Thursday, December 23, 2004

question for B. McLaren

Below is the text of an email I sent to Brian McLaren regarding some of his views on the bible

First, let me say your thoughts and writings have greatly helped and encouraged me in my walk with God. Thanks.
Now a question, in chapter 10 of a Generous Orthodoxy you state " helps turn the bible back into what it is, not a look-it-up encyclopedia of timeless moral truths, but the unfolding narrative of God at work in a violent, sinful world, calling people, beginning with Abraham, into a new way of life." Why is it an either/or situation? Isn't it possible for the bible to both communicate "timeless moral truths" and "unfold the narrative of God?" I ask these questions because the first half of the statement feels so uncomfortable and dangerous? while the second half of your statement resonates so clearly with me.
Yes, let's get back to God's story. But wouldn't participation in God's story now mean a radical realignment of the way we create our stories? In other words, to participate in God's story the way he intended wouldn't there have to be some guidelines or "timeless moral truths?"
I understand, in the context of the chapter, you were speaking of the atrocities that parts of the Old Testament so graphically depict. What of the rest of the OT? What of Jesus' own words regarding our treatment of those around us? Aren't those "timeless moral truths" to be discovered?

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