Mclaren on reading the Bible

I think there would be some more authentic biblical interpretation if we took this piece of advice from Brian Mclaren

My training [in literature] taught me to read for scenes and plots, not doctrines; for protagonists and antagonists, not absolute and objective truths; for character development and conflict resolution, not raw material to be processed into a system of beliefs; for resonances and common patterns among many texts and traditions, not merely for uniqueness or superiority of one text or tradition; for multiple layers of interpretation, not merely one sanctioned one. (55)

I know there are limits to this approach and they need to developed reasonably. But I think Christians would be the better off for understanding that the Bible is literature and not simply data. It tells stories and describes people in such a way that insight develops. People who ignore stories and simply want to get to the facts skip over the reality that when God wanted to communicate with us, it was stories he chose and not a systematic theology. That has something to say about how we come to an understanding of the truth.

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