Let the Great Experiment Begin!

Sorry, couldn’t resist. But for you Arrested Development fans out there, you know what’s up… :P

My friend Matt and I have decided to do a joint blog project for a while. He had a great idea for an issue to tackle…

Enslaving aliens … Family before work … Silencing women … Play … Smiting homosexuals … Turning the other cheek … Just War …

One could make a Scripture-based case for each of these. So how do we know where to take the Bible literally, or where to use our imaginations; where to take the words at face value, or where to dig for additional meanings? It sounds broad, it sounds daunting, but this is the quest of every Christian serious about figuring out how they fit into God’s ongoing story of his involvement in His Creation, our world.

Matt has come across an article that should generate some wide discussion and probe some interesting questions: Nine Theses for the Interpretation of Scripture, written by Ellen F. Davis and Richard B. Hayes of Duke University.

Every Tuesday and Friday, we’ll post about the particular thesis for that day, basically moving through the article over the course of a month. Anyone who wants to go through this with us is welcome, just comment on my post or his, and we will also make use of trackbacks. This Tuesday we will start with Thesis #1 and I encourage you to read the article on it, and also NT Wright’s How Can the Bible Can be Authoritative?.


One response to “Let the Great Experiment Begin!

  1. I have seen the truth and it is as sophisticated as a fry-up in Hartlepool!
    The historical reality of Christ the man is irrelevant.
    What we have is four books that express, in different ways, one truth: Universal love.
    Four elements that express one truth:
    Universal love.
    Four notes of a pentatonic scale, the root note of which is the historical reality of Christ and the octave of which is the timeless expression of universal love.

    There is a sense in which all words are ‘true’ – the sense in which they are existent forms that govern our belief-sets and value systems. I do not consider them to be the primary organising principle governing our collective memes, as the universal archetypal stories, being universal, transcend language – or, rather, they underlie it. Perhaps an appropriate metaphor would be to imagine the archetypes as an invisible loom which we illuminate with words – without the specific threads of words we weave we cannot see the looms at all, but our choice of colours and stitch are merely transient decorations, patterns that play upon the surface of that which I AM.

    It is not unreasonable to confer a certain authority on as great a spiritual teacher as Jesus – but why anyone continues to conflate his authority with that of the canon authorised at The Synod of Hippo is absolutely beyond me.

    The Book of John says “you do not need any man to teach you…the same anointing teaches you all things and is truth…you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you know all things…Beloved, now we are the sons of God. He who keeps his commands dwells in him, and he in him. And we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit which he has given us.” Thus, surely, the contemplations of any ‘righteous’ man – by John’s or any other definition – should be ‘true’ (if ‘true’ is a meaningful term) and worthy of our consideration? It is in this sense that we might regard all virtuous beings as prophets, as they themselves, and what they produce, are all expressions of an Immanent God that dwells both within them, and that they, equally, dwell within. Are not all stories allegories, parables, timeless riddles, that are as much mirrors on ourselves as they are reflections of the topics they ostensibly explore?

    We are all prophets, and both mankind’s ancient noumenous expressions, and the musings, fictions and machinations of this apparently Godless age, ARE collectively the most diverse, beautiful, spiritual canon in this or any other universe. The life of man in its entirety, let us now waste any of it, then none of our suffering will have been in vain.


    ‘I saw no God, nor heard any, in a finite organical perception; but my senses discover’d the infinite in everything, and as I was then persuaded, and remain confirm’d, that the voice of honest indignation is the voice of God, I cared not for consequences, but wrote. William Blake’ ‘The Marriage of Heaven and Hell’

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