Smart people saying smart things

Smart people saying smart things October 17, 2012

Morgan Guyton: “Unpaving the Romans Road”

Here’s my test for you to see whether you have buried Jesus under your Romans Road. When Jesus tells the Samaritan woman to go get her husband and then answers her reply that she has no husband by saying, “The truth is you’ve had five husbands and the man you live with now isn’t your husband,” is he (1) convicting her of her sin or (2) expressing sympathy and acceptance to a woman who got rejected and divorce-slipped by five men (which was not adultery under Mosaic law …)?

If you automatically answered  No. 1, it’s because you or whoever interpreted this text for you in the past superimposed the Romans Road paradigm for Christian conversion on top of the text. … For the woman to “get saved” according to this formula, she has to be convicted of her sin, throw herself at the mercy of Jesus, and then accept His salvation. The problem is that words like sin, forgiveness, repentance, or salvation do not occur anywhere in the conversation between Jesus and the Samaritan woman. There is no reason to conclude from the words as they are written in the text that Jesus couldn’t have been sympathizing with the woman rather than rebuking her when he told her the truth about her love life.

Rachel Held Evans: “I love the Bible”

The Bible is a sacred collection of letters and laws, stories and songs, prophecies and proverbs, philosophy and poems, spanning thousands of years and multiple cultures, written by dozens of authors and inspired by God. It is teeming with metaphor and imagery, tension and contrast. It defies our every effort at systemization. It defies our every attempt at mastery. Indeed, it forces us into community — with God and with one another — precisely because it is difficult to understand, precisely because it was never meant to be read alone.

Scott Paeth: “Church for Freaks II”

In Christ’s crucifixion we see both the reflection of our brokenness and the consequence of our brokenness, since in our woundedness we wound in return. We as broken creatures harm those who are least worthy of harm, and bring to grief those towards whom we owe the greatest love. And in the cross, this reality is made manifest to us. At the same time, we’ve been wounded in our turn, and in Christ we see the reflection of a God who is with us in our woundedness, who suffers both for us and because of us, and in whom our hope therefore must rest.

Jarm Logue: Letter to Mrs. Sarah Logue, 1860

You say you have offers to buy me, and that you shall sell me if I do not send you $1,000, and in the same breath and almost in the same sentence, you say, “you know we raised you as we did our own children.” Woman, did you raise your own children for the market? Did you raise them for the whipping-post? Did you raise them to be drove off in a coffle in chains? Where are my poor bleeding brothers and sisters? Can you tell?

Who was it that sent them off into sugar and cotton fields, to be kicked, and cuffed, and whipped, and to groan and die; and where no kin can hear their groans, or attend and sympathize at their dying bed, or follow in their funeral? Wretched woman! Do you say you did not do it? Then I reply, your husband did, and you approved the deed — and the very letter you sent me shows that your heart approves it all. Shame on you.

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