Pastor 6 – More on the Scriptures

More insights from Willimon’s book “Pastor”:

“One of the challenges of biblical interpretation is that the Bible contains a wide array of genre. We contemporary preachers of the Word marvel at the resourcefulness of these early communicators of the faith. They use poetry, myth, parable, genealogy, invective, hyperbole, and a host of other literary devices and conventions to communicate the truth about God. We do them a disservice when we apply inappropriate standards of interpretation to the literature that they employ…..”

“Many of our interpretive problems are more political than linguistic in origin. We [moderns] say that Jesus’ healing miracles are a problem for sophisticated, scientific people like us. What we may mean is that we no longer look to God for our healing. We believe in medicine rather than miracle. Medicine is our major means of achieving immortality, healing and a life free of pain.  So when we make a judgment about what can and what cannot be, what is possible and impossible, our judgments are also testimonials to the sort of world in which we think we live, the sort of gods whom we serve…..”

“Peter Gomes calls the Bible, “a book of the imagination.” Here is literature meant to stoke, to fuel, even to enflame the imagination. If this is so, then think of the church and its dealings with Scripture as encouragement in the exercise of the imagination. One reason many of our people fail to “get” the Bible is not that the Bible is too old, but rather that our minds are too small.”


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