I’m currently reading N.T. Wright’s The Last Word. It’s a great book and I hope when I have a bit more time, to process some of the ideas that I’m reading on this blog. But I wanted to share a cool quote by Wright in regards to much of the fundamentalist thinking in North America. He says:
“There is a great gulf fixed between those who want to prove the historicity of everything reported in the Bible in order to demonstrate that the Bible is ‘true’ after all and those who, committed to living under the authority of the scripture, remain open to what scripture itself actually teaches and emphasizes. Which is the bottom line: ‘proving the Bible to be true’ (often with the effect of say, ‘So we can go on thinking what we’ve always thought’), or taking it so seriously that we allow it to tell us things we’d never heard before and didn’t particularly want to hear?”
The quote reminds me of some of the discussion going on regarding the attempts to define the Emerging Church. The Evangelical Church is looking to the Emerging members to define itself theologically across the doctrinal bullet points that it holds dear. However, the Emerging conversation, although theologically sound, seems more focused on praxis — following Jesus in real life — more than defining itself by what it purports to believe. This is a significant difference between how the two groups view the “authority of Scripture.” Both hold the Scripture in high value and authority. But how that authority is understood and plays out, in my opinion, will take the two groups in different trajectories.