The common practice today is to measure the Bible against the so-called modern worldview, whose fundamental dogma is that God cannot act in history—that everything to do with God is to be relegated to the domain of subjectivity. And so the Bible no longer speaks of God, the living God; no, now we alone speak and decide what God can do and what we will and should do… any exegesis that reads the Bible from the perspective of faith in the living God, in order to listen to what God has to say, is fundamentalism; … only the supposedly purely scientific kind of exegesis, in which God says nothing and has nothing to say, is able to keep abreast of the times.
1, 35-6 Nazareth
Reflection – You know, at the risk of sounding a bit self-centred, sometimes I wonder if I haven’t actually started this blog as a sort of spiritual exercise in self-control. I seem to delight in challenging myself to write about subjects that I feel extremely passionate about, things that get my emotions all fired up and ready to go… and then try to write about them with some degree of calmness, not devolving into a spittle-flecked wild-eyed rant, a screed which would send my readers running to the hills and (probably) send my superior in MH to tap me on the shoulder and suggest I take up some other hobby that will be not quite so hard on the blood pressure. Knitting, perhaps.
Like yesterday’s post on the liturgy, and today’s post on the Bible, and our modern disease of somehow relegating God to some strange place in both those forums, a place of inactivity or at least no direct activity or presence. A weird (frankly) approach to both liturgy and the Word where it is human action and human thought that bear the meaning and value of the thing, not the real presence of the living God.
I am passionate about these matters. God is real, and the real God is really acting in our lives. If this was not true, I at any rate would be dead, I think. When the real Lord really found me and really spoke to me a word of love and life, all of which really happened when I was 16 years old, I was at that time a pretty miserable wretched specimen of a human being. I don’t honestly think I would have made it very far into adulthood, to be perfectly honest.
God saved me. God saves so many people, and I firmly and deeply believe His whole desire and constant action in time and history is to save every person. And this salvation came to me (really) in the Eucharistic presence of Christ and has been repeatedly and profoundly confirmed and deepened by his living Word where he really has spoken and acted in my life.
So, yes, I get a little passionate about these things. This strange modern attitude which always keeps God at one remove (at least) from human affairs and human history is utterly incomprehensible to me. It is bloodless, lifeless, pointless. When liturgy becomes all about me or all about us, when the Scriptures become mere human documents that can be pulled and twisted to mean ‘whatever’ because there is no actual inherent meaning, then we lose the living God in a cloud of obfuscation and vagueness, entomb him again behind the stones of subjectivity and egoism.
Well, He cannot be entombed, and does not stay so. And that’s the Good News, of course. God breaks through our nonsense—‘creative’ liturgies and bloodless scientific exegesis, and continues to reach down from heaven to earth to save the poor and lowly ones who cry out to Him. It happened to me; it can happen to you or to anyone. God is real.