Wednesday, January 21, 2015

My Personal Affirmations about Scripture

I teach a course at Asbury Theological Seminary called "Scripture and Spiritual Formation." One of the writing assignments is for each of us to create a list of affirmations that we make about Scripture as we seek to engage it for personal transformation as we seek to live as God's missional community for the world. These are mine:

Scripture is endlessly interesting if we learn to ponder it deeply.

Scripture is endlessly interesting when we remain mindful enough to ponder it deeply and listen attentively.

When reading Scripture don't pray for mastery of the text, pray that the text masters you.

If we are to read the Scriptures for all that they seek to accomplish, we must physically locate ourselves in God’s mission.

Reading Scripture leads us to the true world that God desires for us to inhabit.

Reading Scripture requires that we approach the text as its servant rather than its master.

“Reading the Bible as Christian Scripture is a craft that pleads for the lifelong apprenticeship of its artisans." Joel B. Green, NT Prof

If we are to read the Scriptures faithfully, we must participate actively in God’s mission.

It’s not about fitting the Bible into our lives; it’s about fitting our lives into the biblical story.

Reading Scripture involves a willingness to be astonished anew by the mysteries of God’s kingdom.

Our reading of Scripture seeks to recreate the world of the text so that we can imagine what our lives might be and become if we entered its world.

The book of Psalms seeks to shape a people into a missional community through prayer and praise rooted in sacred memory.

Biblical interpretation involves a devout willingness by the interpreter to realign continuously with the message of Scripture.

Studying and reading Scripture is about conversion (ours and the world's).

Scripture is not primarily interested in answering our questions. Any question may be brought to the text, but ultimately the Bible is interested in confronting its readers with the reality of God’s claims on our lives. It intends to raise questions that we must answer.

Reading the Scriptures involves hearing the voice of God speaking through an ancient text calling and inviting the reader and hearer to align or realign his or her life with the purposes of God in the world.

Reading Scripture is not ultimately about bringing our questions to the text; it is about opening ourselves up to the questions that the text desires to ask of us.

Reading Scripture requires our recognition that our presuppositions and prior commitments must be open for nuance, correction, or change on the basis of the text.

Reading Scripture leads us to the true world that God desires for us to inhabit and work toward in our lives together.

Reading the Scripture is not a means of self-actualization; it is a means of personal conversion to God.

Reading Scripture shapes us for God’s global mission, inspires us to live as persons in community, and transforms us through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Reading Scripture shapes us for mission, calls us to community, and transforms us through the Spirit.

What affirmations do you make about Scripture?

© 2015 Brian D. Russell

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