All tagged The New Testament and the People of God
To be certain, the Jews were in sin, they were misreading the story, they rejected their messiah. However, the sin of the jews and the Pharisees were not necessarily the same as the sins of our own day. We can certainly learn from the foolishness and pride of the Pharisees but it will impossible to do so if we insist on turning them into 21st century do-gooders.
The worldview that a culture holds is one that is expressed through narrative and/or story. These stories, in one way or another, are answering the theology questions about “who are we, where are we, what is wrong, and what is the solution?”. The way grid through which these stories are expressed is through certain symbols (a flag, an institution, a holiday, a rite of passage). Finally, all of these things imply (and are formed by) a certain way of living in the world, a praxis.
The world is no longer majestic and mysterious. Rather, everything can be known scientifically. All things can be boiled down to left or right. Perhaps what we really need is a return to story; a return to Narnia/Middle Earth/Hogwarts. We need to have our stories subverted by the Gospel so that we can see that their is more to God's world than what we see through the microscope of our man-made philosophies.
We inescapably tell stories because we are fitting events into a particular view of the world (worldview). When a certain event takes place which would break down a particular view of the world stories are told about that event in order to invite its hearers in to this new understanding of the world.
Rather than coming straight on in an open attack of the religious authorities, Jesus "hides the wisdom of the serpent behind the innocence of the dove" in his parables. Christians should look to do likewise. Yet doing likewise would require a level of understanding and imagination that many Christians have no ability to employ. Thus, we are often left with either sterile or frilly methods of discourse with our opposites. The sterile method of discourse are unaffective and the frilly ones (if not laughable) often affect a kind of powder puff convert.
When we learn to read the Bible as God’s story of redemption then we can actually begin to see plot lines extending beyond the pages of scripture and into the very worlds we inhabit. In doing so we allow the rich and beautiful complexity of the Bible pervade our lives rather than forcing the sterility of our modern minds onto the Bible.
The insistence that we approach the Bible to find out what it "says to me" opposed to a historically informed reading is heavily influenced by postmodern thought; regardless of how much evangelicals might deny it.
Wisdom incarnate (Jesus), spoke in parables and hid the things of the kingdom of God from the wise and revealed them to innocent babes (Luke 10). Again, as the apostles went out into the kingdom of Rome armed with the story of the Gospel their ultimate aim was a subversive one. Everywhere they went they started a riot because of the story they were telling: "Jesus is Lord, not Ceasar." & "You are now citizens of Heaven, not Rome." To us these often serve as empty words on the pages of an ancient text. In the first century these words were telling the story of a conflicting narrative to the story so many inhabited. Moreover, these words were telling the story of the emergence of a new world (the world of the New Adam) and the decaying of an old one (the world of the Old Adam).
It's important to understand that the scriptures (specifically the New Testament in this sense) were written in space & time to a certain people in space and time. None of this means that what was written then is no longer applicable to the modern reader, rather, Wright contests that in order to obtain a modern application from the text would depend on obtaining the ancient application. Our approach should not be to divorce the scriptures from the place and time they were written in order to acquire their "higher meaning." Instead we should look to understand exactly what scripture was addressing so that we may see how it does (and does not) apply to us today.