Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Spiritual Rhythms of Life for Today

Hermeneutics plays a central role in our lives, and it is important to be aware of this. Here are four consequences. First, the general action of interpreting anything is part and parcel of what it means to be a human being in the world. Second, we can think of the interpretive act as part of our hardwired neural functions that assist our quest for optimal understanding. Third, this quest can be viewed as a circuitous passage that takes us through different kinds of worlds; spiritual, natural, contextual, textual, and otherwise. Fourth, along the journey, discordant thoughts are garnered and woven together into a reflective concordant whole. It might be said this way: our overall picture of the world, including our place in it, condenses out of the mist of a life being experienced. Hence, the base-line level of being in the world must incorporate this hermeneutical dimension.

The biblical writers themselves are interpreters of the signification of God’s communication – God’s speech acts – and the ancient authors are not free from the hermeneutical web of life setting connections with the cosmos and the living God, who claimed Israel for his own, revealed himself primarily, though not solely, to noteworthy characters in the plot, and ultimately the Christ, who then would pass on in word and deed the story of redemption to nation and world.