Friday, December 19, 2008

Deconstruct THIS!

God once wrote scripture in stone, with his very own finger. But only once. In fact, the Word written that way wound up in a beatiful box that got lost amid the rubble of time.

Nor did God choose to drop the Word, intact and leather-bound, from heaven. Even Jesus Christ, God in flesh, didn't bother to write down even so much as one shred of the bible we now read, revere, and sometimes thump.

It tells us something about God that he would rather write his perfect law on the hearts of imperfect men. And Man's endless quest to "decode" it, to deconstruct it, to confine it to letters in ink or stone...well that tells us something too.

“The letter killeth, but the Spirit giveth life.”



Big Doofus said...
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Jan Kelley said...

I am just in the discovery mode and I don't want to make anyone adopt my opinion. My questions are just that, questions that I would like feedback on.Mr. Doofus, at second reading of your comments and rereading both them and Joe's, i am wondering if what Joe is saying is what Jesus said when asked what the greatest commandment was. He said over and over that it was to love God with all our heart and soul and to love our neighbor as ourselves. Perhaps we get too caught up on what is in I & II Corintians and Galations and Ephesisan and forget what Jesus said was most important--Love. What do you think, Mr. D? Joe, what do you think?

Big Doofus said...
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Joe B said...

Yeah, I guess you could point out all those things. I would only have to wonder why you felt the urge to point out all those things.

Love is the more excellent way. I'm not sure what you think we disagree about, but I can assure you of this: any biblical hair-splitting we could work up between us, somebody out there can reduce to a pile of deconstructed shards.

But love never fails. Love cannot be deconstructed, even by deconstructionists.

Big Doofus said...
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Joe B said...

Well said, Jan K.

God's handwriting in our hearts is legible in our lives (see 2 Co 3:1-2.) This Word is fulfilled in us as our faith is manifested in LOVE (Gal 5:6, etc, etc, etc).

Of course my original post was about how people relate to the holy scripture, and what kind of religion they fashion around it.

The comments posted illustrate my point more vividly than I managed to state it myself. There you have it. The letter killeth, but the Spirit giveth life.

For you bible-heads out there: my original post was based mainly on Jeremiah 31:33, and it seems plain that 2 Cor 3 is based on that passage as well. I merely borrowed St Paul's comment about the letter and the spirit, I believe in quite the same context.

Chris B said...

From the sage A.W. Tozer, words I thought appropriate:
"Between the scribe who has read and the prophet who has (seen and experienced the presence of God), there is a difference as wide as the sea. We are overrun today with orthodox scribes, but the prophets, where are they?

"The hard voice of the scribe sounds over (Christendom), but the Church waits for the tender voice of the saint who has penetrated the veil and has gazed with inward eye upon the wonder that is God. And yet, thus to penetrate, to push in sensitive living experience into the holy Presence, is a privilege open to every child of God."

To your point, Joe, may the letter (a God-breathed window into who He is and what He is like) give way to the spirit which gives life (God's empowering presence).

Joe B said...

Excellent words, Mr Chris B. To paraphrase another sage, John the Baptist, it seems that "I have need to be blogged of thee!" (Well, close anyway...)

And how about that Jesus guy?! He said "The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life." [John 6:63]

The "letter that killeth" doesn't kill just because letters are bad. It kills because we use it to resist the holy spirit, reducing God to ink on paper.

Sadducees reduced God to a temple of stone, and Pharisees reduced him to scrolls of parchment. And when the Word came into the world, and walked a while among us, it walked right past them. Thus the prostitutes and tax collectors enter the kingdom ahead of them.

The bible is our guide and rule. But that cannot work against the purpose of God: the Word becomes flesh when we believe, and that faith is real when we love.

"The Spirit giveth life."