Wednesday, October 19, 2011


I'd like to take a different direction for this blog for a while.

Honestly, I run out of ideas to talk about. I struggle over whether to post something simply because it passes through the gray matter between my ears. There's a lot of chatter going on and I'm not sure I have the time or the energy to keep up with it.

I think I'm turning into an old man.

So, since I love questions (more than answers), I'd like to open up this blog to anyone who'd like to post a question for us to consider.

Ask and you shall receive (at least one man's opinion, as well as those who weigh in with their responses).


Darryl Schafer said...

Rob Bell - Love Wins. Go.

I'm kidding.

Here's one for you: should scholars have "the last word" on biblical interpretation?

Lived religion sometimes (often?) contradicts a sort of ivory tower theology. I'm wondering how the two can get along.

Another way of putting it: yes, I'm asking how we can navigate (and perhaps bridge) the gap between Church and Academy.

Darryl Schafer said...

Yes, we've touched on this before, but I know others wrestle with this, as well.

ben cassil said...

I think interpretation done alone, whether in the academy or wherever, is incomplete. So, readers of the Bible should seek to read with others. Furthermore, scholars especially should not be lazy with their interpretive communities. It is easy to say that we read in community by reading other scholars, or studying the history of interpretation. It is harder to read with people who have a drastically different interpretive framework and method. It is essential for any faithful reader to seek viewpoints that make you uncomfortable. This means I should be reading with people whose life is different than mine--especially the marginalized. In this way they, too, will be challenged by my viewpoint as a reader with different training and skills.

I am influenced here by Gerald O. West, who struggles also with this question. Here is a brief video about West:

Does reading with others begin to address the disparity you are pointing out between 'lived religion' and 'ivory tower theology?'

Matt Kimbrough said...

I find that working in a SBC church, there is a lot of confusion regarding the purpose of sanctification. Most of us grew up in churches that emphasized a "moment" of salvation, resulting in the promise of a postmortem existence in Heaven. For many, the promise of Heaven is all they want out of Christianity.

Furthermore, I hear people speak as if the Reformation happened so that Christians no longer had to do ANYTHING (period... not just for justification).

My response is to point to Matt 5:48 or even to encourage them to read not only Eph 2:8-9 but ALSO v. 10. But, still, many continue to view their faith as having won the lottery (heaven) so that, now, they have no need to keep going to work every day.

So, is it our Gospel that's the problem? Are we too future oriented that we lose all perspective on the here-and-now?

More specifically, is the typical So. Bap. soteriology inadequate in regards to sanctification? If so, how can we help our churches adjust so they value spiritual growth?

Or, is the problem simply our cultural obsession with the "get rich quick" scheme, which we are importing into the church?


Anonymous said...

Was Lazarus the real beloved disciple? I've done some research lately and have heard through the grapevine that you've spoken on this topic before.

B Grif said...

I would be interested to hear a biblical view of justice as you see it. I find it interesting that we operate from a dichotomy that pits forgiveness against justice, while the cross merges these two.