Friday, December 23, 2005

More Bonhoeffer

I finished Creation and Fall yesterday. Well, not really, I am reading the afterword now. Another great quote there, excerpted from a letter to his brother-in-law in 1936:

"One cannot simply read the Bible like other books. One must really be prepared to put questions to it...The reason for this is that in the Bible God speaks to us. And one cannot just proceed to think about God under one's own steam; instead one must ask God questions. Naturally one can read the Bible like any other book and so study it from the point of view of textual criticism, etc. There is absolutely nothing to be said against this. Only this way of going about things does not unlock the essence of the Bible but only what lies on its surface. Think of how we come to understand something said to us by a person we love not by dissecting it into bits but by simply accepting it as the kind of word it is, so that for days it echoes within us simply as the word of that particular person whom we love; the more we, like Mary, 'ponder it in the heart,' the more the person who has said it to us becomes accessible to us in that word. That is just how we should treat the word of the Bible."

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