Monday, June 30, 2014

Having "Fun" with an Evangelical

If you wanna see an evangelical turn into a pretzel, quote, first of all, what Jesus said to Nicodemus: "You must be born again" (not all translations put it this way, but for evangelicals, this is the touchstone verse of the Bible).

They nod their heads in agreement - this is it. This is the truth. This is the heart and soul of the Christian life.

To be taken at face-value. Literally ... without question. No ifs, ands or buts - this is the gospel, this is the warning, this is the chance, the command, the opportunity, God gives to all.

Okay ...

Now quote what Jesus said to the rich young man: "Sell everything you have and give it to the poor" as a condition for following Jesus.

And out comes the hermeneutical bag, and every linguistic tool that can be mustered to make it clear that Jesus is only speaking spiritually, metaphorically, NOT LITERALLY.

Oh well ...

Hey, we all have our interpretive tricks, but what's needed is honesty in what we're doing. Yes, we all read the Bible selectively, through our own personal filters of culture and circumstance. But let's be honest with one another and simply say, "This is how I see it," or maybe, "This is how the community of faith to which I belong sees it."

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