Alan Jacobs, in his brilliantly written and wide-ranging book, A Theology of Reading, makes a simple point that has sent my mind reeling and my heart into confession and prayer. Here it is: genuine interpretation of another’s writing is an act of love or it is an act of abuse. Either we treat the author as a person who has given voice to his or her inner heart and that we can trust, listen to, and respond to. Or, we treat that person as a duplicitous voice that we can’t trust and that we can strip in order to use for our own power.
So, we either listen to the words of Jesus or to the words of a blogger (to use two extremes) and give them our trust and respond to them, or we make of the words of Jesus or a blogger what we’d like and the latter is a form of interpersonal abuse.
We have no other real options.