Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Systems Enslaving Scripture - N. T. Wright

"Once you can make scripture stand on its hind legs and dance a jig, it becomes a tame pet rather than a roaring lion. It is no longer "authoritative" in any strict sense; that is, it may be cited as though in "proof" of some point or other, but it is not leading the way, energizing the church with the fresh breath of God himself. The question must always be asked, whether scripture is being used to serve an existing theology or vice versa."

found in N. T. Wright, The Last Word (New York: HarperOne, 2005), 70.

Unfortunately he describes here a phenomenon which has been far too common for far too long. There are many cherished systems out there, and too many people holding on to their system more tightly than they hold on to Scripture. What if we pledged not to allow our systems to "tame" Scripture, but for our understanding of Scripture to be system free? What if we questioned everything and looked at Scripture with a fresh eye, allowing it to shape our theology, instead of trying to use it to prove our theology? Then we would allow Scripture to energize "the church with the fresh breath of God himself." Will you be the vessel for that breath of fresh air?

1 comment:

Wes Widner said...

Thanks so much for the follow-up Maël!

I think this quote from Wright really frames the issue quite succinctly.

From thinking about it some, I would have to say that I believe Wright's comment here offers a good answer to the question I asked earlier.

A good warning sign that you are cutting off the excess dough is when you start to see the dough as "excess" and yours to cut off and discard at will.

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