Saturday, July 21, 2007

the Bible and life

I share Eugene Peterson's lack of enthusiasm for Bible promise books and the books or teachings designed to make us feel better, meet our perceived needs and satisfy our wants (Peterson's "the replacement Trinty" in reverse order). As he points out, the life of Scripture and our lives do line up. Oftentimes in Scripture things just don't seem to add up at all, and isn't that true, oftentimes in our own lives and in the lives of others?

We need to come to Scripture and let this word of God speak to us in its own terms and from the Word through whom it comes to us. It is meant not so things would turn out the way we would like, but so that we would learn to follow our Lord in obedience and faith even when life seems to make little or no sense at all.

We do need to be much in Scripture and with that goes reading (listening), meditating, praying and living, in a kind of interactive spiral, as Peterson puts it. These go together as he helpfully works through the Christian practice of lectio divina. That part alone is worth picking up this book, but really the entire book is more than worth the read.

So this means I find the life God has for me as it is: not as I want or think I need or what would make me feel better. But that I enter into the world of the text of Scripture and out from that, this Story enters into my world, and my story becomes a part of this Story of God.

Nice to have some time for reading during these summer weekends, and this is a good book to take up and read. What are your thoughts here, or what might you be reading this weekend?

8 comments:

Susan said...

"life God has for me as it is: not as I want or think I need or what would make me feel better..."

that is a word I needed to hear this morning, Ted.

Thank you.
God bless you today!

Ted Gossard said...

Me too, Susan. Thanks.

Mike said...

Good post. I just found your blog. I will visit again

Halfmom, AKA, Susan said...

and I also - the life God has for me as it actually is - the best for me - not as I may often perceive it - lacking in essentials...

Betsy Lin said...

I just got to spend a week at jr. high camp. I worked with kids to memorize scripture, and we shared quiet times and devotions together. I realized how hard it really is to make Gods word a priority-even more so for a young student.
I did have an aopportunity though to talk with a few students about our favorite stories from the Bible, and it was so amazing to share with such young hearts.

Ted Gossard said...

halfmom Susan, I guess you must mean your life is not lacking in what actually is essential, though it may seem so to you at times. God does give us what we need, and I'm thinking of Psalm 23, and particularly verse one: "The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing" (an attitude is coming out of the psalmist, as well as a confession of faith).

We have to take it by faith, than by God's grace simply endeavor to live this out, to live as if it were so, even when we think or are conditioned to feel otherwise.

Ted Gossard said...

Mike, Thanks. Your blog looks interesting as well.

Ted Gossard said...

Betsy Lin, Great to hear of your experience at the camp.

To really make God's word a priority, according to Eugene Peterson, and as we see in Scripture, is to eat the Book, "Eat This Book", the title. It really needs to get into us and into our thinking, hearts and lives so that more and more we see it as a part of us, and think ourselves lost apart from God and his word.

I like the aspect of you sharing stories with them. That is a big part of why, on a certain human level (and after all, the Bible is just as human as it is divine) this Book connects with us so well.