Saturday, October 29, 2011

Snow storms, baseball, and the Word of God

They're saying we'll get some snow up here tonight.  Three to six inches on the coast, six to ten inland.  Can you believe that?

Congrats to the Cards.  I have admired the Cards since I was a kid, growing up a Phillies fan but totally in awe of a Cardinal by the name of Bob Gibson, still the best pitcher I have ever seen.  Other pitchers, at their best, may have been as good as Gibson at his best, but Gibson reached that pinnacle far more often than anybody else.  Gibson was "at his best" more often than any pitcher I've ever seen.

BTW, I just love to watch the celebration on the field after the last out.  Makes me laugh and want to join in.

Speaking of baseball, why is game 6 of the World Series always better than game seven . . . or so it often seems.  Anyway, it was nice to have a game 7 this year, the first since 2002!

Enough about baseball.  Did I mention that I love N. T. Wright's translation of the New Testament?  I did?  Well, I'm saying it again.

For a while now I've been writing my own commentary on the Gospel of Mark.  This is just a way of making myself really engage and think about the text in context.  Those words, "in context," are all important.  There's a lot of non-contextual interpretation of the Bible out there.  For me, as I write about Mark, I'm just trying to keep the context front and center, and ignore all possible interpretation that is not related to the context; that is, to the story being told by the author.

Another way of putting this is in the negative: how not to think about the Bible.  The Bible is not a giant literary grab-bag of allegorical tales intended to help me with my life.  It does get used that way though.  Typically, a preacher will take a passage, then find a way to draw a parallel with our own lives.  So if David did this or that -- and David after all is a man after God's own heart! -- then we ought to do this or that.  The sermon ends with a rousing encouragement for us all to go and do this or that, just like David!

Yuk.  I can't listen to that any more.  David was a real historical person, not a convenient flannel-graph illustration for my personal encouragement.  And furthermore, David was a gift of God to the people of Israel and the world, so that we might see in him a fore-image of what was to come.  That is, in him we see Jesus, before whom David now gladly bows!

The reason that we have to say so often, just give me Jesus, is that we are so often served up so much else besides Jesus, all because of a deeply-entrenched misusing of the Scriptures for purposes of our own.  But I find that the story is quite inspiring enough without having to make it be all about me and my issues.

There, I have managed to write a post about snow, baseball, and the proper use of the Word.  Blogging at its best!


Glynn said...

Favorite weather: first snow of the season.

Favorite sport: Like the rest of St. Louis, I'm still in shock at how the 2011 baseball season ended.
Wonderful shock.

One of my favorite theologians to read: N.T. Wright.

Steve Scott said...

Whenever "game 6" or "game 7" are mentioned in the same body of writing as "2002", it brings back the nightmare. I can emphathize with Rangers fans.