Thursday 10 December 2015

Guerrilla Bible?

Tim Bulkeley has a brief but intriguing teaser up on his excellent Sansblogue blog.
The battle for the Bible was over before war was even declared. Modernity won the battle, and people today (both Christians and Atheists) read Scripture using modern categories and methods. It is a history book, a manual, a book of poetry, full of myths and legends… all categories modernity imposed on Bible readers. 
But there is another way, guerilla reading. Reading the Bible as it was meant to be read. The Bible is God’s love letter to humanity. Along the way it tells the story of his dealings with a chosen people, his entry into human life in the child born at Christmas, his death on the cross and triumphant rising to new life as the Spirit of God filled the church…
I enjoy Tim's postings, even those that raise my eyebrows, as did this one. I really doubt that the Good Book can be described as "God's love letter to humanity", or that an escape into fictive and triumphalist heilsgeschichte is anything other than compounding the problems and then multiplying them by 10. Ye olde Grand Narrative seems to me to be an even more artificial construct than anything using modern categories and methods; more Magilla Gorilla than guerrilla.

But it seems Tim might have something deeper in mind. He continues.
This series will teach you to read the Bible as it was meant to be read, to discover God through the ancient words of Scripture and to apply that knowledge today. 
If you have read this far how does this sound as the sales pitch for a simple how-to series on reading the Bible? Does it claim too much? Is it too warlike? Or just fun?
So there's a series on the way (or is that a series on the Che?) Again, once bitten twice shy, my first thought was an image of the thrice-cursed Ambassador College Bible Correspondence Course which, as I recollect, promised much the same thing. Can there even be such a thing as "a simple how-to series on reading the Bible"? So yup, the alarm bells went off immediately. Hardly fair, as Tim is a good guy and an informed, progressive and thoughtful bloke not given to proof-texting.

My answers to Tim's questions are therefore 'yes' (not a good thing), 'yes', 'no' (though I'm not sure what he means by 'warlike') and 'you must be kidding'.

But, as they say, watch this space.

1 comment:

  1. Jos. Tkach: "Adam & Eve are figurative; who told you read it literally??"
    Lay Member: "Um, you and your dad a few years ago"