Getting "Hazed" by Tradition & History...

My friend and classmate Bo Sanders from www.EveryDayTheology.net asked a question I've asked myself, before:

"What if I want out of the whole Aristotelian, materialistic - dualism reading of the Bible - whether Catholic, Reformed or Protestant Evangelical. What if I just want to read the pre-modern book in a post-modern approach?"


And in asking this, I've been called "naive." Of course, I'll admit to a little naivete, but I prefer to call it optimism or idealism or hope.

I think history is unavoidable (along with tradition) but they are not gods to be worshipped or laws to be heeded or empires to be feared. They're breadcrumbs left behind, pointing "where from."

Christians, and particularly academics (of whom I'm generally still in awe) tend to make history a fraternal hazing ritual: we're not allowed to vocalize an opinion until we've been slapped and spanked by history, tradition, doctrine and theology. I don't necessarily resent that, but I guess I've decided to insert my vulgar voice into the fray, mid-hazing. I haven't even been blindfolded yet.

Not sure it's ever truly possible to read the Bible without the accoutrements of history, tradition and culture. Unless one is born in a vacuum, we see everything through the windows of our experience - even those outside of Christendom and the West.

3 comments:

God's Not Finished With Us Yet... said...

Wow, that was a great post. I also really like the title of your blog. You're a good writer, how you relate traditions, or tragedies, or whatnot to breadcrumbs left behind....

Very insightful.

RickNiekLikeBikes said...

I don't agree with everything written or spoken by Calvin, Luther, Wesley, Knox and others, but I know what they've said influenced how I think, even as I hope to devise my own thoughts...which in turn might be useful to some future patron of earth. Parents do that too don't they? You want to be influenced by those who knew something before you did. And really, no matter how hard we try, we do eventually succumb to specific constraints laid by God so that we might know truth from falsehood. You do want a line in the sand sometimes my friend. Time itself has constraints we can't avoid. It's like light too right? The starlight we view in the heavens is actually old light giving perspective in a modern sky.

Peter said...

God's Not Finished, thanks so much, and thanks for the visit!

Rick - GREAT starlight analogy. Interesting that everything we see is refracted light, so as humans, we really can't avoid looking into the past. It's all we see!

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