Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Ignore the text, then

The concept that God educates human beings through suffering, that Job’s illness is a constructive didactic measure, has moved to the center of much recent scholarship on Job. Yet there is much that speaks against advocating such pedagogy of suffering. Even if the Greek proverb that opens Goethe’s autobiography states that only a tried and tested individual can become a truly educated individual, the idea that God deliberately brings about suffering so that certain individuals may grow in maturity is more masochistic than sarcastic, nor is it justified by the text.— Job's Journey, page 36

<idle musing>
<sarcasm>Well, then just import it via your theology. Don't let the text get in your way! </sarcasm>

I know, when you state it that baldly, it's obvious, right? But how often do we import assumptions into our exegesis? Right. Continually. That's why we need the inbreaking power of the Holy Spirit, continually knocking down our presuppositions, expanding our horizons, and generally making us uncomfortable with our present interpretations of pet scriptures and pet doctrines. Semper reformandum, as the Reformers said (some say it actually goes back to Augustine [reference, please, before I believe it]). Continually being reformed; I agree, and would go further, continually being made anew, experiencing more completely the new person I am (and you are) in Christ.
</idle musing>

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