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

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?"


Alison said...

I do agree that we all pick and choose; I don't think anything else is possible. My theory on living out the New Testament today is to follow the books that were written closest to the time Jesus lived and taught, and those which most closely follow what He lived and taught. As Marcus Borg wrote, when Jesus and the Bible disagree, Jesus trumps the Bible. That can be applied to the whole Bible.
I like what Scot says about Christians reading the Bible differently and no one group getting it all right. That there is plenty of picking and choosing on both sides of every question, and that there is an inner logic to our picking and choosing and we need to become aware of what it is.

Chris said...

I think Scot makes an excellent point: we do all pick and choose. The question becomes what criteria do we use to pick and choose? I believe we can use three of the four parts of the Wesleyan Quad: tradition, experience, and reason.

Gordon Pruitt said...

Alison, i like the Borg quote. What are some examples that he gives of Jesus trumping the Bible? Chris as i read more and more of the book I see a lot of Wesleyanism in him. I think chapter 2 address and answers what the "theological task" the of the UMC is.

Alison said...

In The Heart of Christianity, he doesn't actually give examples. The first ones that comes to mind are the woman caught in adultery and healing on the Sabbath, but less obvious are things like speaking to the Samaritan woman at the well and that he had close followers who were women.