Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Is all scripture reading biased – does God speak to us through it?

The search for spiritual direction in a group of people is somewhat troublesome to say the least. We all have our different opinions on things, we have different impressions as to where it lead us and depending on our exposure to historical tradition and scholarship we read it at different literal levels. I like the term ‘selective literalism’ (not sure where it comes from) to describe the way we engage with this ancient giant of literary writings - the bible. We love to read those parts we like and hardly ever read those sections that contradict our impression of God and God’s ultimate desire. So when we come together as leaders or people who are concerned about doing things in ‘Godly’ ways we are often forced into a conflicting situation due to our alternative ‘God directed’ views. What normally happens is that all who think this way congregate in this camp and those who think differently in the other. Stalemate! How certain can we be that our’ take’ is the right one? I believe the more invigorated we become that we are ‘right’ and they are ‘wrong’ is the first step to becoming a religious exclusivist. So how do we do it? How do we help a group of people ‘listen’ to God and make plans to do ‘God’s will’. I would love to hear how diverse our approaches may be.


Jenny Hillebrand said...

Amen. We can't all be right. We can't all be wrong. So what is the explanation for so many diverse ideas about God and the Bible? That God is way beyond what we can imagine. But most people can't hold on to more than one 'part of the elephant' - and perhaps they need to be custodians of their part of the elephant. I am asking the same questions as you are at the moment!

Rock in the Grass (Pete Grassow) said...

I know that the ultimate arrogance is someone saying - "This is the Will of God"... as if I 'know' the mind of God. Over the years I have learned to move from cocksure ignorance to thoughtful uncertainty.

David Barbour said...

Yip, the humility factor is the answer.. the sense that I could be wrong and I don't hold up all the sky! Then I suppose it is up to the group of divergent thinkers to seek a way forward that agrees with the common denominator?