Journey: Liberating Stories

Read: “Significant and Wonderful”

One of the things I like about Brian McLaren is his ability to take us beyond the paralysis of analysis.  I do believe in the miracle stories, because they do not seem too hard for the Word made flesh.  But even with that I confess a tendency to approach them with a “commentary mindset”–that is, studying their historicity, etc.  I need the “encounter spirit” McLaren provides in this week’s reading.

He takes us beyond a then-and-there study to a here-and-now engagement.  Using several miracles as examples, he shows how a different set of questions can make the old stories windows through which we can look to better see our lives.

In this chapter we find that we can miss the miraculous by either affirmation (objectification) or denial (dismissal).  Instead, we are shown how questioning the miracles allows them to come alive,  enabling them to be means through which God can come to us and be at work in us.

Miracles can be doorways into the miraculous, as we recognize almost every aspect of our lives contains something that defies explanation–something that sets our lives in the larger context of the divine–something significant and wonderful.

About Steve Harper

Dr. Steve Harper is retired seminary professor, who taught for 32 years in the disciplines of Spiritual Formation and Wesley Studies. Author and co-author of 45 books. He is also a retired Elder in The Florida Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church.
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2 Responses to Journey: Liberating Stories

  1. steve harper says:

    Might it be helpful to identify the chapter in McLaren’s book being referenced, especially for persons who may not have started at the beginning of these considerations?

  2. Steve, it now makes more sense when we challenge the miracle stories we end up diving deeper into wrapping our mind around the miraculous. What a powerful thought!

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