Monday, May 19, 2014

A Brief Encounter (in Print) with Marilyn Chandler McEntyre

When thumbing through the May 2014 issue of Christianity Today, I encountered a paragraph that drew me in like the very best fisherman pulling in a fish. Ten minutes later, I knew I needed to read Marilyn Chandler McEntyre's book What's in a Phrase? Pausing Where Scripture Gives You Pause.

Let me share that paragraph from the interview with McEntyre:
Stories are not mere propositions. They invite ongoing interpretation. So much of the gospel is story material that you can keep revisiting and opening up in new ways. Instead of providing the closure of a rulebook, it invites you into a process and into a way, and you need to keep coming back and looking again. To ask, "What is this saying now? How am I being spoken to?"
I love this. Love. This.

McEntyre's approach certainly resonates with that wonder-filled call to a deep, personal relationship with Scripture as part of our much larger, ongoing relationship with God. We all know people (and may be those people on occasion) who tote out a Bible verse as an absolute rule intended to end discussion, to shut down thought, to close an issue. McEntyre's interview in CT offers up a rich alternative discourse, one that is, in her words, "faithful to the way the Spirit works."

I found myself nodding as I read the entire article in CT, and I've ordered What's in a Phrase? I'll review it when I'm finished, but in the meantime, I invite those of you who have read her work to share your reflections on McEntyre's writing and her approach to Scripture. She's the author of a number of books and an English professor at Westmont College. Please share what you think of the paragraph above, specifically, and of her writing in general. I'd love to hear what you have to say!

Personal Reflection: Do you read Scripture like a rulebook or for a relationship?


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