Monday, April 11, 2011

A New Kind of Christianity - part 5

This is the last chapter of A New Kind of Christianity that we will be looking at - I encourage you to buy the book if you want to know more. In Chapter 4 Brian looks at the way that we have traditionally seen the narrative of Scripture. In Chapter 5 he looks at a different way of viewing it. In his view - if you read Genesis as a unit what you find is not a literal history but stories that illustrate two arcs - an increasing separation from God and a beginning of a return to God. In McClaren's view the arc of separation runs from Genesis through the tower of Babel and the arc of the beginning of return runs from the calling of Abraham through the story of Joseph at the end of the book of Genesis. What do you think?

Monday, April 4, 2011

A New Kind of Christianity - part 4

The fourth chapter of Brian McClaren's book moves on from setting the stage of the changes that have been happening in the world to looking at Scripture. The way that we have usually looked at Scripture is back from our current place through the lenses of all those who have gone before. So we see Scripture through the lens of modern scholars who see it through the lens of the scholars of the Reformation, who see it through the lens of the scholars of the Middle Ages who see it through the lens of the scholars of the first 1000 years and so on. The result has been that our understanding and interpretation of Scripture has been heavily influenced by neo-Platonist philosophy and that our view of the story of Scripture is colored heavily by that. McClaren's thesis is that we should look at Scripture without those influences and attempt to read the Biblical story as one narrative and to look for the themes that run through it. More next week