The Authority of Scripture Part IV

Some thoughts from Pete Rollins that have helped mold my view of Scripture.

For the word does not simply dwell in the ink that marks the pages of the Bible and cannot be isolated in a dissection of the story into its constituent parts . . . Here the Word is approached, not by focusing on the individual words but rather on the individual’s imaginative, transformative interaction with the words and with the Event that gave birth to them.

The [Bible] was written not to be approached as an academic document detailing facts about the life of faith but rather as an invitation into the life of faith.

The believer testifies to the Scriptures as infused with a presence that dwells both in the midst and in excess of the text, a some(no)thing that cannot be contained within the narrative but that makes its presence felt in the fractures and ruptures within it.

The words of the Bible, wonderful as they often are, must not be allowed to stand in for God’s majestic Word, as if the words and phrases have been conferred with some sacred status and the phonetic patterns given divine power. Rather, the Word of God can be described as that dark core around which the words of the text find their orbit, the unspeakable Source within the text that cannot be reduced to the words themselves but that breathes life into them. The claim that the Bible is the Word of God . . . makes sense only if it refers to the source of the gaps between the words; or more precisely, the source of the irreducible Gap within the words themselves.

The central Word of the test is never directly grasped as a source of knowledge, but rather is encountered as a life-transforming event.

To believe that the words are the Word reduces the text to what can be named, described, and transcribed. To treat it in this way means that we approach the Word as a thing that stand before us to be examined, poked, prodded, and played with.

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