Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Reclaiming the Bible

I am at once a liberal and an evangelical, catholic and a particulist (I'm Disciples of Christ). I, like most Christians, live on a continuum of understanding, and I've been moving along that continuum leftward for some time. Since Tom Wright and Marcus Borg are friends and dialog partners and former students of G.B. Caird, I can safely say that I'm somewhere in between the two of them. I sense I've grown closer to Marcus Borg's "historical-metaphorical" position, and yet I still want to hang on to some of the supernaturalism of the biblical story -- parts of the story that Tom Wright seeks to defend in his books.

Marcus Borg speaks in the video clip below of reclaiming the Bible for Mainline Protestants -- which he sees as responding to the issue of biblical literalism -- both in its hard and soft forms. It is the soft form that Wright represents, I think, and it's the form that I've been content with over the recent path.

As Borg speaks here of a Scripture that is human and not divine, and yet a collection of books and stories through whom God is self-disclosed -- his "historical-metaphorical" interpretation I hear a voice that makes sense. The truth of Scripture need not be found in the factuality of its stories but in the pertinence of them to our hearts and minds and lives.

Watch, listen, comment if you wish -- and thanks to Mike Leaptrott for the link.


3 comments:

Jen! said...

Hi Bob! I found your blog through my friend Mike Leaptrott's blog and I have to say I like what you said here and I find myself having similar struggles with how to view the Bible - not wanting to totally go the way of Borg, but moving further and further from a literal (even a "soft literal") view. Just thought I'd say hello and that you're not alone! Peace on your journey....

Pastor Bob Cornwall said...

Jen,

Welcome to my blog -- and for joining in from Mike's blog. I think there are many of us on this journey.

Mike L. said...

Bob,

Help me out a little by sharing a bit more about how you approach this issue. I've never been able to grasp the sort of "middle-ground" approach.

I know the typical "soft-literalism" response is that OT stuff is probably myth, but the NT stuff is first hand accounts and letters so it is a different style of literature and we have to take it literally. But I don't think you are really saying that, are you?

Is your criteria based on the fact that the NT stories have historical (within reason) figures as characters so anything written about a "real" person must also be "real" in detail? In other words, can a story about a "real" person be told with metaphorical events, dialogue, etc?