After a summer of vacations and sleeping in, today I managed to make it back to church. Also, it was Rally Sunday which is a start of a new church year and new church activities. Goes with back to school, ya know:?
So our church began a new sermon/study series affiliated with the book “The Story, NIV: The Bible as One Continuing Story of God & His People” By Max Lucado & Randy Frazee. It is as the title indicates. A rewriting Of the Bible. Grant it –don’t get me wrong. I think partial rewriting is helpful for understand complicated text. But it is still that-a rewrite. And while it remains to be seen what the discussion groups will bring (we have pretty smart people at our church-luckily not mindless drones or cliche Christians), the book makes me a little upset.
Why? Because I spent 4 years studying the Bible to learn that we should never bring our own interpretationsto the text or try to play connect the dots with the verses and themes that actually do not go together. My professors constantly talked about the danger of universal themes. It’s a problem when we try to take the completed, the dirty and the messy and try to fit it into a clean box. It’s like paint. No matter how carefully you are, you will still get paint on your hands and all down the paint can. And then you will only be more upset that you didn’t put down a towel or acknowledge the reality of the situation which would have saved time and tears.
As I stated, I trust my church and the people I communion with to think outside the box and maybe bring up related issues. I also trust those leading to think deeper that a superficial “story” theme that while comforting on the surface can lead to failed formulas for faith or to dead ends in logical thought. Finally I am trying to have an open mind about a book that already a intro and chapter in is making my biblical education feel compartmentalized.
Peace peace peace….