Wednesday, September 17, 2008

School of Theology: John MacMurray 3

John picking up from where Don left off. Clarifies if "life" or "Scripture" is the primary mode of revelation. God does reveal Himself through all of life, but the only way you know He reveals himself in life is through Scripture.

This morning John is starting off on a series of sessions on how to read Scripture. Where do we take wrong turns on the path to knowing God.

Wrong Turns in Interpretation

1. Searching for meaning in the event rather than the text of a narrative. (Text vs. Event)
  • Lessons are found in trying to reconstruct the event.
  • Emphasis is placed on trying to place myself in the event as a participant.
  • Ignore that all events have been interpreted and are being presented by an author that has a strategy in the way he tells his story.
You don't go to a specific chapter of a Clancy novel and read the part where the bad guys nab the main character and there is a shoot out. (But how often do we do that with narratives in Scripture?).

Someone modeled to us how to handle the Bible. What has been modeled is to look at an event and try to get something from the event as if we are a participant in the event.

If you are studying John, study John. Each individual writer has a specific purpose in how they wrote the story. It is completely irrelevant how Matthew conveys the same event to the meaning of what John is saying.

A piece of the narrative is taking you to the destination of the whole story.

Biography is different then a narrative. (But we are working with 21st century definitions). Gospel writers tell their biased purpose in writing their narratives.

God has prepared the most brilliant feast ever (Scripture) and we are over nibbling on fluff, Scooby snacks.

Mortimer Adler: How to Read a Book

Donald Miller commented on the recent prevalence of literacy and the seemingly sloppy nature of the system. Sparked a tidal wave of questions and thoughts. On top of the mess, Don throws in creationism vs. evolution debate. John brings it all back together. Divine book will have a profoundness and brilliance to it. God's purpose is that we will understand and reveal, not hide it or set up an obstacle course. Sin diverts humanity of where God wants us to be, which explains the seemingly sloppy nature.

Wow, and that was only the first point of 10. Don is up next.

1 comment:

Max Weismann said...

We have recently made an exciting discovery--three years after writing the wonderfully expanded third edition of How to Read a Book, Mortimer Adler and Charles Van Doren made a series of thirteen 14-minute videos on the art of reading. The videos were produced by Encyclopaedia Britannica. For reasons unknown, sometime after their original publication, these videos were lost.

When we discovered them and how intrinsically edifying they are, we negotiated an agreement with Encyclopaedia Britannica to be the exclusive worldwide agent to make them available.

For those of you who teach, this is great for the classroom.

I cannot over exaggerate how instructive these programs are--we are so sure that you will agree, if you are not completely satisfied, we will refund your donation.

Please go here to see a clip and learn more:

http://www.thegreatideas.org/HowToReadABook.htm