Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Thoughts on Unleashing the Scripture

So, some friends of mine and I are making an attempt at having an online book club. We read a book and post reflections about the assigned sections. What follows are my reflections about the first part of the book Unleashing the Scriptures by Stanley Hauerwas:

  • His basic argument is that the bible can not be read individually. There is no "true" meaning that lies unchanged in the scriptures that can be understood by an unaided solitary reader. We can not read scripture outside of an interpretive community. The myth of the rugged individual, so prevalent in the psychology of the United States, has corrupted our reading of Scripture.

  • on p. 16 he says, that he doesn't believe that each person has the right to interpret the scriptures.
    • I agree with this, however, considering the fallen nature of institutions, I'm nervous about giving institutions sole interpretive power.

  • I think he suggests but I wish he would say outright that the bible can only speak to us when read in the tension of relationships, specifically the relationships of Christian Community

  • When we read the bible as individuals we cannot resist the demonic temptation to interpret the scriptures in a manner that requires the least change in us.

  • On the other hand when we read scripture in community, especially a community that already has binds on us, we have correctives available to us that keep us from creating the bible in our own image nor making an idol of the bible

  • I can agree with him to the extent that the community has a mechanism for self correction. For example in my tradition, we have a hierarchical structure, which presents some problems in its own right, but there are methods by which the community as a whole prayerfully discerns the corporate interpretation of scripture and direction of the Church

  • because of the fallen nature of institutions I could not get behind a top down interpretaion of scripture where there is one individual, or even a small group of individuals, deciding what everyone else is to believe.

  • I agree that a community is needed for the rightful interpretation of scripture in so much as everyone exercises a voice in the community.

NEW JOB!!!!!

I am excited to announce that I have been called to be the Rector of the Church of the Resurrection in Omaha Nebraska. I begin working there in February.