Monday, July 28, 2008

Must Read

Everyone in the Church should read Brennan Manning's book The Signature of Jesus (Multnomah, 1988). Particularly pertinent for those in the church circles within which I run is chapter 10, "The Discipline of the Secret," which is presented as "An open letter to American Christians." Here are some of Manning's powerful words:

I am deeply disturbed by what I can only call in our Christian culture the idolatry of the Scriptures. For many Christians, the Bible is not a pointer to God but God himself. In a word--bibliolatry. God cannot be confined within the covers of a leather-bound book. I develop a nasty rash around people who speak as if mere scrutiny of its pages will reveal precisely how God thinks and precisely what God wants.

The four Gospels are the key to knowing Jesus. But conversely, Jesus is the key to knowing the meaning of the gospel--and of the Bible as a whole. Instead of remaining content with the bare letter, we should pass on to the more profound mysteries that are available only through intimate and heartfelt knowledge of the person of Jesus.


Drew Hill said...

Manning always writes with real passion and clarity. Imagine the untold harm and irreparable damage that might have been avoided if Southern Baptist folk had heeded his words. It is the devil's most cunning deception, to substitute the book for the Being, the page for the Person.

Scott said...

Manning sounds like he was channeling Hauerwas in that paragraph. ;)