who’s influencing who?

Interesting discussions lately. I am hearing so very much about how we all bring our preconceived notions, cultures, lifestyles, upbringings to Scripture. That we cannot understand the Bible apart from how we personally perceive it – through our own filters. I have always disagreed with this premise.

In large part, I can thank my parents for this one. Ever eager to know what the Bible truly had to say. Ever searching for spiritual knowledge. Praying for guidance of the Spirit as they open the Word. Praying that their own thoughts would not hamper their understanding – but that the God who breathed out the words we have might impart His truths to us….

A perfect, perfect example of what people are doing these days is in The Shack. When god first appears to Mack, the father reveals himself as a large african woman, and on page 93, “the father” reveals why:

She [god the father] stopped talking, but only long enough to put away some seasoning into a spice rack on a ledge by the window and then turned to face him again. She looked at Mack intently. “Hasn’t it always been a problem for you to embrace me as your father? And after what you’ve been through, you couldn’t very well handle a father right now, could you?”
He knew she was right
, and he realized the kindness and compassion in what she was doing.

Do you see? This is recreating God in our image. THIS is what it looks like, when we bring our hurts and pains to the Bible, and reinterpret it. We have a female father, because it’s what WE need. How many children now grow up in divided homes? About half? It is heartbreaking. And instead of offering the God of the Bible – the God who promises to be a Father to the fatherless, Young presents a mommy, ’cause that is all Mack can handle.

I am by no means saying I do not make some of the same types of errors. But I pray against them, and fight against them. I pray that He would delight to reveal His truth, that stands apart from me, as that thing that will by no means pass away, and ask that He will open my eyes to the goodness of His Word.


9 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Rick
    Jul 10, 2008 @ 05:44:15

    Good point … and I’m forwarding this to my wife as I just bought her a copy of The Shack.


  2. Nicole
    Jul 10, 2008 @ 06:37:55

    ack! ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m sure she will enjoy it….


  3. Jenn
    Jul 11, 2008 @ 07:26:34

    So, Shack aside, IRL do you think that it’s possible for God to reveal himself to us in a number of different ways?


  4. Nicole
    Jul 11, 2008 @ 08:03:39

    I think God uses many different ways to reveal Himself – Romans 1:20 “For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.”

    But, that does not mean God is every sunset, or in the rocks and trees, or that when God used a donkey to speak to Balaam that God WAS the donkey, or that God ever morphs into something other than He revealed Himself to be in Scriptures.

    God uses numerous circumstances and people and creation to teach us about Him – and reveal Himself to us – but that is not the same as becoming something new to make us more comfortable…


  5. susan
    Jul 14, 2008 @ 20:41:35

    AMEN SISTA!!!!

    great post!!

    see you tomorrow.


  6. Nicole
    Jul 14, 2008 @ 20:44:51

    sista??? you been chattin’ with Raquel??? ๐Ÿ™‚


  7. bishop
    Jul 18, 2008 @ 09:28:37

    Only personally speaking hereโ€”I’m not sure I really grok how this

    I am hearing so very much about how we all bring our preconceived notions, cultures, lifestyles, upbringings to Scripture.

    logically leads to this

    That we cannot understand the Bible apart from how we personally perceive it – through our own filters.

    The first is a true statement. But the seeming absoluteness of the “cannot” in the second sentence rejects the possibility of objective truth. There may be various personal interpretations to and applications of scripture, but we find that we are encouraged to “Come now, let us reason together, says the LORD” (Isa 1.18) and I think for good cause. We may feel that scripture means something to us but in the testing of our ideas against those of others we may come to find a small error or a great one or merely more depth than we first realized. And while the meaning of scripture is not a committee decision, it certainly should be to our edification that we do come to reason together and share various perspectives if only because more information means a more complete view of the elephant.


  8. bishop
    Jul 18, 2008 @ 09:29:30

    Err … uh, that smiley wasn’t there when I wrote that. Though it is cute. Heh.


  9. Nicole
    Jul 18, 2008 @ 09:54:32

    I don’t know how the one logically leads to the other either. I think it’s for the sake of justifying unorthodox views.


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