Monday, October 24, 2011

Biblical Musings

Over at Experimental Theology , Richard Beck wonders what "Biblical" means.

When I've heard the term used, it generally seem to align with what Dr. Beck is suggesting.

Occasionally, and only occasionally, have I seen someone open a Bible while trying to determine "the Biblical view" on an issue.

Jeffrey Overstreet reacted to the notion of certain authors having a "Biblical worldview" with this little rant:
I do not write "from a Biblical Worldview." Just, you know... for the record.

I'm not even sure what a "Biblical Worldview" is.

"Many of the people I know who would say that they have a "Biblical Worldview" disagree with one another on many fundamental points.

I also know many writers who say they have a "Biblical Worldview" who are terrible writers, and many who would deny that they have a "Biblical Worldview" who write things that bless and inspire me.

So, yes, I have faith in Christ. But I would be reluctant to call my ever-changing, ever-evolving understanding a "Biblical Worldview." Even in the Bible itself, heroes of the faith demonstrate some very different "worldviews."
He later added:
"What concerns me is the tendency to say "These authors are okay because they have a Biblical Worldview" ... because the influence of the Bible on my worldview does not have any bearing on whether my books are worth reading. And I think the category suggests that authors with "Biblical Worldviews" are somehow safe, or similar."

So what Jeff is reacting against is the same kind of usage that Richard Beck ponders over - employing "Biblical" as code for something other than "as in the Bible."
I myself have bandied about the term "Biblical worldview" over the years, typically in trying to define a point of view that defers from, say, Philip Pullman. As I age, I'm liking the idea that I've always meant what Beck says the word would actually mean: 

"The point being, a conversation seeking to find a "biblical" view isn't heading for a fixed destination. Rather, such a conversation will be airing a diversity of views that share a family resemblance."

I think I can live with "family resemblance" more than I need to live with "fixed destination."

Madeleine L'Engle, another dodger of being put in a box, would show (feign, perhaps?) surprise when asked by young writers about how to be a "Christian writer." Her answer was, basically, to be a Christian and to be a writer. 

If then you write truth, no matter what you write, you have succeeded.

Just my thoughts, 


No comments: