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biting our own leg

20 Apr

Still pondering How Wide the Divide…(see previous post)

Thinking on what strikes me as the absurdity of denying our own history and heritage, of attempting to disown and distance ourselves from it in the quest for the “ancient order” or the “pure gospel.” How we so naturally in doing so not only distance ourselves from our past ancestors but also from our present kin. Contemplating the irony, as Frank Viola observes so well in his most recent book Revise Us Again, of embracing and channeling the very spirit that we set out to oppose. We discover something — a theology, an insight, or even a supposed new revelation from God — that we believe will unify all true believers, tear down walls of division and hostility and bring on an experience of the gospel of peace like we’ve never known before…only to have that fresh movement become as divisive and isolating and counterproductive as what got us all stirred up to begin with.

All of this brings to mind a video sent to me a long time ago that I’ve seen several times since – and you may have seen it too. The dog biting it’s own leg when its hind leg seems to be threatening the bone pinned by its front paws. Watch it again if you’ve seen it:

How often do we find a theological “bone” (just fill in the blank, people!) that we believe holds the answers to everything, and as we gnaw and chew and lick and suck the marrow out of it, we find ourselves lashing out at members of our own body (past or present) that we see as a threat.

“If you bite and devour one another, watch out or you will be consumed by one another.”

How many of our religious squabbles and divisions and wars, if we could only see them through this lens from His perspective, are in fact as ironic, misplaced, paranoid and comical as this dog snarling at its own leg?

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2 Comments

Posted by on April 20, 2011 in Doctrine & Heresies

 

Tags: , , ,

2 responses to “biting our own leg

  1. Jon T

    April 25, 2011 at 2:34 pm

    I just read a pretty good essay (yesterday) by John Franke dealing with this very issue. The essay is titled Scripture, Tradition and Authority: Reconstructing the Evangelical Conception of Sola Scriptura. It’s comes from a book called Evangelicals and Scripture: Tradition, Authority and Hermeneutics which I’ve been working through for a few weeks now. Might be worth trying to track down that essay (or the whole book… good stuff!) as you’re processing this stuff. Cheers!

     
  2. wordhaver

    April 25, 2011 at 7:08 pm

    Thanks Jon! I’ll look it up…

     

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