moved to the progressive end how would you describe how your relationship with the Bible has changed?

Michael Samson said...

Well....You know that is a question that I have asked myself many times over the last few years.(lol), So, I feel comfortable answering it with a certain amount of confidence. My whole approach to the Bible has changed. I used to be a 'fundamentalist' I guess in my understanding of the Scriptures. A very personal approach. The idea that God wrote the Bible 'for me.' As a Catholic now though I see things differently. I guess I would say that the Bible is a Book of the Church, written by the Church, redacted in the Church and for the Church. I approach it much more on a communal level now. The scriptures belong to all of us. When I study scripture I guess I do it as I always did although keeping in mind now the distinction between the literal and spiritual 'senses' of Scripture with the latter being further divided into the allegorical, moral and anagogical senses. When I read Scripture devotionally, I try to pray the scriptures (Lectio Divina)and for that I use the readings for today as found in the Roman Missal. I try to read the scriptures communally by reading them with the rest of the church so to speak. Where I think they really come alive, at least for me is in the Liturgy, the public proclamation of the Word. The natural home of the Scriptures is in the church, and their supernatural home, where the Spirit breathes them out if you will, is in the Liturgy.

One of Freedom said...

I went through a similar shift. I have found that my appreciation for scripture has actually grown. I am amazed at how the sacred texts of two different communities of faith (Jews and Christians) holds together in this amazing unity and unites the Church who listen together.

Have you read James Fowler's Stages of Faith? (http://faculty.plts.edu/gpence/html/fowler.htm is one link of many)It is helpful as a framework for understanding the way faith develops and matures in our lives. I haven't looked at it in a while, might be nice to examine together.

Michael Samson said...

Appreciation of scripture! Boy you said it. I have found the same thing. Once the notion of sola-scriptura was dethroned in my mind, I was open to a whole new world out there. Sola-scriptura sort of puts you in a straight-jacket of sorts, at least that was what it felt like for me. Haven't read Fowler's work, but sounds interesting bro. I'm definitely up for some exploration and discussion... :-)

One of Freedom said...

I think my latest post on canon discloses that I'm not big on sola scriptura.

For me sola scriptura is not really possible. we kid ourselves to think that we are unbiased in our approach to scripture. To acknowledge tradition, formation, etc. just seems more honest to me. It doesn't mean that we need to weigh all the sources he same, but it means that we need to realize one can never escape ones context.

I think the notion of private interpretation is worse than sola scriptura. This notion that anyone can simply pick up the Bible and have a clear line to the Big Guy is so utterly ridiculous. Not that I am against private study, meditation and devotion. But this is a tough text. I feel pretty confident in my Biblical formation, and still I've had my understanding rocked many a times. We can read the same passage most of our lives but one little thing, like the raven in the flood narrative?, and we are humbled before the Word knowing that it is not simply a tool to wield, but a Word to let penetrate and always to let shape me. Too often we read it to try to prove a point and not to let it transform us and continually challenge our presuppositions.

This is the beauty of public reading. Scripture has to breath and live among us to do this. In the liturgy it escapes our control and often surprises us with Christ. The notion of private interpretion short cirtuits what is supposed to be a relationship.

Look at that link and tell me what you think of Fowler's stages.

Michael Samson said...

Yeah! Like I posted on facebook a while back, our generation is not he first by far to have read the Scriptures. It would be foolish on our part and incredible arrogance to think we were the first to understand them as well. I agree wholeheartedly, sola scriptura is a practical impossibility. It is a recipe for chaos in my opinion. Even some of the great saints of years gone by who were far more educated and enlightened than I will ever be spoke of the Bible as a dark book, extremely difficult. Lifted from the context of the ecclesia, the Bible can be dangerous indeed. I find I have far more reverance for the Scriptures as a 'progressive' than I ever did as a conservative. That's just me.. I'll check out Fowler, we'll chat! :-)

DMofKor said...

Well, I scored a 68.. So I'm right in there with you guys.

Michael Samson said...

OHHHHH MANNN!!!!!!! I only managed a 67????????? I guess I'm the conservative in this group! LOL!!!

One of Freedom said...

I think Hank and John have you beat, so far.