Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Reminiscent Conversation

WARNING: THE FOLLOWING MATERIAL CONTAINS BIBLICAL, ECCLESIASTIC AND CHRISTOLOGICAL REFERENCES.

I found this rant whilst digging around some old files. I felt a spark in the philosophical dungeons of my bowels when met with a surprisingly kindred mind and subsequently (yes, in sequence) picked through some old writing. Old, as in, Nov 21, 2004. Apparently this was the day I decided to take on Karl Barth:

But scripture is always autonomous and independent of all that is said. it can always find new and from its own standpoint better readers, and obedience in these readers, even in the church which has perhaps to a large extent become self-governing, and by these readers a point of entry to reform and renew the whole church and to bring it back from self-government to obedience.

will the new readers, like all liberated oppressed find the inevitable reign of the oppressor luscious enough to choose a new governance? is this cyclical or evolutionary? are the fools introduced to the structured wheel of the self-governing “wise” as a necessary humbling? does this process of humbling represent the purification or the purest form of the word? if the word chooses autonomously and independently, will it not choose to make itself known and replicated in the new, obedient reader?

are there those readers who know when ‘tis their turn to pass the baton to the fresh hearer that the compassion of christ will be expressed through his word to yet another generation?

what is it the self-governors intend to preserve? self? a sense of church tradition? something that has always worked in the past? the word? their interpretation? a shielding wall to keep them out? their path to salvation? do we program a replicate of our first love, because we are unable to revisit it?

the way is not relative in that it is christ, but is christ intrinsically relative to all through empathy? relativity allows the fullness only in the sharing of empathy and surrender of self-governance, even in a community of believers. community is no solitary validation for a risky hermeneutic of the reader’s response.

we read the word because it lures us, compels us, mirrors the hope beyond our knowing. the hope we didn’t imagine but recognize instantly. the word does not bear authority because we wrap it in our cloaks and crown it, but because it is why we read. does the word contain, reflect, bear, birth, guide, remind, reveal, inspire, demand, witness God?

I'm not sure I would maintain some of these presuppositions, and yet there are many questions here that I still twirl my hair through. If you are at all interested in these questions, please share.

3 comments:

mme. bookling said...

thank you for the disclaimer.
i was able to skim appropriately.

Kooy To The World said...

I am currently sitting in on a literary theory class and many of the questions you pose are the same questions that are demanded of all critical readers. Central to these strugles is the question of where the meaning resides: is it in the very words themselves? Is the author the only one who can tell of his intent and thus provide the only correct interpretation? Or is it in the reader herself where the text comes alive in a comunitive manner?

I am beginning to believe that a focus on authorial intent and text only may be a throwback to the early days of the inherently flawed scientific method where only the dead may be studied, because living things have the troublesome habit of changing.

Just dabbling here but a little bit of heresy never hurt anyone (well, except for when they burned heretics. . .that was rough).

Also, you should check out my friend's blog: http://inhabitatiodei.wordpress.com/
He writes a lot and I am impressed with blogs that are written for a clearly defined reason (his=to write about theology).

Devon said...

I love that when I read your writing I can hear your voice, it's inflections, and smell you.