Tuesday, December 20, 2005

thank you donny

i never would have thought that i would have been thankful for something i heard form donny swaggart on sonlife radio (i've confessed before that listening to the swaggart's is a shameful pleasure for me). today donny swaggart was tearing into eugene peterson and he said that peterson's writing should be dismissed because of the following quote:
Well, why do people spend so much time studying the Bible? How much do you need to know? We invest all this time in understanding the text which has a separate life of it's own and we think we're being more pious and spiritual when we're doing it. But it's all to be lived. It was given to us so we could live it. But most Christians know far more of the Bible than they're living. They should be studying it less, not more. You just need enough to pay attention to God.

the quote sounded interesting to me so i tracked down the interview that it came from. in that interview eugene peterson makes the point that in the name of being more pious some CHRISTians spend three nights a week in bible study (in addition to church) - actually being taken away from making the strong relationships with their families and friends that bible says is a true sign that the love of CHRIST is within your life. another quote form the interview goes like this:
I think I would want to say it a different way. We treat the text as if it is in a separate world of its own, apart from our lives. This text reveals God lovingly at work in the world. And the intent of the text is to draw us into that world of God's action. Study is normally an over intellectualized process. It takes us out of relationships. And so I guess I'm just not at all pleased with all the emphasis on Bible study as if it's some kind of special thing that Christians do, and the more they do the better. It needs to be integrated into something more whole.

how many people do you know that have the guts to tell their congregations to go study the bible less and spend more time living it out?

i love eugene peterson. thanks donny swaggart for reminding me of that.


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