Saturday, May 22, 2004

The Bible - I heard something the other day that encapsulated my thinking about this set of books (for it is more than one, written at many different times by many different authors). This person said "It is like our family albums". Pictures, clippings, and mementos of encounters with a common experience. It tries to tell of encounters with the Holy and make sense of the Divine-Human relationship. Like the family album we may have stories about the pictures and know the names of the people we are viewing but there is always a level that cannot be seen or understood because we were not there when the photo was taken or the event occurred. When I read the Bible with this sort of lens - I stop fighting with it and using it like a template. When it contradicts itself, I can see that this is because there were different points of view about events, like when people are interviewed after a wreck and remember totally different versions of the same event. One person said about Revelation - it is like Modern Art - trying to convey ideas through metaphors, feelings, and images - not representational or photographic. When we try to apply scientific, rational principles to works of art or scripture we miss the point and end up analyzing the paint.