Richard Rohr – How can we look at the Biblical text in a manner that will convert us or change us?

I am going to define the Bible in a new way for some of you. The Bible is an honest conversation with humanity about where power really is. All spiritual texts, including the Bible, are books whose primary focus lies outside of themselves, in the Holy Mystery. The Bible is to illuminate your human experience through struggling with it. It is not a substitute for human experience. It is an invitation into the struggle itself—you are supposed to be bothered by some of the texts. Human beings come to consciousness by struggle, and most especially struggle with God and sacred texts. We largely remain unconscious if we avoid all conflicts, dilemmas, paradoxes, inconsistencies, or contradictions.

The Bible is a book filled with conflicts and paradoxes and historical inaccuracies. It is filled with contradictions and it is precisely in learning to struggle with these seeming paradoxes that we grow up—not by avoiding them with a glib one-sentence answer that a 16-year-old can memorize. If I had settled for the mostly one-line answers to everything from my Fr. McGuire’s Baltimore Catechism, my spiritual journey would have been over in the third grade. And for many people, otherwise educated in other fields, that is exactly what happened. We created people with quick answers instead of humble searchers for God and truth, which never just falls into your lap, but is only given as a gift to those who really want it and desire it.

FromRichard Rohr, A Teaching on Wondrous Encounters

Author: DanutM

Anglican theologian. Former Director for Faith and Development Middle East and Eastern Europe Region of World Vision International

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