Dave Brisbin 10.20.19
Continuing on the previous week’s theme of Playing the Scriptures—finding the inspiration of scripture in the real time connection between inspired author, God, and inspired reader—what is our real relationship with scripture? The Quran, Islam’s sacred book, calls Jews and Christians “people of the book,” noting our special relationship and reverence for the text. But this focus on the text of scripture itself, the need to intellectually understand it as God’s revelation to humanity, has only brought two thousand years of division and persecution, resulting in tens of thousands of Christian denominations worldwide today. Is there another way to read scripture that heals divisions and brings us back shoulder to shoulder in shared meaning and purpose?

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Seems that is exactly what Paul is trying to do in his first letter to the Corinthians as he tries to heal the divisions among people focusing on different teachers with different interpretations, pledging allegiance to different factions among themselves. Paul is pointing, as Jesus did before him, to a graduation from passive listening and mental assent to an active participation in God’s presence that begins where our understanding ends. That mere obedience to intellectual understanding is the milk of infancy, but the solid food of maturity lies in seeing the book, the teaching, as the reflection of a life that has experienced a conviction that can’t be contained in words.

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