Saturday, September 20, 2008

School of Theology: John MacMurray 6

Rick is off, John is finishing up "Wrong Turns in Interpretation"

1 was covered in John's Session 3
2 - 7 and 9 in Session 5

8. Reading the Bible devotionally.
  • Priority is looking for practical meaning for me.
  • Often the search for the author's meaning is abandoned by ignoring the flow of thought. Thus my meaning becomes what I live by, not God's meaning.
It just becomes about word association, and shaping our understanding with our own emotions, experiences, and worldly understanding. What is unique about Scripture when you can do this with any piece of literature?

You can pull out any piece of literature and apply it to your life. Times magazine, Shakespeare, even something immoral. It can speak to your intellect, emotions, etc. and make just as good of a sermon. You can do this with Scripture, but is this what it was meant for.

If teachers present the Bible devotionally, and that's not what is was meant for, we will be held accountable.

Not, what does it mean to me, what is it saying in the first place. We risk abandoning what God is trying to say in the first place.

9. Reading the Bible as a magic book.
  • Words and context are replaced with a search for a word or situation that resembles something familiar so that I can find God's answer for my situation.
  • God magically speaks to me answering my questions, solving my problems, and meeting my needs regardless of what the text is actually saying
We are dealing with the things of God in mans communication. It is mystical.

"God speaks to me and tells me how to live my life". They are seeking intimacy, don't have it, and this brings intimacy.

1 comment:

ET said...

Reading about all the inaccurate ways of reading Scripture is really leaving my mind in chaos, because it seems like everyway I've known to read it is now said to be wrong. What do we do then? Do we stop doing devotions? The postmodern side of me is saying that surely there is more than one way to read Scripture and it can be meaningful and God can speak through it regardless of how we read and we all find ways to read it that speak the most to us...is that really that dangerous?