- a way of seeing the Bible, and the Christian tradition which has been handed down to us, as historical, metaphorical and sacramental.
- historical: i.e., the library which we call the Bible emerged from two ancient communities: ancient Israel and the early Christian community just after Jesus’ death and resurrection. The Scriptures are the responses of these people to the God who was revealed to Moses, and about whom Jesus had taught his hearers. It’s their witness to how they continued to relate to God in Christ. As such, this response is culturally conditioned and very much influenced, as ours is, by their unique time and place in human history.
- metaphorical: i.e, the Bible is, as Marcus Borg notes, “more-than-literal”, “more-than-factual”. Thomas Mann describes it as “a story about the way things never were, but always are.” Someone else puts it this way: “The Bible is true, and some of it happened”, very similar to the spirit of the ancient Native American account of the tribe’s story of creation: “Now I don’t know if it happened this way or not, but I know this story is true.” The Bible asks: “Regardless of whether it happened this way, what does the story say? What does it mean for our relationship to God, here and now?”
- sacramental: i.e., the Bible encompasses the sacred. Just as the Prayer Book describes a sacrament as an “outward and visible sign[s] of inward spiritual grace, given by Christ as sure and certain means by which we receive that grace”, so God’s Word in the Bible, written or spoken, enables, mediates, the Holy Spirit’s presence in us, giving us sacred wisdom and life.
- relational: i.e., the Bible enables us to live as Jesus did, enjoying a vibrant, personal relationship with God here and now, rather than expending our energy simply on beliefs and doctrines, or on qualifying for “rewards” after death. It helps us to see that we are the “beloved of Jesus”, even as he is the “Beloved of the Father”.
- transformational: i.e., by immersion in Scripture the Holy Spirit leads us to what Marcus Borg calls “the hatching of the heart”: i.e., opening our heart and every aspect of our life to God; no longer being close-minded; no more deceiving ourselves; or being ungrateful; or insensitive to wonder and awe; but being other-oriented and compassionate, invested in justice for all human beings.
Truth...” (p. 33) “Becoming the Beloved means letting the truth of our Belovedness become enfleshed in everything we think, say, or do...” (p. 34) “...What I am trying to say is that God has written us a love letter in the scripture, the written word. The written word points to the Living Word, which is God incarnate in the person of Jesus. In both the Living Word and the written word, God continues to speak--personally and in a quiet voice. We speak the word of God to each other out of the silence of listening to God...Or, to put it in another way we encounter God in the word through the disciplines of obedient listening, sacred reading, humble speaking, and spiritual writing.” (p. 101)