June 18, 2008

Thought for 06.18.08

Just as the Son, the living Word of God, does nothing on his own (John 5:19,30; 8:28), so too the Scripture, the written Word of God, can not and does not stand or work alone, but is interpreted and put into effect under the caring stewardship of the church by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit in its many members. The Word is meant to be productive as seed, and is thus inseparable from the mission of the church. The truth of the interpretation will be found in the fruit and harvest it bears. (Isaiah 55:10-11)

Tobias Haller BSG

7 comments:

Ruth Hull Chatlien said...

Another good thought. Thank you.

"Ms. Cornelius" said...

Yes!

But of course, most who wrap themselves in scripture deny that they are interpreting anything at all. That's the frustration.

Tobias Haller said...

Yes, Ms. C., and that probably goes far to explain how little fruit is borne by the rocky soil of the literalists, who think they need not contribute anything to the growth of the Word. Ironically, those who think they honor the Word thereby are the ones in which it takes no root, and who bring forth no fruitful harvest except the harvest of bitterness and judgment, which testifies against them. Perhaps this is what the famine of hearing the Word (Amos 8:11-12) consists of: the very ones who think they seek the Word are the ones who go without, for they have used the Word not in accord with God's will -- as a means to build up; but as a means to tear down.

John Bassett said...

"...the written Word of God, can not and does not stand or work alone, but is interpreted and put into effect under the caring stewardship of the church by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit in its many members."

But who speaks for those members? Who articulates the work of the Spirit? Who decides what is the Spirit and what comes from other sources?

The position you articulate here seems close to those of the Roman magisterium and the Bishop of Durham. In both cases it is assumed that the clergy, particularly the episcopate, articulates the work of the Spirit.

Tobias Haller said...

Emphatically not, John! Please note that I refer to the "many members" of the church -- not just the clergy -- as the recipients of the Holy Spirit's guidance, and Jesus' charge: the harvest is plentiful but the laborers too few, if they are only to be the clergy!

You are reading "magisterium" where I am saying "the people of God"! You are implying an assumption I would never, never, make.

Caminante said...

Wonderful quote that I have translated into Spanish to share with the clergy of the Anglican Episcopal Church of El Salvador next week. Thanks. Lee

KJ said...

Amen, Tobias! And how John got "there" from "here", I do not know.

At some point during my coming out process, which displaced me from my evangelical roots, I realized that many of the things I was being told by those who interpreted the Bible literally, with little life, would be true, if the Spirit were dead.