Greetings to all in the Love of Jesus Christ:
La biblia no es un LIBRO; ¡la biblia es una BIBLIOTECA! (The Bible is not a BOOK; the Bible is a LIBRARY!)
That was one of many thought-provoking phrases offered by Dr. Jose Morales during the first few sessions of Método Teológico; a Spanish-language course on Theological Methods the Region is offering during October and November. Dr. Morales is pushing us to thinking deeply and critically about our theological foundations – why we think what we think.
The truth is … many of us learned about God in our 2nd grade Sunday School classes and haven’t done too much thinking about God ever since. We were taught the basics by people who loved us, people we trusted. We often didn’t realize, however, that they were teaching us age-appropriate understandings of God, and that learning the ways of God is a life-long journey. As we develop critical thinking skills, as we have more life experience, we need to continue to read scripture and develop our understanding of who God is and who/what God is calling us to be/do. So I am excited that 25 Spanish-speaking members of our Region have signed up to study with Dr. Morales for this course on theological methods.
Now, if you are wondering about the significance of our opening phrase, I invite you to reflect with me. A book is usually written by one author, from one point of view, with one consistent message. A library, on the other hand, contains the writings of several different authors, from several different points of view, often having conflicting messages. If you visit a shelf in the library that deals with literature from 1940’s Germany, you might find writings by Nazi propagandists alongside The Cost of Discipleship by Dietrich Bonhoffer. Same shelf, same library, same country and time period – TOTALLY different messages.
To view the Bible as a library is to acknowledge that the Bible was written by many different authors who did not always agree with each other. Why do we have four gospels instead of just one? Why do we have 1 & 2 Chronicles basically retelling the stories in 1 & 2 Samuel and 1 & 2 Kings – except with a slightly different perspective? Why do we have 2 creation stories, one of which tells of God creating humankind an in “his” image, male and female, and the other tells the story of God creating man first and woman being a derivative? If we learn to read the Bible as a library, learn to identify different voices and perspectives, we learn to wrestle with the complexity of life, and we grow in the humility of knowing that “for now, we see in a mirror, dimly.”
I invite you to continue the life-long journey of studying scripture, thinking theologically, and talking about the challenges of faith with your pastors and fellow Disciples. And I commend our 25 Arizona Disciples who are taking Dr. Morales’ class. May we all continue to grow. Paraphrasing Romans 12:2, may we not be conformed to what we’ve always thought, but may we be continually transformed by the renewing of our minds.
Dios les bendiga!
Regional Calendar of Weekly Prayers
Join in praying for our Arizona Disciples Congregations.
View the full calendar at azdisciples.org.
22 – Iglesia Cristiana Ebenezer led by Pastor Sandy Flores
29 – Arizona Saints and Congregations that have come before us
5 – Iglesia Dios de Segunda Oportunidad led by Pastor Minerva Guzman
12 – Larkspur Christian Church led by Pastor Job Cobos
19 – Thanksgiving Special Offering and our Disciples Affiliated Colleges, Universities, and Seminaries
26 – Saguaro Christian Church led by Pastor Kelley Dick