Friday, September 19, 2008

School of Theology: John MacMurray 5

JMac is picking back up with "Wrong Turns in Interpretation".

If you missed the first point discussed in length; John MacMurray 3.

2. Searching textual strata for meaning and ignoring textual strategy. (Compositional approach)
  • Emphasis on the detail without knowing the flow of thought the detail is being presented in. This is also known as the issue of "structural context"
If we are told something at the beginning of the story, it needs to be there because it shapes your understanding of subsequent events.

In Matthew he defines Jesus proclamation of the Gospel of the Kingdom before the sermon the the mount. You understand, this is the Kingdom at hand.

3. Reading the Bible as an academic book only.
  • The Bible is a great piece of literature and nothing more.
  • The contents are nothing more than information to be processed.
  • This ignores the purpose of the Scriptures and lacks passion/intimacy with God.
4. Read the Bible through 21st century glasses.
  • I ask it questions it wasn't designed to answer.
  • I read from a modern culture viewpoint.
  • I read ancient literature as hough it is modern literature.
It doesn't tell you what car to buy. The Bible teaches you a way of wisdom. It teaches you how to think, how to live, how to feel.

5. Reading the Bible as a formulaic or self help book. (prescriptive vs. descriptive)
  • My objective is to find out how to be a better me.
  • We reduce God's Word to a giant recipe book for different issues in life.
Why when we read the Bible do we not build an ark?

When Luke wrote Acts was he trying to make 13 points on how to do missions?

6. Reading the Bible as a history book.
  • The OT is simply a history of Israel that may have some interesting stories and characters but has little that relates to the 21st century.
The OT contains historical events, but is not the point.

7. Reading the Bible as an informational guidebook for life. (prescriptive vs. descriptive)
  • A situational how to manual.
  • The major goal is to copy what was done or said, thinking this will result in blessing.
  • Reduces narrative just to character studies.
Danger of reading it for a desired end that it really may not have.

The Bible addresses the question of why far more then how.

8. and 9. will be covering these in a separate session. We're running up on lunch time.

10. Spiritualizing or allegorizing a text.
  • We ignore the authors' intention altogether.
Augustine read Scripture this way.

The danger is no way of knowing whose way is the correct way.

God used humans, using human language, to communicate to humans.

1 comment:

ET said...

"Why when we read the Bible do we not build an ark?" Good point, I have never thought of that one but I'm sure it would have been a good line to use in those head covering debates we've always had. :P