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Your owner’s manual

January 17, 2006

For those wanting to know, I did receive a bag full of different shampoos for my birthday! Kim says that I am definitely emergent because of this hair thing. She not the only one to make a hair connection to emergent. see here.

Back to the subject of systemization.

In our post-reformation, protestant, whatever we are, we have approached the Bible with an attitude that we have a question, so we will go to the Bible and find an answer to that question. N.T. Wright makes that observation that we somehow already know the answer before we go there. We treat it like a recipe book or as I am sure you have heard it described as an owner’s manual.

Really?

Does it read like any owner’s manual you have ever read. Do they start with once upon a time…

The Bible is largely a narrative. A story. Not a list of do’s and don’ts. Not a list of tips and techniques.

My experience is that I have heard far, far more lessons on what Paul said than on what Jesus said. I think that is because in our running to the Bible to answer a question we end up having to go to Paul.

It is not something new.

Many came to Jesus with such questions. Think for a minute about some of the ones that came and asked one thing or another looking for him to take a side or offer up the answer.

He usually answers with another question.

When he does answer it is never what anybody wants to hear. Well that’s an exaggeration. But many leave frustrated, sad, with the answer above either of the options that they envisioned.

We have but shouldn’t read the Bible like we would read The Barbeque Bible. Let’s see I feel like a little brisket today… ah page 92….yes all I need are these 4 ingredients and ohhhh I like this receipt 5 easy steps… unless you count eating it as number 6.

I must plead guilty!

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9 Comments leave one →
  1. January 17, 2006 4:58 pm

    Interpreeting hte BIble for content ins a bad idea. I think interpretting it for process is better. “What are they doing and how are they doing it?” is better than “What did they conclude?”

    “What is the meaning?” not “what is the mandate?”

  2. Angie Burns permalink
    January 17, 2006 6:10 pm

    GREAT POST Big T! Finding freedom from using (abusing) God’s word in that way is sweet freedom for sure! It sure does make reading the Bible FRESH and NEW!

    BTW… I already knew you were emergent. I thought the hair thing was about being metrosexual!

  3. January 17, 2006 11:01 pm

    This is a great post. And thanks for the link to the emergent article. Great stuff in there, groovy hair and all. So are you going for the bleach blond look I last saw on Rob?

  4. January 18, 2006 6:45 am

    I think “going to Paul for the answers” is what has made me not like him. I mean, I respect him, but he is the “NO” guy from my youth.

    We seem to forget that these churches that Paul was working did not have the Gospels to read. They did not have anything beyond the old law and most of these churches were from pagan religions. The things he had to teach them might not have even been relevant to the next church he visited.

    Jesus lays down the “way”, and as you say we must read it as the story but then we must try to emulate what we see in Him.

    Geez! I think I am worried about your obsession with hair….

  5. January 18, 2006 10:38 am

    ok, I don’t even know what metrosexual means. I live in Mississippi and it can be argued that there is no City in the entire state.

    I looked it up and in part it is “an urban male of any sexual orientation who has a strong aesthetic sense and spends a great deal of time and money on his appearance and lifestyle.” I don’t think that apply’s.

    I am sorry I brought it up! Would you all please get out of my shower!

    Amy, I have not installed any false color. For an inside joke, all I have to do is look at Bascom to see the folly of that.

    Donna, on a serious note. I do think we must interpret and determine what is meant by these stories. It is as I know you understand you approach a story differently than a technical manual.

  6. January 18, 2006 2:43 pm

    Great post! (except I’m a little disturbed by the hair thing!)

    and happy birthday! I hope you had fun… washing your hair.

    Nancy

  7. January 18, 2006 2:44 pm

    Ha! I love having a blog friend who KNOWS these people!

  8. January 19, 2006 10:48 pm

    It was a great post, Tommy.

    Metrosexual, eh? Do you own a manpurse?

    I have no hair. I’m jealous.

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