Thursday, September 10, 2009

Continually In the Temple

Dan Edelen, who got called a "religious totalitarian"(by a Christian) for his commitment to the teaching of the Bible, writes a piece in his Equipping the Saints series on knowing Scripture, or rather, knowing God through Scripture.

Also, Michael Spencer's latest in the "Evangelical Liturgy" series entitled The Public Reading of Scripture. In an age of trying to make church cool enough for the skaters and easy enough for jello-minded media addicts, he makes a very needed point.

In fact, I think what you will see around here at the Jesus Paradigm is a more concerted commitment on my part to eat the Bible.

A la Eugene Peterson.

And in a public sort of way, here on the blog. I'm certainly not a Bible teacher, but then again I've been losing my confidence in the practice of using trained professionals to mediate God and his Word for us for quite some time now. Setting out in this direction on the blog, I am convinced of several things:

1. God is Jesus, and what we need to know of God, we find in Jesus alone.

2. Knowledge of Jesus is found in Scripture alone. We connect with him personally in a "now" sort of way through relational conversation, but the knowledge "about" him comes from Scripture alone.

3. We don't need professionals to tell us what Scripture means. In fact, the cult of the "professionally spiritual" in church culture stinks of gnosticism and belittles God's revelation by concealing a person's ability to know God for themselves with the Biblically revealed Christ as the only mediator. While tools are necessary for interpretation, and individuals may possess tools of knowledge that are useful, there is no "spiritual oligarchy" that anyone needs to submit to in order to really get it.

4. There is no growth in the knowledge of Christ, and thus no transformation, without the consistent "eating" of Scripture. In church, by the church, and as a church, as well as by individuals. To eat Scripture is different than to study it, to read it, or to know what it means. Satan knows what it means.

5. There is no possibility of being "on mission" with God in his creation without the Word being made alive in us by the Spirit. As in Luke 24, and at and following Pentecost.(This will be the subject of the next blogpost.) This means involving Scriptural text and principles in public life, where people can see it. It means comforting and reconciling with it. It also means offending people with it. And at some point we should expect to be abused for it.

Let me end with the last bit of the book of Luke:

And they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy, 53 and were continually in the temple blessing God.

How much do you wanna bet that "continually in the temple" has little or nothing to do with "The Temple?" to be continued...

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