The Bible may be the most famous book written, but it has also been used and abused probably more than any other book as well. Some people treat it like a hammer, to beat other people down or into a particular shape they want. Others use it like a surgical knife to cut and tear apart ideas that come their way. While the Bible itself does speak of scripture as a two-edged sword that cuts, I'm not sure that is the best way to understand or use it. In fact, I think we run into a bit of danger when we are the operators and the Bible simply becomes our tool.
The last several decades has shown an increase in the attention to narrative and "metanarrative" (or over-arching storyline) in the Bible. I have come to see the whole Bible as a story of God's movement(s) and the world's movement(s) in response to God. There is a dance through the pages of God picking us up and setting us in place, then following us as we fall away, and picking us up and setting us in place again...over and over. God breathes out and we breathe in. We breath out and God breathes in...over and over. God moves, and we move with Him, whether we realize it or not. I'm not going to quote any particular verses here, but instead invite you to pick up your own Bible and turn to any page and see if you find any page where this movement is not taking place. Big movements across nations, across all of creation and tiny movements between the hearts of individuals and the heart of God.
In looking for the place of scripture within a ministry context, I believe it is not as justification, nor as a tool to get a job done (preaching, teaching, etc.) but as an invitation to this movement. We go where we see God moving. When we see God moving in the scriptures, we go to Him in the scriptures. We allow Him to use scripture to move us, rather than us trying to use scripture to move Him. Where He breathes out, we breathe in. We engage the scripture as it engages us. We connect with the scripture where it connects with us. We equip ourselves with the scripture as it equips us and sends us out in new movements as our movements of sending out the scripture into the world become an intricate part of the great dance God has created in our world.
Trying to hear the music in the din of many voices.
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