The Blog of Gordon Pruitt the Pastor of St. Matthew's United Methodist Church in Richmond Virginia

Thursday, December 04, 2008

St. Matthew's Food Pantry in the Washington Post!

Just kidding. But we are in the equally circulated Goochland Gazette!
Check it out!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

The Blue Parakeet 2

In chapter 2 of Scot McKnight's the Blue Parakeet, Scot suggests that there are 3 ways to approach the Bible.
1. Reading to Retrieve. "We return to the times of the Bible in order to retrieve biblical ideas and practices for today". If Moses or Peter tell us something then we do because it says so. Some try to retrieve all and some seek only what can be savaged. A. J. Jacobs humors book The Year of Living Biblically is a great example of this and also a great Christmas gift to give or to ask for! Scot makes the point that God spoke in Moses' day is Moses' way and God spoke in Paul's day in Paul's way and we are called to carry on that pattern in our world today.

2. Reading through tradition. His point here is that "ordinary people need to learn to read the Bible through tradition or they will misread the Bible and create schisms in the church. Scot points out the positive and the negative of reading through tradition with the terms "Great Tradition" and traditionalism.
The Great Tradition is how the church everywhere has always read the Bible. Examples are the Apostles' Creed and the Nicene Creed. These point us toward where God has led the church and see the churches most important doctrines.
is the "inflexible, don't-ask-questions, do-it-the-way-it-has-always-been-done approach to Bible reading." Reading through tradition like this means that it is impossible for renewal and adaptation.
Scot gives 6 steps to traditionalism and i think its important that we come to know these so we can recognize them.
1. We read the Bible
2. We confront a current issues and we make a decision about an issue- (like baptizing infants or adults or woman preachers)
3. We fossilize our decision and it becomes a tradition. Somewhere around here we become absolutely convinced our tradition is a perfect interpretation of the Bible.
4. We are bound to our tradition forever. It is now traditionalism.
5. We are bound to read the Bible through our tradition.
6.Those who question our tradition are suspect or, worse yet, kicked out of our church.
Scot makes the point that the Bible points us away from traditionalism. "They went back to the Bible so they could come forward into the present."

3. Reading with tradition. "We need to go back to the Bible so we can move forward through the church and speak God's Word in our days in our ways." We are to remember, "honor" the past without giving the past the final authority. This brings us back to the process of renewal.

Monday, December 01, 2008

The Blue Parakeet 1

You know you are a lame blogger when you blog a record amount of times in October and follow that up with a single blog post in November. The good news is that it is now December! The December book of the month is the same as the November!
Here we go.

Scot McKnight's, The Blue Parakeet starts off with his journey of reading the Bible and I think its a journey that many of us can relate to, i know i can. One thing Scot encountered was the claim, "God said it, I believe it, that settles it for me!" What this is saying is that
1. We believe everything the Bible says, therefore....
2. We practice whatever the Bible says...
and then Scot adds his own response..
3. Hogwash!
This leads to his question and the premise of the book, "how, then, are we to live out the Bible today?"
To back up this point he gives examples of how "all" Christians "pick and choose."
SABBATH- The Bible says no work from Friday night to Saturday night (Exodus 20:9-10) but few to no Christians follow this.
TITHING- Same thing, Bible says we are to do this yet only 3 percent of Christians tithe.
FOOT WASHING- After Jesus washes the disciples' feet, he tells them to do the same.
We do all pick and choose.
Look at some of the issues the church deals with today.
War, homosexuality, abortion and etc. I know good Godly people who i deeply respect and love who differ on what the Bible says about this issues.
Do you agree that when it comes to reading the Bible we all "pick and choose?"
How would you answer the question, "how, then, are we to live out the Bible today?"