I really like this article from Leslie Leyland Fields in Christianity Today:
Despite what I hope are good intentions, some of the one-story Bibles are in danger of committing the same reductionistic error mentioned above. Using Peter Leithart’s metaphor, many of these story versions treat the language of Scripture as simply a “husk” that can be disposed of to access the “kernel” of meaning. Whether the kernel is a point of theology, a poetic image of God, or an event that does indeed advance the narrative, the language and figures of speech God inspired appear to be dispensable. In his brilliant bookDeep Exegesis, Leithart warns that “Scripture once transformed the world precisely because Bible students clung to the letter. Once the letter is reduced to a malleable vehicle, Scripture loses its potency.”
Somehow, in pursuit of the larger story, we’ve empowered ourselves to reorganize, distill, edit, and rewrite the actual Scriptures. We have failed to recognize that each of these activities not only interprets but also reduces Scripture.
I don’t necessarily agree with everything she says in the article, but I think she’s right that the current Christian obsession with narrative and ‘the gospel story,’ while well intentioned and important, risks missing something essential about the religion.
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- thepoorinspirit said: Probably one of the best articles I’ve read in a long time… Interesting points.
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