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Tuesday, February 06, 2007

And Now It's Snowing, Too!

Well, as the weather outside stays cold, the conversation inside has heated up. Today in theology, we had some lively debate about Mark 10 and the way we are to interpret Jesus' words about the rich and the camel. (Go look at Mark 10:17 and following if you're confused!) What impressed me was the way in which the class was able to enter into debate, bringing strong personal opinions, and yet able to listen well and gain understanding from opposing points. Sometimes in our pursuit of God, we can become so attached to certain ways of viewing God and the Bible that we close ourselves off from good conversation! Are we guilty of only listening to people who think like we do, or are we content enough in our faith that we can allow ourselves to be stretched and challenged? Churches on occasion act like they've cornered the market on truth, and anyone who disagrees with them is a heretic. Individual believers act the same way, and look down their noses as people with "inferior" versions of faith.

What I'm challenged by today is lets learn to really talk. Let's learn to challenge others in their beliefs and allow ours to be challenged as well. Don't get me wrong here- we've got to have some "lines in the sand" that we are unwilling to cross. But in so many other areas of faith, we would grow a great deal if we were willing to honestly consider different ways of looking at and interpreting the Bible. The truth is that the Bible tells us a story in a variety of methods, and we usually approach it looking for a book of rules and principles. As we listen to a variety of interpretations of God's story, however, we can gain a deeper understanding of what God is revealing to us in His word. So enjoy the richness and the depth of God's story, His word, and then enter into healthy dialogue, even debate, yes even arguments, about what God is saying. These conversations will give new life to your faith!

Stay on the journey.


1 comment:

Linda G. said...

This is exactly one of the reasons Jerry and I enjoy our Explorer's Bible Study so much. We study our lesson at home (individually), then discuss it on Tuesdays with our classmates. Since it is an interdenominational study, we get lots of interesting points of view and really learn a lot in the process.

I especially remember when a retired Navy man was involved. He was able to explain about the water depth in ratio to the ships in the passage we were studying, etc. It put a whole new slant on it for us.