April 17, 2008

perception and judgment

I have been struggling with how we can stretch our minds and start to think of the bible from another perspective within the church. How, in a postmodern world, we can acknowledge the multiple lenses we use to read the bible, without somehow destroying the fact that this is a tradition and a heritage we want to hold on to. With all that thought about how we read and what we are trying to get out of it, I was directed to this New York Times article.

Op-Ed Columnist
Divided They Fall
Published: April 17, 2008
though the policy differences between the two Democratic candidates are minimal,
each camp is becoming increasingly aggravated at the other.

I was particularly intrigued by the title of a book referenced - and the idea of a "post-fact society." It think that it is a true (eek - can I say that?) description of our world! we live as though there were no set truth - only what is right and true for me. Truth - as in capital "T" Truth, is elusive, if not downright dismissed, ignored, denied, well - you get the picture.

I am more prone to acknowledge that truth is NOT something that we can grasp in and of ourselves. I would be willing to talk about truth being held between us - as a collective truth (which some people would say is just a larger idea of relativity). But it's also kind of Wesleyan - you know, that whole notion of christian conferencing and the spirit helping us discern the truth in our midst.

But if we are going to allow the Spirit to help us discern the truth - be it in the bible or in society, then we have to get out of the way and let the spirit work. We need to let go of our own presumptions. The article talks about getting in better "mental" shape - by reading thoughts and opinions that aren't our own and getting used to thinking critically. I agree. But I also think that prayer plays a role.


  1. Hmm, I sometimes think we live in a society where people want to claim their truth *as* fact!
    Welcome to RevGalBlogpals, and thanks for this thoughtful reflection.

  2. Like Songbird, I also see a lot of people pushing their own version of the truth as fact. It can be a challenge trying to drown out the noise and listen for the whisper...

  3. "if we are going to allow the Spirit to help us discern the truth - be it in the bible or in society, then we have to get out of the way and let the spirit work. "


    welcome to revgals

  4. Amen to this post.

  5. Great to have you, Katie! Welcome.

  6. Thank you so much for this. I completely agree with this struggle. It is really hard. As a young pastor who is really quite postmodern, it becomes difficult to relate to many congregants.

  7. Hey there.

    I saw your last moment comment on Rev Gals preacher party this morning and followed the link. This is just the kind of conversation that I think we need to be having and I am glad that it seems to be making an appearance in your sermon this morning. How do we hold the pieces together? The hyper-individualist strain in our churches is a hurdle. So too is the kowtowing to hierarchy. It's like we cannot navigate the middle ground. All we have is the extremes.

    I look forward to reading your sermon. God's blessings be upon you.