Thursday, June 22, 2006

Taking back the Word

Here's something fantastic about Unitarianism: we're reingaging with the Bible. But not only that, we're offering an alternative way of interpreting the Bible. When I listen to Bill Darlison in Dublin or Robert Hardies in Washington, D.C. I hear Unitarians engaging with the Bible, and offering intepretations of biblical stories based on allegory rather than literalism. Insteading of seeing stories as literal and historical these people are showing how stories can be metaphors for spiritual truths. This is offering the world a different way of engaging with the Bible. And restoring a practice that was very much used in the early Christian church. Previously Unitarians would have been embarrassed by stories like Jesus walking on water, and would try to explain them away or edit them out (a la Thomas Jefferson). But today we're seeing these stories as deeply important and worth engaging in. This offers a real alternative to fundamentalism, which is something to be celebrated.


Blogger Matt said...

Unitarians aren't the only ones to do this. The Progressive Christian movement - an interdenominational network - has many scholars hard at work doing this. Bishop Spong, Marcus Borg, Geza Vermes et al all spring to mind as examples but the list could go on and on.

I often feel that Unitarians could have been leading lights / pioneers in this resurgence of exciting Biblical scholarship but alas they gave up that role some time ago.

2:35 pm  

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