Saturday, September 20, 2014

Word as sacramental (again for a change)

A friend kindly pointed out these posts (with a Roman Catholic / Anglo-Catholic flavour to me).

I've been trying to think about whether or not we might think of the Bible as sacramental.

If we did, what difference would this make to our reading of it? That's something I need to think about more.

Perhaps we might compare our attitude to the bread and wine of the eucharist to our attitude to the words of Scripture or to the ink and paper and the physical object of the Bible. Bread and wine and words are indispensible, but it might be possible to have the wrong sort of interest in them so as to miss the point. They are not ultimate ends in themselves. They are intended to mediate an encounter with Christ. They are his appointed means of giving us life.

The principle of hiddenness mentioned in the second post above is an interesting one that deserves further thought. It would fit with Luther's theology of the cross - that glory is seen in suffering but in a mysterious and hidden way (have I remembered that rightly?). But evangelicals have often emphasised the literal or plain sense of Scripture - or the grammatico-historical sense. How, if at all, might that fit with saying that the Bible has a hidden, mysterious or mystical meaning? How does it compare to how the Supper signifies?

One thing we might say (?) is that everything God has made is related and related to him. Understanding Supper or Scripture perfectly would require a complete understanding of creation, God and Scripture. Of course this is possible only to God. But it might make us nervous of the desire to restrict and close down meaning. There is value in reflecting as fully as we can on Scripture and Supper in the light of all that we can grasp of God's creation, of his Word and of Christ's saving work.

More work needed here! Do help me out below....

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