Regular (tolerant/persistent/hopeful?) WaughPaper readers, if there are any, may know by now that I dabble in many areas. And if you know what I want you to know then you know that theology is chief among them. I hope you also know that all of the dabblings are actually wading around in the shallow end toward the deep and that the deep pool of love has no end.
Scripture, in this case, the Bible is a book that I often quote or translate or paraphrase in an attempt to relay some thoughts about what we call God and to write what is always my attempt to edify or encourage or challenge or teach you toward a better understanding. I claim no special ability or knowledge here although I learned at the graduate level years ago (theology/education) one thing: how to learn. My only real claim to fame or infamy is a fair amount of zeal and a smidgen of competence coupled with a lack of fear, perhaps foolhardy.
The Bible has been so misused and abused by believers in it and trivialized by those who do not believe that it has become something never, never intended by either its writers or the God that they too held high.
Oh well, that is enough of a preamble. Here is my introduction, borrowed from Capon:
“We’ve concentrated so long on putting fences around Scripture that we’ve lost the ability to play in it.”*
The “fences” to which he refers are the dogma, theology, law-binding, proof-texting, and the self-justifying that result from a kind of . . . I will say it . . . idolatry of a book, when the true God screams and whispers at us from so many other places. Of course, we can learn much from Scripture too; that is why I am writing these words. But, to get what we must, we must indeed learn to play in it again and then to play all around, in the margins and between the pages and between the covers.
Or sitting in the swings on a moonlit night in a schoolyard playground, listening to crickets and frogs, with a gentle breeze, and the wind of the spirit breathing, breathing forever-life from the deep . . .
Thank you for the book.
*Capon, R. F. (1998). The foolishness of preaching: Proclaiming the Gospel against the wisdom of the world: The George Craig Stewart Lectures for 1996, Seabury-Western Theological Seminary. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans.