Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A Human Book That Can Be Dangerous

Last post I was personal. And in sharing my journey I do not want to give the impression that "I have no hope" or that I am distraught. No, in fact, what I have come to understand has enlarged me as a person. I am grateful for it, but it has been challenging and at times, painful.

When I call scripture a human book, I mean that humans wrote the book with certain understandings, and assumptions. Some of these are personal assumptions, just as the "image" of Father was an important one for me, because of my past. Each gospel writer have different emphasis' and different rememberances. This is not unusual, as when two people are asked about a certain situation, there are ususually areas of disagreement.

Why do I say that a human book, much less the Bible is a danger? Whenever there is something that is considered "special" or"holy" then humans tend to treat it differently. This should not be, as scripture was written by human beings, and though, inspired, were not inspired any more than what any other human being can be inspired. These writers did not become some "superman" before they wrote the scriptures. They were ordinary people who had had an extraordinary experience that had impacted their lives. Because of the impact, these writers were "inspired", but it was not a supernatural kind of inspiration. Without knowing really what the writer's intent was, nor can one understand how they "hoped in god", but we do know that these were "worldviews" as well as personal views of the writers. Therefore the text should not be accepted at face value because our world is different.

I find that faith is more enlarging and mores inclusive of others when there is an understanding of the text's limitation and not believeing that the text is somehow superior to the human being. The text cannot talk, interpret, or reason. So, understanding the text is "work". Ancient paradigms, language expressions, bring much confusion as how to apply the text Our modern West does not seek to apply it, but dismiss it altogether, while the conservative evangelical tries to obey it, with limited understanding of how wrongly their application might be. This is dangerous to the individual interpreter but also, others, as judgements will be based on this limited viewpoint.

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