discovering dissonance

23 August, 2005 at 9:23 am 2 comments

I came across Mark Balfour's dissonant bible blog. He's doing some important stuff there. Have a look at his post on David's concubines.

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Entry filed under: blogging theology.

Hope and redemption at the Bagdad Cafe stop the wall!

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Paul  |  23 August, 2005 at 2:29 pm

    I wonder if with this dissonance idea you’re getting at something I’ve felt for a long time: that, to use a favorite conservative Christian word in the US, we’re “responsible” for what we choose to select and emphasize in our reading of scripture. There’s a lot there. It’s far from perfectly consistent.

    So I think those Christians who emphasize a righteous God, an angry, bad tempered God, an intolerant God, could ask themselves a few questions, although as a group, they don’t appear to me to be the most reflective or self searching individuals. But when your “God” – ego? A curiously similar spelling… Anyway, when your God is that righteous, you don’t need to go around asking questions because you have the answers.

    Reply
  • 2. Wol  |  23 August, 2005 at 4:25 pm

    I agree, Paul. There is a deeper irony, though. To wax Barthian for a few moments: if God is in such a box, then God is no longer sovereign. There’s no space for God’s “No!” to our construct of God. Paying attention to the elements of Scripture that we find dissonant is an important protocol against idolatry because God is the Great Disturber – the one who refuses the boxes we create. If we can so identify our cause with that of God, we ought to know we’re in trouble.

    Of course, the obvious question that then arises is whether we can ever identify our cause with that of God, and if so, how. After all, we ought to be able to say that opposition to Apartheid is aligning ourselves with God, or to the war with Iraq. I think, then, that a useful guideline will be how costly we find that identification. If we are to stand with the victims, and we are not victims ourselves, we have to put ourselves into a place of cost and discomfort. Then, I would want to claim, we may be right in describing ourselves as embracing God’s cause, rather than comandeering God for our own.

    Reply

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