Nov 1, 2008

nywc: inspirations from scot mcknight

I had the chance to hang out with Scot McKnight before his seminar. We've only known each other electronically, and this guy is on the ball We had the chance to speak about everything from upcoming opportunities for networking to our mutual involvements and uninvolvements.

(That will make more sense after my last post of the day tomorrow night)

Out of the many people I have spoken with, Scot straddles what it truly means to be a solid, Bible-loving emerging Christian in the days we are in. I don't mean that in an "Emergent" sense, but in a "I want God to emerge in me, even if it takes me into new places without abandoning the value of the old."

Scot hit a homerun with his seminar, although I think the physical fatigue of the crowd fought against the heady stuff he shared in a 2.5 hour slot. Still, everyone who leaned in walked away with something - whether they "get it" or "don't get, but know they're not ready to get it just yet."

If you're interested, here are some notes:

  • Reading the Bible and understanding it all seems so simple when you grow up with the idea, "God says, I believe it, that settles it." Only that isn't true - it settles your approach, but it doesn't settle that many things God said that we don't do.
  • When we encounter certain passages in the Bible, we become aware of things that make us uncomfortable... which makes us aware of how we're choosing to read the Bible... as well as how we choose not to read the Bible. God may have "said it," but we do a whole lot more negotiating in the middle before we settle it.
  • Read Leviticus 19-20 - how do people know what is for today and what isn't? Why do we believe certain ones apply and others don't?
  • It seems to be a put down to be called a picker and chooser, but it isn't - we are all adopters and adapters.
  • Exercise: Read 1 Timothy 2:8-12 and find every commandment in this passage. Then proclaim which ones you believe should be followed today, as well as the the ones you don't do, and why you believe so.
  • The problem is when we think something is a permanent commandment but is more of a contextual commandment - how do we know with authority?
  • Jesus is Messiah, but He also contextually expressed the word of God and the will of God in His generation.
  • Many people read the Bible as...
    • A Law book - if it's a commandment, we do it; if it's a prohibition, we don't.
    • A Promise book - smiley faces from God to bless your day.
    • A Puzzle book - Gods has made a system in all the Bible and we can tame it intellectually (and lose its dangerous quality).
    • A Maestro book - Jesus and Paul become our master chefs who help us process all the ingredients - "Kingdom of God" or "reformers/justifications/imputation" We must be careful of letting one voice be the full revealer at the expense of the many voices God used in the whole canon. Likewise, you cannot read through one lens of one thing a person wrote without reading all of what they wrote.
  • Indwell the Story. Get caught up so that you don't if we're reading it or it's reading us.
  • Know the Story. Perhaps the saddest element of the Christian church today is that never has it ever been so easy to read the Bible, and yet so often it isn't read. Become people of the book - read it, slog through it, and wrestle with it until you limp away, changed forever.
  • Regarding voting for President: Those early Christians didn't worry about voting the right Caesar in, and they did just fine.
  • That beautiful dance of explosive, penetrating love of the Trinity became the birth of creation. We see it in relationships between us and God, and us and each other. All of the Bible has that theme of the two becoming one in endless, joyous love.
  • How can Christians not participate in a church community? I didn't know God wasn't doing anything that didn't include forming communities that proclaim what He is doing in this world. Our problem is the Gospel we preached was a bridge illustration that was more about self-satisfying that community... this makes the church seem less necessary, which does a disservice to the Truth.
  • Quote about why he reads the Greek and Hebrew texts - "It's the way I read the Bible... I think reading the Bible in English is like kissing your mother-in-law. It's not the real thing."
  • LEARN. Learn to distinguish God from the Bible. Learn to let God speak to you through the Bible. Learn to pay attention to the primary word in the Bible regarding our response - "listen." Learn to enter into two conversations - first with the one in the Bible, and second with the one in you.

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