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?