Shadows & Dust, Vol. II, Issue 4

So our faith community, the Refuge, has been working through how to re-engage with the Scriptures in a way that does justice to the pain and misuse many of us have experienced at the hands of people wielding Bibles. I have been as challenged by the process as anyone and have been seeking some counsel on how to proceed from sources I respect, including authors like Walter Brueggemann. Perhaps you’ll find help along the way from him (and others) as well:

  • The Bible Makes Sense by Walter Brueggemann — I like the kind of sense Brueggemann makes of the Bible. According to him, the Bible “invites us to join in and to participate in the ongoing pilgrimage of those who live in the shattering of history, caring in ways that matter, secured by the covenanting God who is likewise on pilgrimage in history.” Brueggemann is a hyphenator after my own heart. He refers to God as “the Freedom-Giver” “the Exile-Ender” “the Home-Bringer” and the “Life-Bringer.”
  • From Stone to Living Word: Letting the Bible Live Again by Debbie Blue — Finished this book earlier this month. It was well worth the read. Here are a few choice quotes: “As a Christian used to Christian commentary, I am struck by how the rabbinic mode of reading seems to counter many of our idolatrizing tendencies.” On the Babels we build, “What if our only real significance comes from being called into being by an other…What if building the tower is really the thing that is little and insignificant and vanity and futility, and our only real task is to love our neighbor, but some inexplicable anxiety, some lack of trust, makes us leave our place in love to make a name for ourselves? And we end up serving gods of wood and stone, the work of our own hands, gods that don’t see or hear or eat or smell…” On changing the world, “Maybe awesome power isn’t the way to save the world. What do you need in a lover, in a relationship? Lightning bolts, or someone to know your soul—your fear, your need—and love it and never leave you alone? Never in any circumstance, any storm, any deepest darkest bottom. What’s essential to love? Awesome displays of power, or a lover who does not despise your nakedness and shame and vulnerability? A god who calms the storm from a boat? Or a God who enters the depths for you?”
  • The Silver Hand by Stephen Lawhead — In this second book of the Song of Albion series, there are some high highs and some very low lows. A great middle novel, as middle novels in trilogies go.
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