Friday, November 09, 2007

Don't look back...

This week I was in Oxford checking out a Theology course that I'm considering bringing to Manchester. Sitting in on a lecture the following thoughts occurred to me... Why do we have a habit of reading our bible's backwards? So many people, when looking for models of how to live well for God look backwards. And why not, after all the majority of the bible's content is set in the past. But why is that past recorded for us? Is it there to show us how to live now - or does all that history actually serve a different purpose? I'm increasingly convinced that the story of the bible is a progressive revelation of what I'm beginning to refer to as 'the ultimate dream of God'. All of the bible is anticipating a future perfection that is far beyond the scope of our imaginations. In the same way that the Old Testament anticipates the coming of the King the New Testament anticipates his Kingdom. Here's a practical example: Slavery can easily be justified 'biblically' by reaching backwards in the book - but it's impossible to make a case for it when you look forward and get a glimpse of what God has in mind for his creation.

I wonder how many of the issues that Christians argue over would become irrelevant if we could all get out of the bad habit of looking back...

PS - I'll post something tomorrow on Tom Wright's 'Five Act Play' that will help explain this a bit more clearly.

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