Praise God! Our group made it home safely this morning.
My son Josh sent me a Soren Kierkegaard quote yesterday that I have not been able to get off my mind. My prayer is that you won't either. Here it is:
The matter is quite simple. The Bible is very easy to understand. But we Christians are a bunch of scheming swindlers. We pretend to be unable to understand it because we know very well that the minute we understand, we are obliged to act accordingly. Take any words in the NT and forget everything except pledging yourself to act accordingly. You will say, if I do that my whole life will be ruined. How would I ever get on in the world? Herein lies the real place of Christian scholarship. Christian scholarship is the Church's prodigious invention to defend itself against the Bible, to ensure that we can continue to be good Christians without the Bible coming too close. Oh, priceless scholarship, what would we do without you? Dreadful it is to fall into the hands of the living God. Yes, it is even dreadful to be alone with the NT.
Sounds pretty extreme, doesn't it? But it haunts me. It haunts me because I am a part of that scholarship. And it haunts me because I am thinking about how often I have heard someone say -- or have myself said -- "This is what Jesus really meant." "Paul said this; but he meant . . ." "Jesus said, 'You can't serve God and money.' What He meant was ..."
I agree with Kierkegaard. It is dreadful to be alone with the NT. In the same way that it is dreadful to undergo a major surgery that can improve the quality of one's life -- if not save it.