Thursday, August 07, 2008

listening to "The Bible Experience"- Icons

Scot McKnight at Jesus Creed yesterday had a post on The Bible Experience and I weighed in a few times on it. I'm really enjoying listening to it, and unlike the listening of the Bible I did for years, my wife likes this.

I am in the Old Testament now, and I actually am able to borrow the CD's from our public library system and pick them up within easy walking distance of our house, which is nice. But someday I want to purchase my own, maybe an MP3 version.

You ought to give them a listen. I love certain aspects of them, and have found nothing I dislike, yet.

I like to hear Scripture read, and tend to learn by hearing. This is different in that you're hearing Scripture, but it has a strong element of dramatization in it, as well. Right now I'm hearing a voice for God's voice (in Exodus), and I think it's well done, but imagine how it might reflect more of what we can understand of God from Scripture. A great voice to portray God's voice in quality and manner, but clearly male. But then I realize there is an iconic quality to all of this.

Icons are not the real thing, but they help God's people reflect on the real thing, and press past the images to the reality. Of course icons in Eastern Orthodox are purposively austere and meant only to help the faithful reflect on and enter into the reality behind them.

My own preference is probably still for just a good straightforward reading of Scripture heard from one person. Even then interpretation is inevitable in how they read it. But it's much more text-driven (of course the text from the original, in translation involves significant interpretation). But even with the fine dramatization and all the interpretation that goes into that, we can know it's still just a representation, not the reality. Though it is God's word.

And if we remember that we are iconic ourselves, as humans, "Eikons" (from Greek rendering of the word) as Scot McKnight likes to put it, made in God's image- we certainly are not expressionless. Jesus himself is the perfect Icon and in that in him we find our way back towards full restoration as Icons of God.

So remembering that, I can be happy with the good dramatization, remembering all along that it is representative or a window to move us towards the reality which by faith we can begin to see and understand.

So give The Bible Experience a listen some time. Sampling it is okay, but the best way to appreciate it is to listen more and more to it. And for me, in my recent bout with depression, it's been a good way of getting me back into Scripture reading.

Any thoughts on my thinking here, or on The Bible Experience?


preacherman said...

I love how God uses ordinary people to accomplish his plan and how he works in their lives to make a spiritual impact on the Isreal, gentiles and Christians. God's power revealed in scipture makes each of us Icons even today. God is so good. He works wonders still today. Each one of us has our own story that is being written. How will our story compare to the Icon's of the Bible?
Thank you Ted for sharing this wonderful post with us.
God bless you brother!

Mike said...

I too like listening to Scripture being read as well Ted. It's one of the ways I vary my study habits.

The dramatization is what makes it come to life. Isn't it interesting how those reading use voice inflection where they do?

This particular icon has blessed me.


Mike said...

That's horrible English...need another cup of coffee.

Martin Stickland said...


How are you my friend,

Typical English summer at the moment... it's WET


Ted M. Gossard said...

Thanks for your good words here. Yes, I guess the Story does carry on with us. Thanks.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Yes Mike. Any good reading involves good voice inflection. Sometimes I wonder at how Scripture is read, like on Sunday morning. Sometimes there can be so much drama put into it, that it takes away from the message that needs to come across, I'm afraid. Needs to be read like a love letter from God, maybe. Yes, a story, but read in such a way as to get the point across. Though in doing so, I guess it would make sense to get some good inflection in there, because some of the narrative in Scripture does get intense!

Didn't catch your bad English, but the coffee I'm sure was good!


Ted M. Gossard said...

Some of us over here could use some of that wet, though I can't say in my area that we can really complain.

I wonder if "The Bible Experience" is selling much at all in the UK.

Keep up your good gift of humor. :)

Anonymous said...

have you ever listened to the listener's bible
narrated by max mclean?

it might be interesting to have the bible on an ipod.

Ted M. Gossard said...

I saw and heard Max McLean in a chapel one time at RBC Ministries. That's easily up there with my all time favorite chapels, and you interestingly had to see it as well as hear it.

But yes, I've heard him do the NIV, and he is great, maybe the best.

Yes, it would be great to have the Bible on ipod. I don't have ipod yet. But down the road I'll get it or whatever has replaced it, probably.