Friday, October 8, 2010

The Right Place

…the faith claim of the church is that the Bible as the church’s Scripture is without parallel, for it is God-given – given to be sure through the quixotic work of human beings – as originary testimony to the truth of God’s presence in and governance of all creation. Because it is God-given, given as God characteristically gives through the hidden workings of ordinary life, the book endlessly summons, requires, demands and surprises with fresh reading. The only way to turn the book into a fixed idol is to imagine that the final interpretation has been given, an act of imagination that is a deep act of disobedience to the lively God who indwells the text. The only way to avoid such idolatry is to know that the lively God of the text has not given any final interpretation of the book that remains resistant to our explanatory inclinations.

- Walter Brueggemann, An Introduction to the Old Testament

Herein lies one of the best aspects of Belfast Bible College: We are offered no final interpretations.  This place is not grooming ministry robots whose sole output is trite answers to difficult questions. Real human beings are being formed to live a real life of complexity and tension, but with these three abiding: faith, hope, and love. If anyone is worried about me, rest arrured that I am in the right place. God told me so on Tuesday at chapel service:

And who knows whether you have not come to the (united) kingdom for such a time as this?

Sure, these words may have been originally spoken to a Jewish woman over two thousand years ago, but remember - no final interpretations!

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