Wednesday, January 15, 2014

a biblical post about being biblical by not calling anything "biblical"

Remember the "Christian is a lousy adjective" article?

In a similar vein, hear Rachel Held Evans (in "A Year of Biblical Womanhood"), suggest that the Bible (or "biblical")  shouldn't be an adjective, either:

The Bible isn’t an answer book. It isn’t a self-help manual. It isn’t a flat, perspicuous list of rules and regulations that we can interpret objectively and apply unilaterally to our lives.
The Bible is a sacred collection of letters and laws, proverbs and poetry, philosophy and prophecies, written and assembled over thousands of years in contexts very different from our own, that tells the complex, ever-unfolding story of God’s interaction with humanity.”
When we turn the Bible  into an adjective, and stick in front of another loaded word (like “womanhood,” “politics,” “economics,” “marriage”  and even "equality") , we tend to ignore or even downplay the parts of the Bible that don't fit our tastes.  In an attempt to simplify, we try to force the Bible's cacophony of voices into a single tone and turn a complicated, beautiful, and diverse holy text into a list of bullet points we can put in a manifesto or creed. More often than not, we end up more committed to what we want the Bible to say than what it actually says.  p. 294

A few pages later:

And I believe that my calling, as a Christian, is the same as that of any other follower of Jesus. My calling is to love the Lord with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength, and to love my neighbor as myself. Jesus himself said that the rest of Scripture can be rendered down into these two commands. If love was Jesus’ definition of “biblical,” then perhaps it should be mine.

Basically the same section in a CNN article:
My Take: The danger of calling behavior ‘biblical’


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