Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Entering into the text...

I have been reading through the book of John. Yesterday I read "Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him ." Joh 3:36.

You have to really carefully read this sentence to be sure you hear what it is saying. It does not say "those who believe in the Son have life and those that don't won't have eternal life. " It says those who believe will -- and those who don't obey won't. A very interesting way to say that belief involves entering into the drama God has prepared for us. It just so happens, that Eugene Peterson follows what I quoted yesterday with the following relevant comment about reading Scripture.

"We enter the world of the text, the world in which God is subject, in order to become participants in the text. We have our part to play in this text, a part that is given to us by the Holy Spirit. As we play our part we become part-icipants.

We are given this book so that we can imaginatively and believingly enter the world of the text and follow Jesus. John Calvin in his treatment of Holy Scripture is commonly cited in this regard "all right knowledge of God is born of obedience". There is hardly a Scripture exegete or translator of any standing in the Ch5ristian community who hasn't said the same thing.

If we have not entered this text as participants we aren't going to understand what is going on. This text cannot be understood by watching from the bleachers -- or even from expensive box seats. We are in on it."

-- Eugene Peterson in "Eat This Book" page 69

5 comments:

Danoudperk said...

What church are you attending? Are you still going to the PCA church?

Dana said...

Ya -- I admit I am not sounding to OPC these days...

And I am having frequent conversations with Edwardo down in Brockton (REC church) and have finished 4 of Eugene Peterson's books and am reading a 5th, 6th and 7th of his in unison. I have lined up :The origins of The Christian Mystical Tradition by Louth, The Rock that is Higher by L'Engle, Thirsty for God by Holt, Harland Hubbard by Berry, The Chrisitan Imagination edited by Lelyand Ryken, Wanting More by Vestal And I have two books on Children's literature on the way, along with The Trumpeter of Krakow (hope Gideon hasn't read it yet). I just read three times a great poem called "Hound of Heaven" by Francis Thompson. Oh -- I am getting about 6 hours of sleep.

Tradition said...

Isnt it weird switching beliefs after being part of a church for so long?
How did this all come about for you?

andyp said...

Yeah, I noticed you posted at 3:50am. Are you on a PhD schedule now?

A response to the blogger 'tradition'. Perhaps 'switching beliefs' isn't quite right. I think it's more like seeing a greater picture of what core beliefs are and de-emphasizing the 'correctness' or 'purity' of one tradition over another.

tradition said...

It's not about 'tradition' in a church - its about what God's word says and how it applies to our lives today. There are churches with 'traditions' that are not honoring God's word and are not teaching & living what is taught in the Bible. They are not preaching CHRIST.
So 'switching beliefs' might be appropriate in Ramblings situation. Just trying to understand why this blogger left a church that described in Nov 14 "community" - when it seemed he had been there a LONG time. And on that note - who are these 'old friends' that are at the church he currently goes to? Did they also leave the church he had been part of - had they been there as long as he has? Why the change?