Friday, August 23, 2013

Reading the Bible like Aesop's fables

With my son I have been reading through Counterfeit Gods: When the empty promises of love, money, and power let you down by Tim Keller.
I recommend it.

[Trivial cultural aside: the USA edition has "sex, money, and power" in the sub-title whereas I have a UK edition which is "love, money, and power"].

Each chapter considers a different idol in the modern/postmodern world and deconstructs it, engaging with a relevant passage of the Bible. Keller's exegesis often takes directions I would not have anticipated. [I mean this in the positive sense]. For example, I used to think positively of Jacob working seven years for Rachel [Genesis 29]: what an example of "true love"! However, Keller takes it as a sign of idolatry and infatuation.

Keller points out that we may read the Old Testament narratives with the wrong approach.
“The reason for our confusion [about the Bible] is that we usually read the Bible as a series of disconnected stories, each with a “moral” for how we should live our lives. It is not. Rather, it comprises a single story, telling us how the human race got into its present condition, and how God through Jesus Christ has come and will come to put things right.” (pp. 36-37)

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