Tuesday, October 25, 2005

THOUGHTS ON SCRIPTURE pt1- "Our Family Story"


One of the traditions that my family enjoy doing is gathering at my grandfather's house, sitting on his deck and eating together. This deck is the stage for the telling and re-telling of funny and serious family stories. I can almost always predict the stories that will get told according to which family members show up or what the special occasion is. You see, the same family stories get told time and time again. In fact, my wife, Jennifer, jokes that now she can tell the stories because she has heard the same ones so many times. But for our family I believe there is a sense of identity and shaping that comes out of the telling and hearing of these tales. These stories aren't even told the same way every time. Little "facts" get changed or omitted or sometimes replaced. But the power of the story and the people who are involved always stays the same. These stories have a life of their own that continually gets lived out by my family.


I view scripture much the same way that I view the stories that my family share around the meal on my grandfather's deck. Scripture is like the family stories of God's people, the Church. When the stories are told we realize where we came from, those who have come before us and what the hopes and dreams are for us as a people.

For some, viewing scripture as "our story" may be troublesome. Where do these "family stories" derive its authority? Part of its authority rests quite simply in its story line: "it is a basic conviction of the biblical writers that God acts in -and intersects with- human history to bring about God's saving purposes." (1) In other words, according to biblical faith God reveals Godself through certain accounts in history, events in which God is actively laboring to lead human beings to a saving relationship with Godself, a relationship which indeed has as its ultimate goal the redemption of the entire created order (Romans 8:18- 25). This makes God one who is actively participating in historical situations.

History can be seen as story, story is narrative and narrative is profoundly rooted in the Bible. The Bible as "the history of God", in John Wesley's words is stuffed with stories and stories within stories. In this particular history, or our family stories, we have the overall story of God the Creator and redeemer, we have the stories of the Israelites, God's chosen people, and we have the story of Jesus which we read in the four gospels, within which we even have more stories (the parables). In his book The Story of God: Wesleyan Theology and Biblical Narrative, Michael Lodahl states, "telling a story, in fact, was the most common method for teaching theology among Jewish rabbis, and it remains a prominent Jewish teaching style even today." (2)


I think it is important to note however that just because we have this "grand family story" does not mean that we view it as simply one interpretation among others, of human history and existence. To be truly Christian is to affirm that our story of God and Christian worldview is more adequate and authentic than any other interpretation as such. We as Christians believe that scripture is inspired (in-spire = breathed into). God's sacred breath has given life to the words and stories contained in scripture.

One way I look at scripture as having authority and being a "story" is to go back to my family stories. My grandfather started a family business back in the mid 1950's in North Nashville, which is a historic African American neighborhood in Nashville. His business is rumored to be the first white restaurant in Nashville to serve African Americans. When my grandfather tells the story about this he tells it in the context of a family story- he lived in a particular neighborhood (North Nashville), wanted to open a business in that particular neighborhood, saw who his potential customers would be (his neighbors), lived in poverty, and wanted to provide for his family. Thus he did not let race become a factor as to who would or would not be served. He simply wanted to serve his community and support his family. That's his story. Now if the story is told through someone else's eyes of interpretation the story changes. Hence a socio-political story can be told, or from the perspective of race, or even various ideological perspectives. In essence when told from these perspectives the story is no longer a family story- it is still historical just not an interpretation from our family. My grandfather is still the "authority" for the story of his little soda shop restaurant though.

Within the words, poetry, law, and history within scripture we find the story of God, the story of the Israelites and story of Jesus. Within these words we find a community that is constantly being shaped and formed into a people. Within these stories we find a way to live and a way to see the world. These stories are our family stories to tell and retell again.

_________________________________________________

(1) Lodahl, Michael, The Story of God: Wesleyan Theology and Biblical Narrative, (Beacon Hill Press, 1994)

(2) Ibid

31 comments:

Craig Moore said...

Jonathon, What authority do these narratives have in our lives? Are the lessons and truth taught in them still the standard for the way a Christian is to live today? What about the writings of Paul, James and John? Does the meaning of these stories change as we change? Should we as Bible students seek to find the original intent or meaning of the stories as the authoritative guide for our lives? Are these stories only wisdom literature that gives us some direction so that we can start the process of trying to map out our own stories today that are being written by us in the present?

St.Phransus said...

Craig,
the writings of James, Paul, John (and Peter)are wonderful letters that still inform and shape our communal lives as Christians.

Authority comes from the fact that the Bible is the source of knowledge about how we view our entire reality as the people of God, insofar as we are particpating and being shaped by a community that embodies the narrative of scripture. I think I stated that in today's writing.

Yes, the narratives are the standard for how we are to live today, however I don't think it is "primarily" a standard in a propositional type of way- a set of doctrines, but as we live our lives we remember the stories and we live out of the stories for our lives- formational living.

I think it is important to know the original intent of the scriptures, especially the context- however we must also remember that if scripture is inspired (God breathed) then the scripture, through the power of the holy spirit will open fresh interpretations for the community to struggle with (in light of tradition, reason, and experience).

shalom bro,
jonathon

Zoomdaddy said...

While I laud the ideals of the "story" concept of authority, I think it too quickly dismisses those parts of Scripture which are propositional (perfect example, Romans). I think to make one genre of the various genres of literature in the Bible the primary means of approaching SCripture does serious injustice to the others. You can fault others for having too propositional an apporach to Wisdom literature, for example... taking general God-inspired observations about human nature and transforming them into hard and fast "promises" that almost serve as spiritual-literary amulets/incantations to get what a person wants (common among prosperity preachers). Story may work with narrative. But it does not account for the breadth of Scriptural witness.

St.Phransus said...

i think you may misunderstand what i mean by "story". it's not that i'm laying emphasis on just the narrative elements of the Bible but that even the propositional aspects (paul's letters, etc...) come out of a narrative. If you look at Acts you find much of the context for Paul's letters. These letters where written to specific churches who were dealing with specific issues. We today can draw from these letters much the same way that the churches benefited from them.

thanks for your post

jonathon

St.Phransus said...

Lenny, stick with me. The next post dealing with this will be a bit on the church, scripture and modernity, but the third will deal specifically with authority.

So let's keep the conversation going and see where we end up.

shalom,
jonathon

Craig Moore said...

Jonathon, I will stick with you and look forward to your next post, also, I like your new look.

jason said...

because we were raised in a literate or post-literate culture, it is sometimes difficult to imagine life where practically every communication is oral - most of world history and much of the world now lived in a "story" culture where all ideas, propositional or not were basically transmitted around the campfire

our hermeneutical approach to almost any scripture (obvious exclusion would be epistles, maybe?) must take into account that the text (written) existed in an oral form for sometimes hundreds of years (some ot passages) there are structures and oral devices that helped the "storyteller" remember the story to pass it on to a new person

i know this ventures away from the comparison of story in our own lives but keep this in mind when you read (or recite) bible passages

by the way Jonathon, you need to check out The Stories We Live By – Personal Myths and the Making of the Self by Dan P. McAdams. This book helped me to begin to pay attention to my own story and what place a call into ministry has in that story. I have also learned to pay attention to the stories of those around me and to be able to ask where God is in their story. This book was especially helpful to me when doing group building in a redevelopment team and seeing how the story of our congregation is the melding of many individual stories.

Zoomdaddy said...

Jonathon,
I'll hear you out, but I am a bit concerned. One big thing that concerns me is that from I am reading, if you take a meta-narrative approach (genres flowing from the "faith story of God's people") too far, it lends a lot of weight toward a more Roman Catholic approach to Scripture (i.e. the tradition is equal to/same source as Scripture). And that is problematic in ways we are too familiar with from Church history. Can you espouse this approach and be Protestant? Not that Catholics are bad guys, but I forcefully uphold that the Church is "under" the Bible's authority, and that canonization simply "acknowledged" the inherent authority of Scripture. Otherwise, where do we draw the line? Are Spurgeon's sermons acceptible for the canon? Are the writings of heretics like Spong worthy of due consideration alongside the letters of Paul? And who exactly is the Church, and what criteria due we use to say whose "stories" are authoritative, while others are spurious? (Gosh this is sounding like a postmodern debate on will power, but that is not my intent.) You see the slippery slope. So I guess my question has to do with where the line in the sand is for this. Uranium is great stuff. You can power a small city...or you can blow it up. I see similar potential with this.

Scott said...

I don't think that was the intent of Jonathan's post (i.e. to bring Spong into the canon).

The problem Protestants have run into is that Solo Scriptura is a bad idea, because it presupposes some way to objectively interpret the Scriptures. Everyone interprets the Scriptures from some vantage point, and the Catholics (Anglo, Roman, and Eastern Orthodox) hold to the understanding that the church is the authoritative source for interpreting the Scriptures. Protestants have allowed the interpretation of the text to be placed in the hands of each autonomous individual with a Bible. Thus, we have Benny Hinn claiming that the Scriptures reveal at least 33 faces of God. We have Joel Osteen interpreting the Bible for prosperity theology. We have Spong (moving away from his tradition) to interpret the Bible the way he does.

Granted, there are multiple tragedies in history where Catholicism misinterpreted the Scriptures, but truthfully is no authority save our own the way to go.

I think Jonathan's view of the Scriptures as our family story is a beautiful way to view the Scriptures and one that falls squarely within Wesleyan theology. This one family is of course the Church, and requires us to wrestle with these passages in each generation to determine how God's power and majesty is unfolding in the power of the Holy Spirit- the living and eternal Word of God!

Thanks Jonathan for your post.

Grace and Peace,
Scott

Eric Lee said...

Jonathan,

Word to the Michael Lodahl references! I don't know him too well, but he's a PLNU professor from whom I will finally be taking some classes. I can't help but give a shout out to "my peeps", so to speak :)

In regards to Zoomdaddy's questions: Can you espouse this approach and be Protestant?

Interestingly, most of the people I know who hold this approach are Protestants. But, they are Protestants (like Hauerwas, for instance) who realize that one of the big problems with Protestantism is the individualist, sola scriptura take on Scripture (related note: Hauerwas names the first section of his Unleashing the Scripture "Sola Scriptura as Heresy"). Michael Lodahl, the author of the book from which Jonathan is quoting above, is a protestant --very Wesleyan-- professor from Point Loma Nazarene University from which I received my undergraduate degree (and hope to go back to in the Spring to work on a Masters in Theology).

Not that Catholics are bad guys, but I forcefully uphold that the Church is "under" the Bible's authority, and that canonization simply "acknowledged" the inherent authority of Scripture.

That may be a problem here, because as Hauerwas states, "no 'text' can substitute for the people of God" (Unleashing the Scriptures: Freeing the Bible from Captivity to America, page 28). The bible did not die for our sins -- Jesus did. Yes we acknowledge that the Scriptures are divinely inspired by God, but Jesus was not sent from the Father by the Holy Spirit to save a bunch of text; on the contrary, Jesus was sent to fulfill and redeem creation, and establish God's church. The Scriptures are a part of that, but they do not trump the church. And, as a protestant, I can affirm my catholicity and the narratives of the Scriptures without even falling into the "slippery slope to Roman Catholicism" logic that is being alleged here.

Hope this helps a bit.

Peace,

Eric Lee
www.ericisrad.com

Zoomdaddy said...

Scott,

I know that Jonathon's intent isn't to include any old person into the canon. And I am well aware of the dangers of private interpretation. Likewise, I do not discount the place reason, tradition, and experience have in the theological task. Sola Scriptura, rightly interpreted, has never discounted that other influences are involved and welcome in the discussion. Nevertheless, as a Protestant, I bring up these concerns. And as a fellow inheritor Wesley (via holiness, pentecostal, and charismatic branches) I am curious to see how Jonathon approaches this in more detail. Please do not read any more than caution into what I am saying. I never discount anything out of hand (at least I try), but I don't reach for every stick on the ground without looking to see if it first resembles a snake.

Scott said...

Zoomdaddy,

Caution is always good, as is avoiding snakes (I live in the Okefenokee Swamp where there are more snakes than you can shake a stick at, pardon the pun).

Here is a question for we who profess to be Wesleyan. Has solo scriptura ever been a Wesleyan understanding of Scripture? Doesn't the quadrilateral help us to understand and balance the problems inherent in solo scriptura? Likewise, doesn't it also help us from replacing the scriptura with just the tradition.

Grace and Peace,
Scott

Zoomdaddy said...

Eric,

I disagree with the assertion that a fallible Church supercedes the divine utterance of God in Scripture (referring Hauweras' comment, "no 'text' can substitute for the people of God"). We neither as a Church nor individually are God. God is God. And He speaks to us through Scripture. There is a dynamic tension of human and divine in Scripture analogous to the divine/human fullness in Christ. To equate or subordinate Scripture to the Church or her tradition would be blasphemy were it not for the fact that the Word made Letter is not the Word made Flesh. Of course the Bible didn't die for my sins. But I only know that Jesus died for my sins because of the Bible. Jesus did not come to save a book. But He uses a book His primary means of grace to reveal to me what salvation really is.

I am very aware that individualism is rampant in our culture and in our churches, especially when it comes to the Bible. But that still does not justify a full pendulum swing to place tradition in a higher place than Scripture. The corrective to bad theology is never the opposite end of the spectrum, but the right tension that should have been instituted in the first place. So we do our theology in community, but we still depend on Scripture as primary. If I did my theology as an extreme individualist, I wouldn't be writing in this forum, nor hosting my own forum for other discussions. I would be content to believe what I believe and not engage others.

Craig Moore said...

Scott, Check out Wesley's view of the authority of scripture and his comment that he is a "man of one book." Problem with many modern Wesley followers is that they see the 4 components of the Quad as equal members when it comes to interpreting the Bible. I see Wesley with a more reformed view of scripture and the Quad that many seem to hold so dear, as a later handy way to make the interpretation of the Bible more subjective and flexible.

Zoomdaddy said...

Scott,

Good questions. Here's my take on the quadrilateral. First of all, my study of Wesley reveals that he was an Anglican who leaned heavily upon the Reformed tradition and the relative novelty of the Great Awakening of which he was a part. The Anglican via media of theological method took Scripture, tradition, and reason as interdependent parts of a balanced theological method. Wesley himself (as far as I have read) never speaks of experience as a fourth leg in addition to these three, but his experiences most certainly played a role in his theological method. So the quadrilateral was developed as a means of expressing a way of doing theology modeled after Wesley.

Wesley's impulses were very much along the lines of sola scriptura, hence his desire to become "a man of one book." This is in line with the Reformers within Anglicanism. But, being a dyed-in-the-wool C of E boy, he didn't utterly forsake tradition. In fact he is highly influenced by some of the fathers regarded more in Eastern Orthodoxy because of his assertion that tradition which is temporally "nearest the fount" of the early church is more trustworthy than later developments. This sounds like the seeds of a type of restorationist theology were lodged well in his brain.

If we accept the quadrilateral as a means by which we emulate Wesley's theological method, I think we are fairly safe. Not that every jot and tittle of his theology is perfect, but his hermeneutic is generally sound and relevant today. However, if we place too great an emphasis of any other leg (tradition, reason, experience) above Scripture, that is neither true to Wesley, nor safe enough to succumb to the whims of extremism within theology. And, of course, to ignore these legs is another form of extermism and likewise not consonant with Wesleyan theology.

That's how I see it.

Zoomdaddy said...

Craig,
A big amen to what you said about the quad.

Scott said...

Zoomdaddy,

Except that without the church there would be no scripture. Now to say that, I mean the participation of the people called by God to carry His name in the Holy Spirit. Again, to place the Scripture above the church is to suppose that there is a source outside the church with greater authority. God is not over against His Church. The Church is His Body, and He is the head. How do you interpret the Scriptures without the authority of the Church? In my opinion, this is the move made by Hobbes and Locke and leads to the liberalism that has gutted the church of modern times.

Craig,

The Scripture is a norming norm for the Church. It is not a "text" at all but Scripture. The move of a more catholic reading of the Bible is not to lower the place of the Scriptures in the life of believers but to interpret them in such a way that is true to the faith handed down by the Apostles. To me, the error of the reformed reading is trying to read the Bible over against the church. I fully agree that if the church becomes unfaithful, the Scriptures are the corrective that we return to first and foremost, but we must do so by reading and studying those who have gone before us.

I don't see allowing tradition and reason (I am troubled by experience somewhat, at least in the ways we identify experience as emotional feeling) to guide our attempts to faithfully embody the Gospel as a way to be more subjective and flexible, if that means to accomodate sinfulness and unfaithfulness. I see solo Scriptura as leaning more in this direction.

To open up a potential can of worms, isn't the homosexuality debate made possible by solo scriptura? It is in the individual (person or group's)interpretation of the Scriptures without regard to historic Christian practice and tradition that allows such debates to rise to the level of discourse that they achieve and to be conducted in the manner in which they are conducted. Where so frequently faithfulness, holiness, and mercy are left behind by both "sides" in an attempt to win. This seeems to me to emerge from the dualisms brought about by the fundamentalisms of the left and the right.

Grace and Peace,
Scott

Eric Lee said...

Zoomdaddy,

To address your concerns:

We neither as a Church nor individually are God. God is God. And He speaks to us through Scripture.

I never said that the Church was God, nor are we individually are God, nor did I imply this in any way. However, God doesn't not solely speak to us through Scripture, which is what your words sound like there. Scripture guides us very seriously, but it is God's Spirit in the outpouring at Pentecost that became God's Church. It is by the Spirit that we know these things first as the continuing story of God's church in Acts (we as the continuation of this same church are Acts chapter "29", so to speak). These things are written in Scripture, yes, but it was not Scripture by which those first Christians knew this. God did not speak to those first Christians at Pentecost with a bunch of parchment paper written with Greek falling from the sky. I say this to merely make the point that Scripture is just one of the essential ways through which God speaks to us. Also, as Hauerwas reminds us, God's church throughout history did not have the text in front of them, so they needed the context and authority of the Church to interpret the Scripture. If "He speaks to us through Scripture" and that's it, then there are about 1600+ years worth of Christians who we will have to merely declare as "out of luck," or something. We are very priviledged to have this conversation where we can access the Scripture, but while we can indeed be thankful for it, that priviledge does not, and should not dictate that God only speaks to us through Scipture above all else, especially when there is actually no Scriptural basis for sola scriptura.

There is a dynamic tension of human and divine in Scripture analogous to the divine/human fullness in Christ. To equate or subordinate Scripture to the Church or her tradition would be blasphemy were it not for the fact that the Word made Letter is not the Word made Flesh.

We wouldn't know of the Scripture if it weren't for the church. It is also not blasphemy considering that the views that I've stated are in line with the Roman Catholic Church's teaching on this (refer to page 24 of Unleashing the Scripture). Holding these positions as Protestant is also not blasphemy because we as Protestants can (and should) acknowledge that we are indeed catholic. And, as mentioned above, by the own standards of sola scriptura, placing (not subordinating) Scripture under the authority of the church could never be blasphemy because Scripture itself never actually makes that claim :)

Peace,

Eric

Eric Lee said...

Regarding my previous comment about the Church not being God, Scott's corrective here is good:

The Church is His Body, and He is the head.

Not exactly a correction, but a clarification of something I forgot that is indeed true. Thanks, Scott!

peace,

Eric

Zoomdaddy said...

Everyone, this is fun...I thank you all for your thoughtful answers and debate.

Eric,
1) Regarding my "Church is not God" statement. I didn't intend for it to be taken that you were equating the two. I was using it as a foil. Sorry for the misunderstanding.

2) Scripture also refers to the OT, which was certainly in the hands of most churches. Jesus himself speaks very highly of Scripture, referring to the OT. To say that early Christians did not know about Jesus without Scripture neglects this fundamental fact.

3) I said it "WOULD BE" blasphemy. This is conditional. It obviously isn't, because we aren't putting the Church above Jesus. However, the analogy stands as a warning to the place of the Church in reference to God's communication to us in Scripture.

4) God does not SOLELY speak through the Bible. There are sorts of means of grace. But the norming rule for all communication regarding that grace is Scripture. Unfortunately, in the midst of discussion space, attention span, and time are limited, so I did not mention it. I took this to be an obvious fact.

5) I still do not see how your view, as Roman Catholic as it is, can be harmonized with Protestant theology. In fact, the Roman view, which sounds much like yours, is that Scripture is "part" of the tradition, ergo subordinate to the Church. (I see no qualitative difference between "placing under" and subordinating. Please explain.) This puts the infallible Word of God under the potential whims of a fallible Church.

6) No Scriptural support for sola scriptura...hmmmm. Pretty sure Jesus said, "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God." If the Bible is God's Word, this certainly sets up the groundwork for sola scriptura (remember, sola scriptura does not ignore tradition, reason, or experience; it just establishes it as primary in the theological hermeneutic).

Zoomdaddy said...

ctd....

Scott,

"To me, the error of the reformed reading is trying to read the Bible over against the church. I fully agree that if the church becomes unfaithful, the Scriptures are the corrective that we return to first and foremost, but we must do so by reading and studying those who have gone before us."

1) The Bible is not over AGAINST the Church, it is the dominant rule of faith and practice in the midst Church's conversation. You called it a norming norm. Exactly. For the Church to be subordinate to Scripture allows the potential for the Scripture to serve the Church correctively. I think we might be arguing semantics, however. The more you write, the more it sounds like my understanding of things. Just different words.

2) I want to clarify what I have been taught (what my understading of) sola scriptura is. It is not, the Bible ONLY. It is the Bible pre-eminent over the other tools used in the theological task. It is done in community, not individualistically. It is sees the Bible as God's Word speaking to the Church as well as words of the Church speaking the Word of God. This means that the Church is not over Scripture, but under its tutelage and protection.

Aberrations from sola scriptura eliminate other sources for the theological task and serve as grounds for a hyper-individualized hermeneutic. I hope this helps in understanding where I am coming from a lot better in this dialogue.

St.Phransus said...

very good conversation everyone. this will be my only comment tonight concerning this post.

thanks to everyone for the lively discussion. this is what, for me, blogging is about as wesleyans. we can come from different perspectives and really struggle together on issues that are important.

my follow up post should be up on thursday, which i wrote last night. but considering my third post i think i'll deal more with authority, and something scott mentioned- scripture as the "norming norm". great phrase scott. continue the dialog y'all.

shalom,
jonathon

Eric Lee said...

Zoomdaddy,

Yes, this is fun :)

Continued:

To say that early Christians did not know about Jesus without Scripture neglects this fundamental fact.

Yes, but where did they know this Scripture and how? Remember that most of the early Christians knew Scripture not by reading, but by hearing the Scripture from Rabbis and such. You have to remember that most of the early Christians, as well as most people at that time, were illiterate.

3) I said it "WOULD BE" blasphemy. This is conditional.

I read what you wrote correctly, and stated my response accordingly with my "it would also not be blasphemy..." adding further qualifiers beyond merely the one you stated. My response was not an "either/or", but it was a "both/and".

5) I still do not see how your view, as Roman Catholic as it is, can be harmonized with Protestant theology.

That's exactly my point: this is meant as a corrective to Protestant theology, which is well, also fallible. Not all Protestant theology has to be exactly correct (as it isn't). Nor is all of Roman Catholic theology correct, but it is on this point.

...This puts the infallible Word of God under the potential whims of a fallible Church.

Interestingly, this "fallible" church also chose which Scriptures to include in the cannon, so, as I've been trying to say along, the Scriptures cannot be read apart from God's Church.

Pretty sure Jesus said, "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God." If the Bible is God's Word, this certainly sets up the groundwork for sola scriptura...

The Bible is God's word written down, yes, but God's actual Word is Jesus Christ himself. Jesus Christ is the Word that proceeds out of God's mouth by the Holy Spirit. The Bible as we know it now is indeed God's word written down, but the tradition didn't used to be written -- it was an oral tradition. The Bible communicates God to us in one particular way. More rightly, it is Jesus that we cannot live without. The Bible, summed up, articulates Jesus to us, through oral or textual tradition.

This is why I rhetorically, although seriously, emphasized that it is Jesus who died for our sins and not the text, above. If we make the text and any other modern games such as sola scriptura more important to us than Jesus himself, then we are in trouble as Christians. The is the problem with emphasizing sola scriptura so much, aside from there being no actual Biblical basis for it, is that it makes a hermeneutic more important than Jesus himself. Which is why I don't quite understand why we shouldn't be able agree on that one point. I think we could.

What sola scriptura really is, interestingly enough, considering it has no real basis in scripture, is jut another tradition within the Church ;)

I can't articulate it very well, but you should consider reading Stanley Hauerwas' Unleashing the Scripture for the full skinny on this position. It's a short and easy read. By the way, he was a Methodist, and I think he's an Episcopalian (sp?) now.

Also, what's with trying to stick it to the Roman Catholics so much? I don't need to defend Protestantism anymore than I need to defend Roman Catholics, as we're all Christians and one group isn't more "chosen" or "right" than the other, which is the feeling I'm getting from your comments.

Pertaining to Scott's "norming norm" comment above (and Jonathan's affirmtion of), I actually quite agree with that, too, which I would hope would be another point of agreement between us all.

Peace,

Eric

St.Phransus said...

oh let me just say, in regards to Wesley being a man of "one book". that's a popular quote and it gets its point across nicely to us bible believing wesleyans, but it just isn't true.

wesley drew from a WIDE AND DEEP spiritual well. he was well read in the eastern orthodox and catholic traditions along with the fathers of the church. Some of Wesley's influences besides the bible were: Gregory of Nyssa, George Whitefield, his mom, Jeremy Taylor, Thomas a' Kempis (maybe the most influential, William Law (a close second), and Thomas Cranmer.

So to say that Wesley was indeed a man of one book is absolutely not entirely true.

shalom friends,
jonathon

Craig Moore said...

Jonathon, Are you doubting the integrity of John Wesley? (just kidding). I believe Wesley meant by the comment that the Bible is the primary authority in his life.

St.Phransus said...

yes, i agree. i really like scott's phrase that scripture is the "norming normn" for the church. i think i'm going to go all day tomorrow only saying "norming norm".

Scott said...

I must confess that I heard that term first in Scott Daniels' Thinking Theologically class at Trevecca.

Zoomdaddy said...

On a lighter note...would norming norm be the equivalent of homering homer (using tv bar analogies)?

Scott said...

I was thinking more along the lines of Cheers.

daniel greeson said...

woah, i just waded in ..

jonathon thought u would want this link

http://ancientfutureworship.blogspot.com/

Robert Webber's blog

shalom

St.Phransus said...

SWEEET!!!! Thanks Daniel.