Hope your surgery goes well. The following comments may be
helpful, or at least stimulate some discussion.
"Howard J. Van Till" wrote:
> 2. (On Glenn's verboten topic) What does it mean to refer to the Bible
> as the "word of God"? Is it not the case that Christians are often
> inclined to move without sufficient reflection from thinking of the
> Bible as "divinely inspired" to treating it as if it were "divinely
> written" (in modern Western literary style, of course, and with
> complete access to the divine knowledge base)? And is it not the case
> that treating the Bible as if it were "divinely written" is likely to
> produce biblicism bordering on bibliolatry?
> 3. Why not consider the possibility that Christians could benefit from
> a respectful reading of the religious texts of other faiths? Do we
> really think that all other faith communities have been totally denied
> an authentic experience of God's presence? Has God abandoned everyone
> but us Christians?
The Word of God is (1) the One through whom the universe was
created and who became incarnate. The Word of God is (2) the
proclamation of Christ. And the Word of God is (3) the Bible which
witnesses to the Word (1) and is the basis for the Word (2).
This does not mean that the Bible is the Word of God only in
a secondary or tertiary sense, nor does it answer questions about the
historical character of biblical narratives. But it does mean that if
the Bible is not functioning as the Word of God if it is being used to
do something other than - in the long run - witness to Christ or support
the proclamation of Christ.
I think that this is germane to the question of how
Christians are to read religious texts of other faiths. It isn't simply
a question of whose book is better but of whether or not those texts in
some way witness to the Christ & might support the proclamation of
Christ. That may sound strange but perhaps that's because we haven't
really explored the question from that angle. In any case, there is
ultimately only one Word of God, as the Barmen Declaration of 1934
said: "Jesus Christ, as he is attested for us in Holy Scripture, is the
one Word of God which we have to hear and which we have to trust and
obey in life and in death."
This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Wed Nov 08 2000 - 10:51:00 EST