It's true all sorts of people claim to have heard God speaking. Lots of them are nutters - the overwhelming majority utterly harmless but a few quite dangerous. But that doesn't mean God doesn't speak.
I believe God speaks in and through the Bible, that it is his Word and in it we encounter his mind. The trouble is that as readers tend to be selective - after all, there's a lot to select from and some bits are more conducive to our way of thinking than others.
I think the Goldingay point that I was drawing attention to in the last post was simply this: everything in the Bible is God's word and we need to read it as such. Some of it comforts us and warms the cockles of our hearts. Some of it lances the puss out of us like a needle in a boil. Some of it keeps us awake nights thinking, processing, wondering.
It'd probably be good if people read more, thought more, processed more and spoke less. James had quite a bit to say about that.
We've all received words in church that frankly weren't worth the breath they took to exhale. I've laughed a good many off and moved on. But occasionally we receive a word that stops us in our tracks because it comes from someone who has listened and thought, read and pondered and only spoken at the end of that long silence. What they have said has been like God speaking directly to us.
I'd love everyone to have that experience. I'd love the church to be a place where it happens more often. because in my experience, when it does happen, it results in churches doing stuff out in the world and not just talking to each other about singing and dancing.
Tuesday, November 04, 2008
God speaks - are we listening?
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