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The Blue Parakeet: Part Two

October 6, 2008

If we believe that the Bible is God’s Story and that God is involved with us as we read and hear it’s words, then we might want to ask about our relationship to the Bible and about our relationship to the God of the Bible (84). McKnight lays out a “relational approach” (87) to the Bible for us to consider, which:

  • distinguishes God from the Bible;

  • recognizes the Bible as God’s written communication;

  • emphasizes listening to God;

  • interacts with the Bible’s conversations (He gives examples of this idea: like Paul and James “conversing” about faith and works) and the Church’s conversations about it;

  • and “believes our relationship to the Bible is transformed into a relationship with the God who speaks to us in and through the Bible” (90).

When we encounter words like “listen” or “hear” in scripture, I’ve learned that in the Hebrew mindset the implication is knowledge plus action. They are combined. As God’s people we are to hear and do, or listen and obey (Deut. 6:4-5). Though there is a place for it, we can’t simply seek to have the right view of the Bible (inerrant/infallible/whatever). We need to also “engage” the God of scripture, and that engagement should affect our actions as well (95). Listening for God should cause us to love God and our neighbor. McKnight rightly connects the two (listening and loving).

Questions:

How has Bible reading (hearing) specifically deepened your relationship with God?

How can we develop our ability to listen to God when reading scripture? What works for you or your community?

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