Divinity for Dummies

Genesis 1 1-5 Samaritan Pentateuch

Listened to a real live Cambridge DD yesterday, used to the lecture podium rather than the pulpit thus seemed slightly embarrassed at having to put on the old shepherd garb and wave his arms suitably. It was instructive to be reminded of Theology 101 – the almost painful dumbing down was well-concealed but palpable. Being stuck in the minor prophets is probably better than being stuck with a major liturgical catastrophe thus despite the fact that there’s a lot to be said for the use of a lectionary cycle but it tends to presuppose, rather than to foster, a broad understanding of the biblical story. Lectionaries were designed for use in societies that were already implicitly Christian – societies in which the rhythms of the liturgical year, and the broad sweep of the biblical narrative, could be more or less taken for granted – the theological subtlety with which the OT and NT readings are often connected – a subtlety that is quite lost on anybody without a good working knowledge of scripture and liturgical tradition, which, quite frankly, is most of us. And preachers only exacerbate the problem when they take these subtle liturgico-theological connections as the theme of their proclamation, instead of preaching from the textsthemselves. Preachers, do try to remember that the content of your proclamation is not the liturgical calendar or flashy exegesis, but the Word of God. Rhema. Plus Logos.

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2 thoughts on “Divinity for Dummies

  1. Could not agree more. Those for it claim that the whole Bible gets covered over a period of time, but I don't believe this to be the case. Also they claim that it prevents a preacher only doing their favourite bits. What it does deny is the development of any long term themes such as marriage, holy living, giving etc. It also forces the reading of scripture in a way that was never intended – i.e. paragraphs taken on their own and often out of context rather than the letter, book etc. as an entire entity and instruction with a particular emphasis. Alan D

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  2. My formative years were spent being taught the Scriptures, mostly prophetically. Listening to a theologian brought back memories of College and the aridity of knowledge without what the Bible quaintly calls 'wisdom'.

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