Thursday, February 02, 2006

Union with Christ as Hermeneutics

I think we should read the Bible In Christ. Here is what I mean. First, the biblical story is, well, the story of Jesus. Second, the authoratative voice of scripture is the divine logos, the second person of the Holy Trinity -- Jesus.

Here are some implications of these notions.

First, regarding reading the Bible as God's story. That is good -- as far as it goes. The problem is when we make the Christian life about us living into God's story. This is often put forth in a, frankly, pelagian manner. I hear the story. I live the story. I may pray about it, etc. But it is basically me doing it. The deal is that only Jesus fully lived the story. Go ahead, get out our N.T. Wright. The one who fully embodies the Israel story and who continues it rightly is Jesus. We live the story by walking in a living union with Christ. Union or participation with Christ rounds out the idea of living into the Biblical story/narrative.

Second, what makes the Bible authoritative is that it is the primary (primary-- note, that does not mean only) means by which the risen and ascended Christ speaks to the Church. As important as accuracy and truthfulness are in our doctrine of the Bible, those things alone are not the ground of the Bible's authority. It's authority is grounded in the fact that it participates in Christ. We go to the scriptures to hear Christ.

One practical application. Shlocky preaching (think Osteen, Joyce Meier, etc.) of the practical kind would end if folks followed this. Why? We would go to the Bible -- even obscure passages in the Proverbs -- to seek Christ. Not three steps to a happy marriage.

(By the way, my first sentence in the last paragraph is meant to be ironic.)

Onward Christian Soldiers!!

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