Friday, January 16, 2009

Sola Hotties: The Answer Key

Okay, class, here is the answer. A picture is worth a 1000 words, but I'll give it to you in only 363 and you can keep the change:

First the girls. Teetering, as one commenter said, between childhood and maturity. Totally ambiguous. A blank slate, except for the watermark of the image of God. Trembling at the brink of decision. One is blonde, strong, and commanding; the other is dark, weak, and tentative. Innocent or provocative? Harmless or dangerous? They are raw humanity at it’s brooding best--bursting with hope, brimming with curiosity and passion. Clutching each other in a dance, but preoccupied with some other possibility or peril at hand. Eden revisited! (Except without the whiskery Adam dude who really was not as photogenic as our two little Eve's, was he?)

Well, we cannot leave Eve in peril, can we now? But I can’t quite leave her untouched either…

Which brings us to the letters.

Jilly B nailed it: We kidnap ‘scrap-tures’ out of context and cobble them together to make our own statement. We end up with something like a ransom note. You cannot recognize the author. Bingo. The authorship of God is obscured by dead-letter religion. And, the Imago Dei, as displayed in the beautiful humanity of these kids, is obscured and scarred.

Did you notice what happened once I had papered over their eyes and ears? We immediately thought they were fallen. Prostitutes, sirens, daffs. Before being PhotoShopped by the serpent, these girls were just dancing a tango in fancy clothes! But taken out of context, tailored in fig-leaves, and cast in over-contrasted B&W, now everyone is calling them whores! They are dehumanized in the sight of others, and they are blind themselves. They are deaf and mute, just like their idols. To quote Jillian again: “Just like [much] of the church has thoroughly ignored the big picture of the Bible, thus erasing God's fingerprints from his masterpiece.”

“The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life. Yet there are some of you who do not believe." (Jesus, John 6:63)

“He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant—not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.” (St. Paul, 2 Cor 3:6)


Jan Kelley said...

Oh. Makes total deep sense. Jillian wins, but i so enjoyed the ride to the "truth".

Adam Colter said...

Couple of questions from a newbie to the blog: Are we not then supposed to discuss and interpret scripture? It seems much was left for us to discern and apply without specific guidelines, (e.g., the organization and operation of a local body of believers). Does Sola Scriptura mean we can't discuss and interpret these issues?
Also, Sola Scriptura can be a bit intmidating for someone new to reading the Bible. Sometimes we want help getting the big picture of scripture but not everyone has Joe B's education in hebrew and greek. how can rookie Bible students receive intsruction in the Word without human bias creeping into the lesson?
Based on the intellect hovering around this blog, i expect some solid answers...and fast...(joking, i'll settle for best guesses or better quetions by next week)

Jan Kelley said...

Adam, we can read and understand the scripture. We are intelligent enough to know on our own what the scripture is saying. By feeling we are not capable of understanding the scripture unless we have an interpreter, we are allowing ourselves to become putty in the hands of someone who desires to give us their bias. the only way to get meaning from scripture without bias, is to read it for ourselves. I dont mean to never discuss scripture, but i do believe we need to read it first and determine the message prior to discussion. We are "copping out" if we dont read the Bible because we believe we must hear the meaning from an "intellectual" we have been give the intelligence by our creator to understand His message. Whatever our excuse for not reading it for ourselves will result in our real ignorance. How sad.

Also, perhaps the lack of organizational guidelines for the church indicates that the organization is not the message, but that rather Jesus's message is the message.

scott said...

While I most definitely agree with Jan's last paragraph, I will at least agree that Adam's questions have validity. As I said in the last post. I don't believe it's essential to for us to "determine the message prior to discussion," because if that's the case, what's the point of the discussion?

We have been given intelligence by our creator, but we have ALSO been given intelligent friends and people with "teaching" spiritual gifts to help us better understand the scriptures. Again, no one here is claiming to not read the Bible at all -- we're simply saying we have different spiritual gifts and yes, different levels of intellect given us by our creator. How about someone that can't read? Do we just give them the book-on-tape and leave them alone?

We don't ALL need an education in Hebrew and Greek. But you know what? Some of us do. Because it's important to understand the scriptures -- not just the English translation of the scriptures 2000 years out of societal context.

That's why I make sure I always have at least one friend who knows Hebrew. Plus it's just cool to be able to read from right to left.

Christi R said...

First I want to say that I'm not arguing the point of whether or not people should read the bible. I'm all for that, if that's what a person wants to do. However, we all need and can use help sometimes and that includes in scripture interpretation.

I consider myself a relatively intelligent person, but I think what Jan says over simplifies the undertaking of reading the Bible and understanding it. I think it's great that she can read it and understand it, but I have to say that I'm struggling.

There's the inconsistencies from chapter to chapter, there's language issues, there's questions of historical context not to mention determining what is a story and what is historical, concrete fact. It can be extremely overwhelming. I know! I just started it.

Again, if you want to read the Bible - go for it. And if you understand it without any help, then great. But it's not fair to say that every person who reads it won't need some guidance. We are all individuals and I don't think there's any shame in asking for help interpreting the Word of God. Just my opinion on the matter.

Joe B said...

Listen carefully to what Adam asks. They're not only valid questions, they are the dead on right questions.

Adam gets this; lets be sure everyone else does. Scripture is enormously important, and my life largely revolved around it because I am a teacher. So my point is this: It is what it is; do not make it what it ain't.

Bias and human error are assured. How do we hedge against them? Human authorities? Rigid interpretation? Lock it in a box? Every man for himself?

Hash this out people!

(Don't worry about the phrase Sola Scriptura. It's nothing but a battle cry in my opinion.)

Joe B said...

Amid my gross simplistic-ness, I guess I never said this. Sola Scriptura never meant that nobody may benefit from being taught. Crap,I teach the bible all the time--I hope it's worth SOMEthing. Christi's right (and she is a very smart chick, this I know), the Bible is not an easy book to read! But even if it requires some skill to understand what the Book says, knowing Jesus is not a matter of skill. Knowing him is a matter of love and faith. "Knowing" someone is not about intellect, it's about intimacy. That's why we come to God "like little children." And that is why I commit my little intellect to unLearn the technicalities and formalities that keep us away from the inner suite where God awaits. What goes on in there, folks, it ain't about ink and paper and stone and bylaws and talk.