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Derek Ouellette Comments on the Gungor Controversy

 

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You can comment to Derek at YouTube: Gungor: 3 Concerts Cancelled over Unorthodoxy? What! (re)News. You can see more of his videos here: Bible Floss.

MORE ON THIS CONTROVERSY:
From Dave Wainscott (mostly links): Gungorgate: banned for agreeing with C.S. Lewis (and having Rob Bell and Rachel Held Evans help with their CD). And Stephen Mattson reminds us that some of the historic hymn writers were controversial in their day: The Problem With Christian Worship Wars. And, at the BioLogos web site: Faith after Literalism: An Interview with Michael Gungor.

 

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On Having a Single Faith Journey

I see the development of my faith as a connected story. I don’t see it as a matter of once having a certain type of faith and then graduating or switching to another sort of faith. I am thankful to the people who shared the Gospel with me. I am seeking to extend that journey of faith the best I can — as honestly and truthfully as I can.

Conservative-Evangelicals-Misunderstood-MillennialsYeah, I heard the Gospel among people who talked about entire sanctification in a way that led to some confusion and frustration. Yeah, there were a number of ideas I am sure I picked up from the conservative Christian culture that I later needed to revise or even reject. Sure  — though I think I was always skeptical of that “Rapture” (“A Thief in the Night”) teaching that was so much a part of evangelical Christianity in those days.

As I said recently, I see my own faith journey as one story — even though it has taken some unexpected twists and turns.

It is only natural that faith grows and develops. And, the Church ought to be a place where people can explore new ideas and new understandings. It often isn’t, I know, — but I think it should be. New information always raises new questions. Sometimes new information forces us to develop and adopt new paradigms. It’s only natural. But, we should always be open to new information.

I look at it this way. (more…)

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My Journey With the Bible

I tweet a lot of links and many of them are critical of dictation and inerrancy approaches to the Scripture. I love the Scriptures and I love preaching and teaching the Scriptures, so this may seem strange. In fact, they are closely related to one another. In a sense, I don’t really have an intellectual campaign against Biblical inerrancy — my objections are empirical. My only objection to fundamentalist and inerrancy approaches to the Scriptures is that, in detail, they don’t work.

Greg Carey

Greg Carey

Recently Greg Carey, professor of New Testament at Lancaster Theological Seminary posted a blog entry entitled “Where Do ‘Liberal’ Bible Scholars Come From?” It’s a good piece, and I think he is making a good point: Bible scholars become “liberal” (to the extent that they do) from reading and studying the Bible. The Bible itself undermines the fundamentalist view of the Bible. Carey writes:

Though I understand it differently, I love the Bible as much as I ever have. I’m just as passionate for Jesus and for the gospel as I ever have been, though I understand them differently too. But I can say this: Reading the Bible is a terrific cure for fundamentalism. That’s exactly how many of us so-called liberal Bible scholars got our start.

Then Peter Enns picked up on this and began a series at his blog: “I was always taught the Bible says X, but I just don’t see it.(more…)

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On the Grace of Holy Scripture

bible-crossWords from one of the early Church Fathers:

Study your heart in the light of the Holy Scriptures, and you will know therein who you were, who you are, and who you ought to be. If you approach the Scriptures in meekness and humility, you will really discover there both the prevenient grace by which it is possible to be inspired to a beginning, and the concomitant grace, by which it is possible to continue a journey on the right path, as well as the subsequent grace, by which one is enabled to achieve the blessedness of the heavenly kingdom.

St. Fulgentius of Ruspe (ca. 465-533) Letter to Senator Theodore 6.12. Found here.

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What John Wesley Actually Said About the Bible

John Wesley (1703 –1791)

John Wesley (1703 –1791)

John Wesley saw the Methodist movement as a return to the original life & faith & experience of Christianity. He wanted to return to the faith of the apostles and the early church — to find that same dynamic quality of faith and life that the early Christians had. So, Scripture had a place of central importance in Wesley’s teaching and preaching.

In Wesley’s view, devotion to the teachings of the Scripture is absolutely essential for the task of keeping and renewing the Christian faith.

So, in light of this, I’ve gathered together on this page everything substantive that John Wesley said about the Bible. I have not attempted to “tone down” or alter any of his opinions — though I have updated the language in the first quote. My goal here has been completeness.

Yes, there is some room for argument about what he may have meant by some of these remarks — of course. And, I certainly wouldn’t say the man was in any way infallible.

But, here is what he actually said. (more…)

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Old Testament Foundations

Hebrew_bible_4In a church that I pastored years ago, one of the church leaders expressed surprise when I gave sermons based on Old Testament texts. He had pretty much written off the Old Testament — at least, from what he knew of it — and I hadn’t. In fact, I enjoy preaching from an Old Testament story or text.

I’m pretty open that I do not expound on the Old Testament the way a Jewish rabbi would. Yes, I try to understand the Old Testament in its historical context. But, for me that is just a beginning point. I also want to understand it (for the purposes of Christian preaching) in light of what God has revealed to us in Christ. (more…)

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N. T. Wright on “Literal” Interpretation

This is a follow-up to a recent post about taking the Bible literally — whatever that means!

Alastair Roberts, who left an excellent piece of rebuttal in the comments (seeking to defend Origen and his methods of interpretation), also, by way of Goggle+, reminded me of this video of N. T. Wright discussing the use of the word “literal” in relation to our reading and interpretation of the Bible.

 

 

 

 

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What Does It Mean to Take the Bible Literally?

Bible+handI keep hoping people will stop using the word “literal” to describe the Bible — as in: “take the Bible literally” “literal interpretation of the Bible” and so forth. The reason I keep hoping for this is the fact that the term is over-used, wrongly used, and abused.

What does it mean to take the Bible “literally”?

What does the word “literal” mean? It seems to be used rather loosely. I understand it to be the opposite of words like “symbolic” “figurative,” or “allegorical.” To take a thing literally is to take it at face value.

It’s not that difficult a concept. Yet, the way the word is used would make you think otherwise. (more…)

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