Wednesday, 17 February 2016
Seeing Judaism Anew: Christianity's Sacred Obligation,
Ed. Mary C. Boys, Rowman and Littlefield, 2002
Chapter 13, "Covenant and Conversion" (pp. 151-162), page 153
Cunningham's last group of people with an approach to the Bible is an interesting proposal:
Some Christians, particularly those of the Eastern Orthodox traditions, encounter the Bible primarily through worship. They read the Bible through the lens of the liturgy, including hymn, prayers, ritual actions and sacraments. While not denying the human aspects of the Bible, these Christians accentuate the divinely inspired character of the Bible as shaping worship. This perspective could be called the "liturgical" approach to the Bible.
While many church and synagogue leaders would welcome closer integration between worship and the Bible, allowing the tradition to be the lens or, perhaps worse, interpreter, of the text may be dangerous. It sounds rather like: this text means, "A-B-C" because that is what the early church fathers said it meant and the church has received it that way for hundreds of years. It doesn't allow either for genuine mistaken interpretation in the early days - after all, the church had cut itself off from its Jewish roots so clearly invented new and incorrect ideas about some things - or for flexibility or change as G-d continues to work with and through His people.