Friday, July 01, 2005

quote on form and content

Just read a short article by Eugene Peterson entitled 'Living Into God's Story'. Its barely three pages long (PDF), but is worth the read if you take the time to dwell on what he says. Here is a nice quote from the article which I think is releveant to my last post.

The form in which language comes to us is as important as its content. If we mistake its form, we will almost certainly respond wrongly to its content. If we mistake a recipe for vegetable stew for a set of clues for finding buried treasure, no matter how carefully we read it, we will end up as poor as ever and hungry besides. If we misread a highway road sign, "60 miles per hour," as a randomly posted piece of information rather tan as stern imperative, we will eventually find ourselves pulled over on the side of the road with a police officer correcting our grammar. ordinarily, we learn these discriminations early and well and give form and content equal weight in determining meaning.

But when it comes to Scripture we don't do nearly as well. Maybe it is because Scripture comes to us so authoritatively, "God's Word," that we think all we can do is submit and obey. Submission and obedience are part of it, but first we have to listen. And listening requires hearing the way it is said (form) as well as what is said (content)."

You can find the article at The Site has a number of useful articles pertaining to reading the Bible as a coherent and unified story. It also has teaching material and slides which are meant to accompany the reading and teaching of the book, The Drama of Scripture. The site is maintained by the authors, Craig Bartholomew and Michael Goheen. Im reading the book at present and it is very nice. I hope that the impression I have gained so far of its potential usefulness as an introduction not only for the Bible, but for the Christian faith, will be confirmed upon my completion. Michael Goheen and Al Wolters will be coming to Carey Baptist College in Auckland, New Zealand where i currently studying for a Bachelor in Apllied Theology. The conference is entitled 'WOrlds Collide: how does a biblical worldview engage the world'. I cant wait!!

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