Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Reading the Bible with Scot McKnight (9)

In chapters 6-8 of The Blue Parakeet: Rethinking How You Read the Bible, Scot alerted us to the fact that listening is crucial to good Bible reading. But that’s just the first step. The process of listening must lead to the reality of loving God and doing God’s word. The aim is not just to be informed about the Bible, but to know and love God, practice good works, and love one another. If that’s not happening, our Bible reading has gone astray and needs to change.

These next two chapters (9-10) highlight the need for discernment as to how to apply the Bible to our lives today. How do most of us read Leviticus 19? Scot contends that we probably don’t often keep many of the commands of this chapter. For what reason? You get the picture.

Is it the same for Jesus’ teaching? That was then, this is now? Scot wants to point out that Christians then and now have been pickers and choosers as to which parts of the Bible apply in a particular context – no one takes everything in Jesus’ teaching or the Bible literally. But Scot argues, if that’s the case, and we’re already discerning about application, we need to be more aware of what we’re doing.

Scot then takes three relevant examples (disciple’s prayer, conversion, and ethics) from Jesus’ teaching in order to show that we don’t apply everything he is commanding. If this is true, it should cause us to seriously reflect on and be conscious of how we're reading the Bible.