Mr. McLaren—I am a member of a smaller Episcopal Bible Study group that meets as soon as-a-week and, considering that our yearly commence-up in September of 2018, we have been creating our way, one particular chapter at a time, by means of your marvelous book We Make the Road by Walking. It is been enlightening and a delightful study at one particular and the similar time, but we ran into our initially roadblock with the verses chosen for reading for your chapter titled ‘Significant and Fantastic.’ We typically do not look at ourselves to be obtuse, but we just could not recognize why two Samuel 11:26-12:15 was one particular of these recommended readings offered the discussion that followed. If you could give us an insight into your rationale right here that would be extremely useful. Thank you ahead of time for even taking a moment to study this e-mail I’ve by no means reached out to any one relating to their literary perform ahead of, but was asked by the other members of my group to pursue this to see if we may well get some clarification.
Thanks for this query. I just re-study the chapter and the scripture passage, and here’s the connection that I didn’t make clear sufficient in the book (!) –
In Chapter 21, I’m speaking about how to study and interpret miracle stories. Some really feel we should take them actually, mainly because they claim to record historical information. Some really feel it is improved to take them literarily – as stories intended, not to communicate reality, but which means, utilizing the accepted literary genre of miracle story. In the chapter, I’m inviting men and women, no matter if or not they take miracle stories actually, to study them literarily … focusing on which means. I argue for this mainly because the Bible calls miracles indicators – which imply they signify anything, and wonders – which imply they are intended to make you wonder or feel. Some men and women take Bible stories actually without having pondering their which means, some do not take them actually but do ponder their which means, and some do each.
Once more, I propose men and women concentrate on which means, no matter if or not they take the stories actually. Which means is the point.
In the two Samuel 11:26-12:15 passage, David has accomplished anything terrible – initially committing adultery (and most likely rape), then engaging in a cover-up that integrated murder of the woman’s husband and then the taking of her as his wife. (It is ugly, no matter how you recognize it, not in contrast to stories we hear amongst highly effective leaders nowadays.) Nathan comes and tells a story.
It does not matter at all if Nathan’s story is accurate in the literal or factual sense. Its goal is to support David see anything about himself.
It is literal factuality is not the point. It is actual which means is the point.