Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Reading the Bible, I: Listening to the Story

7 Epiphany
6 Hilary
I'm going to London today to hear N.T. Wright lecture.

From N.T. Wright, Scripture and the Authority of God, SPCK, 2005:
"Once you can make scripture stand on its hind legs and dance a jig, it becomes a tame pet rather than a roaring lion. It is no longer 'authoritative' in any strict sense; that is, it maybe cited as through in 'proof' of some point or other, but it is not leading the way, energizing the church with the fresh breath of God himself. The question must always be asked, whether scripture is being used to serve an existing theology or vice versa" (52).

"The fact that I have criticized the 'literal/non-literal' polarization does not mean that I am indifferent to the question of whether the events written about in the gospels actually took place. Far from it. It is juts that it will not do to repeat irrelevant slogans and imagine that one has thereby settled the matter. There is a great gulf fixed between those who want to prove the historicity of everything reported in the Bible in order to demonstrate that the Bible is 'true' after all and those who, committed to living under the authority of scripture, remain open to what scripture itself actually teaches and emphasizes. Which is the bottom line: 'proving the Bible to be true' (often with the effect of saying, 'So we can go on thinking what we've always thought'), or taking it so seriously that we allow it to tell us things we'd never heard before and didn't particularly want to hear?" (70)
As one of my beloved profs always says, "Let the storyteller tell his story."

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7 comments:

Peter said...

Hope you enjoy.

I expect a full play-by-play when you return.

Kyle said...

You got it, man.

Ben Finger said...

If you take notes (or even better yet) audio it would delight the soul of this Southerner if you can share it.

Sick'm dog. You are the verily verily God's Jack Russell Terrier.

Jared Cramer said...

I don't know if there is a better person today to discuss Scripture than NT Wright.

Thanks for sharing this.

stephen said...

Kyle,

I believe we have some friends in common. I don't remember how, but I found your website about a year ago and I have been a semi-regular reader since then. I really enjoy your thoughts. I just figured it was about time I commented and introduced myself. I am Stephen, I believe you know my brother (TJ).
good selections from NT Wright, and congradulations and getting to hear him, I am jealous.

-stephen

The Archer of the Forest said...

I am also jealous. NT Wright is great stuff. I was just reading a paper by him for a research project I am working on...

Kyle said...

Cheers, guys. I'll post some of the highlights of my notes as time goes on. The lecture kicked some serious tail. Who knew that "apocalyptic" was such a beautiful word?

Hey, Stephen. I do remember your brother. I hope you're enjoying life out west; training to be a theologian, yeah? Do check out Sunday's "Podcast With a Campbellite" and feel free to drop me an indignant e-mail. :0)