January 11, 2006

Interesting Thought from the Wittenburg Door

The Vorlon Sister gave me a subscription Wittenburg Door. Since there isn’t a lot to do while I’m getting my 5-hour chemo treatment I’m reading the issue that cam the other day.

In this issue they have an interview with Steve Chalke who has written the book “Intelligent Church.” He’s an Englishman, in case you couldn’t tell from the spelling of his last name.

He makes in interesting point about Paul and Jesus and what they say in the Bible.

One of the problems is that we read Jesus through Paul but we should be reading Paul through Jesus. When we read the gospels, we read about this compassionate, sensitive, caring, inclusive individual, who warred against the Pharisees with their exclusivism, who complained that they were hypocrites, who were shutting heaven from the ordinary people. He was on the side of those that were classed as sinners and outcasts and so on. But then what we say is, "Oh, no, no, but Paul says…" and so we water down and temper what Jesus is saying because of our view of Paul, which is mad, because we know that Paul was a follower of Jesus. So instead of reading Jesus through the lens of Paul, we've got to understand Paul through the lens of Jesus.

[. . .]

Paul never sat down, for instance, and said, "I'm going to finish another book of the New Testament today or I've got to get another couple of pages done." What Paul does is he writes a disconnected set of letters to his friends in particular churches that he knows well and he's in relationship with. So, he understands the circumstances and the personalities of the characters involved. And so what we have in those Pastoral Epistles, as we call them, is some specific advice to specific people in a specific place.

I am tempted to read his book and see what he says.

Posted by The Vorlon at January 11, 2006 3:51 PM