Comments: Opinion - 10 January 2018

Thank you for the essay from R Peers.

Posted by CRS at Wednesday, 10 January 2018 at 11:47am GMT

In what way can the bible be considered anything else than 'a library?" It is certainly not a connected narrative; beginning as it does with two quite different and somewhat conflicting creation stories. Nearly all the writers of the various books are 'un-reliable narrators' in one way or another. We have four gospel writers telling the same story very differently, one with no end and the fourth with (for this reader) no end in sight. Then we have prolix Paul, who would have needed a very good literary agent to get his stuff over the desk!
On the plus side, there is history, adventure, myth, murder, jealousy, conquest, laugh-out-loud humour, sex and philosophy. And chock full of brilliant, memorable stories. When in ministry I encouraged those who would listen to regard the Bible as a vast 'adventure playground' in which to wander at will, marvelling at the wonders of God's creation, and our struggle to make sense of it. I don't feel that way anymore, but still regard the Bible as one of the greatest works of (collected) literature.

Posted by stephen morgan at Thursday, 11 January 2018 at 5:17pm GMT

Re: Peers’ citing of Goodhew's essay, I was taken by the observation '[Cuthbert and Francis] are adored in a new-agey, ‘spiritual but not religious’ kind of way, but not remembered as the amazing evangelists that they were'.

In other words, the 'essence of their message' has been taken out of the stale, out of date vessel in which it was contained (i.e. the Christian Church) and poured into a new receptacle which contains that essential message but stripped of its unfortunate cultural baggage.

Why am I reminded uneasily of some of the claims of Fresh Expressions that the old form can be discarded because the 'essential message' is perfectly capable of being poured into a new mould with no significant loss? Or am I just being a rancid Anglo-Catholic? Thoughts on the relationship between form and content?

Posted by David Rowett at Friday, 12 January 2018 at 6:01pm GMT

If the bible is only a library then we can all pack up and join a book club.

Posted by David Keen at Saturday, 13 January 2018 at 8:35am GMT

Reckoning with the sacred character of Holy Scripture in its totality, Irenaeus famously described it as a mosaic, whose pieces when properly assembled showed the face of the Great King Jesus Christ, but when not, a fox. In this he had the company of the great fathers of the church.

Posted by CRS at Saturday, 13 January 2018 at 11:46am GMT
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