Saturday, October 24, 2009

Soak Into My Pores

In discussing the way that different authors in the Old Testament are constantly quoting, arguing, and alluding to each other's writing, Walter Brueggemann says:

Those who are outsiders to the text may spot only the most explicit quotations, but those who are situated deeply and imaginatively in the world of the text can detect many other allusions. The outcome of this process is that a certain field of imagery, as well as grammar, dialect, and cadence, emerge in which all of reality is uttered and therefore construed and therefore experienced in a certain way.

This seems to me a very important fact, because we do not go to Scripture to learn facts (or not primarily for that) but rather to have the Word work through us and to slowly begin to build the reality in which we live and breath and have our being. As we interact with the Bible it becomes less of a book and more of a world. In it we find God not simply making us moral and nice, but he is actually removing us from one realm/world/reality and placing us into another.

I think I have sometimes been excessively occupied with 'proving' doctrine with the Bible. This is a clumsy process in which the Bible becomes almost a club to beat the competition. Truth, doctrine, and theological consistency are important, yes. But more important, I am beginning to think, is the long term effect of fully submerging myself in the Bible and letting it soak into my pores, interacting with it as it works through me to produce a new reality in which I live.

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