Just been to my first Greenbelt talk of the year. Richard Burridge "Does the Bible exclude people?"
Absolutely fantastic, greenbelt was worth it this year if I get to nothing else. Rushed over to the shop and bought his book (with £7 off) "Imitating Jesus: an inclusive approach to New Testament Ethics.
He looked at examples of where people on opposite sides of a debate have both used scripture in the same ways and yet come to opposite conclusions.
From the past he used Slavery and Apartheid as examples, looking at the Biblical examples used by those on both sides. Particularly the difficulty caused by the fact that those we now see as being wrong (slave owners/apartheid supporters) held what they considered as Biblical sound positions (unlike their opponents that we now understand as being in the right).
He then explored a method that takes seriously the genre of the gospels as ancient biographies which challenge us through the combination of impossibly high ethical standards combined with an amazingly inclusive community.
Just a couple of examples.
- Jesus’ teaching on money, yet he included a tax collector in his disciples.
- Jesus’ teaching and example on violence yet he included freedom fighters in his disciples.
I reckon this is essential to current debates on issues such as gender and sexuality.
[written earlier but posted during Proost Lounge, good material and free wine]