Friday, September 30, 2005

A WEEK WITH INAGRACE DIETTERICH day 5


INAGRACE ON SCRIPTURE:

Through the empowering presence of the Holy Spirit the communal interpretation of the Bible continues to evoke and constitute a new people, a people who embody or enflesh the living Word of God. Such communities are not consumers: using the Bible for self-defined needs or interests.

They are not tourists: exploring distant and exotic, yet ultimately, irrelevant territory. They are hearers, readers, and doers of the Word: embodying within their common life and shared ministry the transforming love of God as shown forth in the ministry, cross, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Thus the authority, interpretation, and use of the Bible, while drawing upon experts and concerned with personal experience, finally rests with the "performance of the text"—the obedient discipleship of missional communities.

MY THOUGHTS:
I had an interesting discussion with another methodist blogger yesterday concerning the authority of scripture. Like many modernists he sees one role of scripture as "gatekeeper"- an authority that tells us "who's in and who's out". Unfortunately both liberal and conservative Chrisitans tend to play this game (usually one group is playing the role of marginalized at the expense of the other). Instead of being a "gift" to the community, scripture becomes a weapon to divide the Body of Christ.

Inagrace here offers an alternative way of seeing scripture which I find helpful.

cheers,
jonathon

4 comments:

Zoomdaddy said...

Jon,
While I think you're right that the Bible gets misused, I can very easily seeing the same thing happening following Diettrich's model. One could claim this person is not staying within the community with his/her interpretation. The other could claim that person is not a true doer of the word accepting such an interpretation. In fact we already use those categories in our debates. So is Diettrich proposing a fresh way of doing theology, or expressing the reality of the way theology is already done (and has been done for the alst 2000 years). Sin is deceitful, even if there is strong community ethic. Pride will tempt those who right, and antinomianism will tempt those who are wrong. No side is exempt from Romans 7 battle.

Craig Moore said...

Jonathan
Does the community validate the truth and authority of scipture? If the communitiy agrees with what it says and adopts it as a code for all to live by, is that what gives it authority in the life of the believer or church? Do you think scripture is valid because it is "thus saith the Lord" or is it valid because 'thus saith you and I?"

I do agree that scripture needs to be lived out in our lives and community and obeyed. One of the biggest concerns I have as a pastor is with those who profess belief in God's word, but then live their daily lives in total disregard of it.

St.Phransus said...

Q: Does the community validate the truth and authority of scipture?

A: The community validates the truth and authority of scripture only so far as it authentically embodies and lives out of the narrative of scripture.

Q: If the communitiy agrees with what it says and adopts it as a code for all to live by, is that what gives it authority in the life of the believer or church?

A: First let me say that it is a mistake for a Christians to believe that the laws, codes, doctrines, way of life, etc.. found in scripture is for ALL to live by. It is for The People of God who follow the way of Jesus Christ to live by. To try and "universalize" the gospel is to try and force culture to live by rules that were meant for a particular people. Its universal in that all are invited through God's grace to PARTICIPATE IN the life of Christ.

With that said- authority comes from God and God alone. But God's authority comes to us through community-
1. Scripture. The word of God.

2. Tradition- we have the words and writings beginning with the apostles and then the early church, the apostalic fathers, reformers, monastics, creeds, etc... that help shape the narrative of scripture and thus shapes our way of life lived out in community.

3. Holy Spirit- we as a community listen for what God calls us to be and how to live within our unique social context, being both faitful to the narrative of scripture, tradition, but also always asking tough questions about the world arounds us.

Q: Do you think scripture is valid because it is "thus saith the Lord" or is it valid because 'thus saith you and I?"

A: Thus saith you and I is "ahistorical" there is a refusal of tradition and it's pretty presumptious and gnostic to think you and I have special access to God's truth.

I think it began with "thus saith the Lord", but the body of Christ is empowered through the Holy Spirit to be able to wrestle with interpretation as long as tradition plays a part.

Thanks craig for the wonderful questions.

shalom,
jonathon

Craig Moore said...

Jonathon

Thanks for answering my questions. I am very satisfied with your answers. What is your view of Divine inspiration of the Bible? Is the scripture only a historical account of the early community of God according to human authors? Also, I do not agree that God's words are not binding on the secular world. Isnt that what final judgment is all about? Is that not what sin is, failure to live up to God's standard, even for non-believers? Yes, God's will and word sets the standard for how His people are to live, but it also includes all human beings in the end, doesn't it?

Thanks again for your thoughtful reply.

Craig