Saturday, January 14, 2012

A Question For Dan

A peripheral point, I suppose, but before I make my own position clear I do have to ask Dan if he really means what the following sentence seems to indicate he means:
I don't find the Bible, for the most part, to be that hard to understand. I think its teachings are generally consistent, reasonable, understandable and pretty danged obvious (if challenging and hard to live up to, short of God's grace). I don't find the Bible to be a puzzle in the least.
Speaking only for myself, I find understanding the Bible to be a journey full of traps and tricks, a lifetime-long search for understanding that never ceases. I refuse to rest in this journey, because within the dead words on the page, the Spirit constantly urges and whispers, comforts and convicts, binds and frees me. Reading the Bible as a far too comfortable middle-aged man in the second decade of the 21st century is a far different experience than a far too self-enamored young seminarian in the last decade of the 20th century, or a far too earnest and serious youth in the decade prior to that.

In addition, I find myself challenged by new readings, using all sorts of tools of which I was either unaware, or ignorant in their inner workings. It can become bewildering, discovering new meanings, new ways of reading, new questions to ask the text, finding new questions posed by the text.

The Bible is Heraclitus' stream. Which would be frustrating were it not the stream that flows from the Throne, the Living Water that, once tasted, leaves us never thirsting again.

So, Dan, I'm wondering if you really mean what it sounds like you're saying here. I find the Living Word that resurrects the text as surely as the dry bones of the Valley are made to dance by the Spirit of God's grace a challenge both in its whole and its parts. The questions it asks, the challenge it poses, the threat to my self-satisfaction; all these and so much more change not only with each phase of my life, but each passing moment of that life. The only reason I return to it each day is that I believe the sentence passed on my previous sense of success and understanding is a window to the only real Life that matters.

Virtual Tin Cup

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