Thursday, November 15, 2007


I started drinking coffee at 6:00am this morning. It's now 11:30 and I've graced three different coffee shops as I have worked my way through this morning's appointments. I've had two expresso drinks, approx. 48 ounces of brewed coffee, and a "Vine Swinger" (black coffee with a few shots of expresso thrown in). I'm buzzin'
I think I'm OK - no heart palpatations so far, although I just saw a housefly land on my table and was able to count its wingbeats as it took off, and my computer seems to be running incredibly slowly. Perhaps I'll wait to do my comtemplative prayer until later. Sermons on a variety of topics are whipping through my mind at several times the speed of light but the only thing I see on my Palm Pilot screen is the word Dueteronomy and I have no idea why or even who wrote it. I'm really happy though.

I meet with a very small group on Wednesday morning to share devotions. We meet in my office. Two of us drink coffee from my trusty thermos. Right now we are reading through Ben Richmond's "Signs of Salvation." Its pretty dense but we are learning a bit as we read. It's nice to read biblical stuff written by a Quaker, especially by someone like Ben, who I greatly respect.

Still, reading this stuff always makes me wonder about the purpose of the Bible. It makes me nervous that our so-called basic text for Christianity 101 can only be understood deeply by scholars. And when are they going to finally say, "Well that's it! Looks like we've got this bugger figured out at last." Could the authors have anticipated the multi-layers of meaning assigned to these texts? At least John 3:16 is clear enough for at least football fans (who are not known for their superior intellect) to understand.

When anyone says, "The Bible says so and so," I always whisper under my breath, "No that's what YOU say after reading the Bible." I once spoke at a conference and pointed out that the Bible doesn't really SAY anything. It's always people saying things about the Bible based on their understanding to the text. I think its possible to learn what the Bible teaches, but we should refrain from claiming we know what the Bible says. Even worse is the inclination to speak for God after reading the Bible.