Encouragement for the Journey 20 July 2014

An inclusive Christian community in Auckland, New Zealand

Encouragement for the Journey 20 July 2014

Encouragement for the Journey

Bible (resized)

Greetings Fellow Traveller,

Welcome to another Cafe Church, our theme today is the Bible. This is such an immense topic; there are so many areas we may choose to focus on. After a conversation in our Kids friendly team, we are going to attempt an over view of how the Bible arrived in its current form. We will discover some of the major historical characters in its translation and of course have our regular table conversations.

It would be an understatement to say, that how the Bible is read and interpreted is perhaps the most single divisive issue in the Christian church today in the Western World.

Naturally there are many ways of reading the Bible. I am indebted to Professor Marcus Borg who suggests that the conflict today is between a “literal – factual” way of reading the Bible and a “historical – metaphorical” way of reading it.

The “literal – factual” way is central to Christian Fundamentalism and Conservative Christianity. The other “historical – metaphorical” way has been taught in theological colleges for over a hundred years, and in recent years has been increasingly common in some Christian Churches. These two views maybe seen as two kinds of lenses, through which one may read and interpret the Bible.

It is equally important to say that how one sees the Bible and how one sees Christianity are indeed inseparable, being intrinsically linked.

We also need to remember, that the past is a foreign country, and they do things differently there. The Bible is always a collection of ancient documents produced in worlds different from our own. What is important is that whatever lens one may use to read the Bible, it is essential that the lens one chooses includes, love, compassion and is inclusive and not exclusive.

For me I was brought up with a literal – factual” view of the Bible and over time I have adopted a “historical – metaphorical” way of reading and applying it to my life. Consequently, I find myself becoming nonliteralistic, embracing metaphor and the wonderful idea of inclusivity within the embrace of God who is love.

Meanwhile peace on our journey of discovery

Alf