Gleanings: A Transforming Use of Scripture

Richard Rohr recently (e-letter 2/22) commended the following use of the Bible…

When the Scriptures are used maturely, they proceed in this order:

1. They confront us with a bigger picture than we are used to: “God’s kingdom” that has the potential to “deconstruct” our false and smaller kingdoms.

2. They then have the power to convert us to an alternative worldview by proclamation, grace, and the sheer attraction of the good, the true, and the beautiful (not by shame, guilt, or fear which are low-level motivations, but which operate more quickly and so churches often resort
to them).

3. They then console us and bring deep healing as they “reconstruct” us in a new place with a new mind and heart.

If you seek consolation as the first meaning of a Biblical text, you never get very far, because the small self or ego is still directing the mind and heart. As many have said before me, the truth will set you free, but first it must make you miserable.

About Steve Harper

Retired seminary professor, who taught for 32 years in the disciplines of Spiritual Formation and Wesley Studies. Author and co-author of 31 books. Also a retired Elder in The Florida Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church
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