Conversatio Divina

Conversations Journal April 1, 2005

Conversations 3.1: Scripture and Formation

Volume 3:1 Spring 2005

In the spring of 2005, the team at Conversations published an issue on the Bible. Some of the questions and ideas they brought to the table to consider were: How does the Holy text serve as a conduit of our knowing and becoming like Christ? Is it possible to not just read the Scripture, but let it “read” us, and remind us that the Word is still living and active? They invited writers and teachers from various Christian traditions, as is the practice when we engage topics of spiritual formation in this journal, so that we can learn from one another and perhaps grow in our ways of relating to God from that type of healthy discourse. I learned so much from this issue on Scripture and Formation. It was difficult to select just one article for the classroom—as each article stood on its own teaching and guiding me toward a holistic view of God’s Word and its relevance in my life. As one who generally approaches Scripture as a practical consumer (“How much can I get out of this time set aside reading the Bible?”), I appreciated the suggestions from many of the writers to engage my right-brain and practice imagining my place in a scene of the Gospels, or to meditate on just a few words of Scripture instead of lengthy passages.

Gary Moon’s interview with Brian McLaren was a good revisit on a postmodern view of Scripture. It’s interesting to look back, sixteen years since this interview was published, and see how our world has changed in that time. Yet God’s Word hasn’t changed. McLaren tells modern day Christians not to neglect ancient ways of reading the Bible that have stood the test of time, but to do so as “missionaries who will be waiting as millions of people leave the modern world and enter the postmodern world. I want to be there waiting for them, and I hope a lot of others will be there too. It won’t be easy. We’ll need to be formed by a force far more powerful than the culture.”

You’ll also hear from favorite contributors like Larry Crabb, Steve Wilkens, and Juliet Benner.

Dr. Simon Yui Chuen Lee talks with Jeannette Bakke about the role of Scripture in spiritual direction. An excerpt from a direction session is included which provides a helpful look at how a skilled director listens and gently guides the directee toward an understanding of what God might be trying to say to them through the Word. Don’t miss the wonderful article by Barbara Mutch about how we are shaped by story, and how the Biblical narrative is also our own. I hope you’ll take your time with this issue, digesting the words about the Word. The issue closes with a “Conversations Guide” written by Kim Engelmann to help readers consider the theme. It is also useful as a small group resource. I’ve patterned the classroom experience after this concept and borrowed some of those questions—so keep scrolling to learn more about scriptural meditation in Welcoming God Each Time by Jan Johnson.

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