I got to thinking the other night about how every Christian position seems to orient itself towards certain interpretations of certain biblical passages while ignoring others. It seems that any doctrinal statement is at the expense of a comprehensive reading of the bible. Why is this?
“Numbers. Nothing good here; just a bunch of numbers…”– Lesley (Tongue planted firmly in cheek).
I posed the thought to my wife over dinner, and that was her response. She then agreed with me that each side of the conservaliberal divide emphasizes certain passages and ignores the ones the other side emphasizes.
What does this tell us?
It tells us that neither side is interested in being biblical. Instead, they are interested in being right. This is why I am not a liberal or a conservative. I’ve no interest in being right, nor in trying to make others think that I am so. I’m interested in being faithful.
It also tells us that our socio/political positions are woefully insufficient and catastrophically inadequate to partner with the God of the bible. If your “biblical” theology ignores part of the bible your “biblical” theology is sentimental bullshit. You can disagree about those parts that are troubling, but you can’t ignore them and call yourself “biblical.”
The bible is contradictory. This is a statement of fact. How many times did David meet Saul? How many animals got on Noah’s ark?
There are three options available in the wake of this revelation: You can ignore the parts of the bible that you don’t like; you can throw out the bible altogether as nonsensical piety; or you can adjust your perspective of what the bible is saying until you can hold all of it together in first tension and finally a dissonant harmony.
What texts do you ignore?