Faith Meets World

Reflections on faith in a messed-up but beautiful world

Category: Uncategorized (Page 2 of 3)

On understanding the Bible:
part 2

This is the second instalment in a series of uncertain duration: I’m making this up as I go along, folks! The first part can be found here.

In the first post in this series, we introduced the idea that, far from being a single book, the Bible is a library of books of various types. We also began to explore the notion of truth and divine inspiration, particularly in light of some apparent inconsistencies and contradictions found in scripture. Briefly, we drew two conclusions: (i) to say that the Bible is divinely inspired cannot mean that it is in all cases literally accurate; and (ii) the kind of truth the Bible is intended to convey is not in all cases literal truth.

As promised, we’ll now go on to take a brief look at some other types of texts found in the Bible and the kinds of truths they are intended to convey.

There’s no “official” classification of literary genres in the Bible; if you do a Google search for “genres in the Bible”, you’ll come up with a whole range of proposed classifications. Wikipedia offers quite a thorough categorisation.

But let’s try to keep things simple. I’m going to pick five of the main types of literature found in the Bible, together with some thoughts on what kinds of truth they are intended to convey and, by implication, how we should read them. There are more than five genres in the Bible, but I’m limiting myself to five for the sake of space. Also bear in mind that these are just my informed thoughts; this is is not meant to be an exhaustive or authoritative analysis. Finally, I apologise if I’m teaching you to suck eggs; a basic appreciation of genre is vital to any attempt to understand the Bible, so it’s worth spending some time to lay foundations.

Read More

This week on Faith Meets World

It’s been another busy week on Faith Meets World. So here, for your convenience, is today’s handy list of everything I’ve posted since last Saturday:

God sees you
A Sunday morning prayer
Random Sunday afternoon musings
Search me, O God
Some thoughts on God and suffering
God is not aloofDoes God really share in our suffering?
Wounds are necessary
Life coach Jesus, aka Jesus for winners
Of books and much learning
A different sort of battle
Favourite Bible verses and what they don’t mean
Be you
Joyful Friday
On understanding the Bible: part 1

Search me, O God

With the exception of the prayer that Jesus taught to His disciples, I wonder if there is any greater personal prayer in all of scripture than this:

Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me, and know my anxieties;
And see if there is any wicked way in me,
And lead me in the way everlasting.

— Psalm 139:23-24

Prayer for the week

O God, whose blessed Son came into the world that he might destroy the works of the devil and make us children of God and heirs of eternal life: Grant that, having this hope, we may purify ourselves as he is pure; that, when he comes again with power and great glory, we may be made like him in his eternal and glorious kingdom; where he lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Source: Word of Life Church, Saint Joseph, Missouri

Finding meaning

Our suffering in developed countries is primarily psychological, relational, and addictive: the suffering of people who are comfortable on the outside but oppressed and empty within. It is a crisis of meaninglessness, which leads us to try to find meaning in possessions, perks, prestige, and power, which are always outside of the self. It doesn’t finally work. So we turn to ingesting food, drink, or drugs, and we become addictive consumers to fill the empty hole within us.

— Richard Rohr

Makes sense to me. The consumer society appeals to our deepest yearnings by claiming to be able to fulfil our desire for meaning and worth. But its promise is empty: the more we try to find fulfilment in material possessions and experiences, the more empty we are left feeling.

This week on Faith Meets World

For your comfort and convenience, and for the shameless promotion of my blog, here’s a list of everything I’ve published in the past week:

Reality or fantasy?
A communion prayer
A recap on my first two weeks of blogging
Capon: all you can be is dead
Syria and the desire for justice
Capon: the jubilant laughter of God
Tuesday Review – Mark Knopfler: Privateering
Capon: salvation by bookkeeping
What if
Capon: successful living
Christians and same-sex marriage, or, Christian, shut up and love
Capon: the end of religion
Friday Five

This week on Faith Meets World

In case you haven’t had time to follow what I’ve been posting, I thought I’d put up a digest of everything I’ve posted in the past week:

Why I won’t be watching The X Factor

Transactional Christianity

A Sunday morning prayer

I weep

Nouwen on powerlessness

Gungor: Please be my strength

Redeeming our decisions

The Way It Is

Introducing the Tuesday Review – Punch Brothers: Who’s Feeling Young Now?

Drive-thru prayer

Jesus looked like a sinner

It’s all mercy

Open hearts

Jesus be my salvation

Fear versus love

Friday funny

In memoriam: Robert Farrar Capon (1925-2013)

Friday Five

Page 2 of 3

All content on this site is copyright © Rob Grayson 2013-2016 unless otherwise indicated