Week 10- Response to Randy

I found Randy’s reflection to Wednesday’s class interesting . He cautions us not to comment too much on the story of Scripture, citing places in the Bible where we are told not to add anything to the canon. We ought not allow our cultural understanding of the text influence what we believe to be fact, when it is not fact. On some level I agree with Randy’s caution. I am taking a preaching class and part of me cringes when I hear preachers expound on a story in Scripture by exaggerating with details that were not part of the original telling of the story. And yet at the same time, if I am not representing these details as the word of God, but am instead simply making the word of God more accessible through these hyperboles and details surrounding the text, then am I doing an injustice? Of course, people have the capacity to take my elaborations as actual fact, but won’t they be  negotiating with the text that I am handing to them? Just as I negotiate the text of Scripture to communicate the gospel in a sermon, they negotiate my words in the sermon to determine what pieces fit their lives.

Additional thoughts… I don’t know where I fall on this issue. I agree with Randy that it is a slippery slope, but I have also found that the word comes much more alive when these details and commentaries and negotiations are added. How can we allow for the negotiation of meaning but also trust that people will know what is the word of God and what is not? How can we give our congregation the freedom to decide, trusting that the Spirit will guide?


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