Spiritual Sounding Board – This is your place to gather and share in an open format.
Discussion: The Blue Parakeet by Scott McKnight
From Chapter 2, “The Birds and I”
Over the last two Sundays we have talked about reading the Bible through the lens of “reading to retrieve” and “reading through tradition. McKnight sums up this chapter by offering that the Bible should be read with the Great Tradition (i.e. the tenets of faith – The Nicene Creed and the Apostles’ Creed).
So, how can we read the Bible that is both a “return and retrieval” reading as well as being respectful of the Great Tradition? I suggest we learn to read the Bible with the Great Tradition. We dare not ignore what what God has said to the church through the ages (as the return and retrieval folks often do), nor dare we fossilize past interpretations into traditionalism. Instead, we need to go back to the Bible so we can move forward through the church and speak God’s Word in our days in our ways. We need to go back without getting stuck (the return problem), and we need to move forward without fossilizing our ideas (traditionalism). We want to walk between these two approaches.
McKnight closes out this chapter with:
I have learned that when we take our hands off the pages of the Bible, read and listen to its words, and enter into its story by faith, something happens. It renews and continues to renew its powers. It becomes what it was meant to be, something both more intimate than an old pair of jeans and more unusual than alien creatures, something like a familiar stranger or an unpredictable neighbor or a pet lion whose presence invigorates its surroundings. Something like the glory of the ocean, which on the surface appears gentle and strolling and pleasant to observe, but under that surface there’s a vibrant, teeming, swirling, dynamic world full of beauty and wonder. Or perhaps listening to the Bible is like having the most powerful person in the world sit down with you for coffee as a friend and chat with you.
Moving forward, we will look at reading the Bible through story, listening, and discerning.
Help, Lord, for the godly are no more; the faithful have vanished from among men. Everyone lies to his neighbor; their flattering lips speak with deception.
My the Lord cut off all flattering lips and every boastful tongue that says, “We will triumph with our tongues; we own our lips – who is our master?”
“Because of the oppression of the weak and the groaning of the needy, I will now arise, says the Lord. “I will protect them from those who malign them.” And the words of the Lord are flawless, like silver refined in a furnace of clay, purified seven times.
O Lord, you will keep us safe and protect us from such people forever. The wicked freely strut about when what is vile is honored among men.
Proverbs 11: 16 – 17
A kindhearted woman gains respect, but ruthless men gain only wealth. A kind man benefits himself, but a cruel man brings trouble on himself.
May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you: wherever he may send you;
may he guide you through the wilderness: protect you from the storm;
may he bring you home rejoicing: at the wonders he has shown you;
may he bring you home rejoicing: once again into our doors.
Feel free to join the discussion.
You can share your church struggles and concerns.
Let’s also use it as a time to encourage one another spiritually.
What have you found spiritually encouraging lately?
Do you have any special Bible verses to share, any YouTube songs that you have found uplifting?
Photo credit: Kathi – The Palace of Fine Arts, San Francisco, CA