1. This week I read an article about a person who left the evangelical church. Now, I will ignore the need to define "evangelical" (although I perhaps should define it, because the term is such a broad one and means many different things to many different people). This person claimed that, among other things, she became disillusioned with the "lilteral" approach to interpreting the Bible. In her own words, "I have long had trouble with a literal reading of the Bible that deliberately ignores the historical, sociological, and religious contexts in which the various Biblical texts were written." As I reflected on that ... I thought, Hmm. I have heard this argument against a "literal" reading of the Bible so often (and I believe her view of a "literal" interpretation of the Bible is certainly NOT my view ... read on). Yet I never hear people argue that other pieces of literature should not be read "literally." The word "literal" has so much baggage with it ... I prefer the words "plainly" or "naturally." --- i.e. the Bible should be read like any other book, taking into account its various genres, use of figurative language and symbolism, the historical and cultural context in which it was written, etc. And as we do this, we must also remember the Bible is not like any other book in that it was inspired by God Himself. It is His revelation of His will, nature, and character AND His plan for us (which includes the glorious plan of redemption through his Son Jesus!). Bottom line, I believe that the Bible is (in Kevin Deyoung's words) knowable, necessary and enough. But for fallen humanity who balks at submitting to God ... when the revelation of God butts up against the "wisdom" of man, then all of a sudden ... the "literal" interpretation is not to be accepted. And that is a sad place to end up!
2. We have had a great week of VBS here at Grace Church! What a privilege it is to introduce these little ones to Jesus Christ! I always think of my own experience whenever VBS rolls around. It was in the city of Harrisburg at Melrose Gardens Grace Brethren Church where I recall first hearing the words of John 3:16. I was eleven at the time. Although I don't believe that marked my conversion, it did put me on a path that would, at age 16, lead me to the cross. So ... every year I make myself available to serve in our VBS because these little children matter to Jesus (Mark 10:13-16). And if they matter to Jesus, they had better matter to us!
Thanks for stopping by . . .