In the past two weeks, I've spent about 25 hours in class with Luke Timothy Johnson, a New Testament scholar from Candler School of Theology at Emory University who is guest teaching my class on Luke-Acts at ND. I've got so much I want to share with you guys from this experience, but if I pursue that much further right now, I'll end up failing exams and submitting incomplete papers because of poor time management. I'll have to save a lot of that for the upcoming months. However, here's a little sampling of Johnson from an article* he wrote for Commonweal Magazine:
"If we read the Bible to establish the correctness of our own ideology or the security of our own manner of life, we are not reading truly. If we read primarily to demolish the positions of others and demonstrate that they are in error, or even unloved by God, then we are not reading truly. It is impossible to lay claim to the law of love if the purpose of our reading is to place burdens on others rather than to save them. To read the Bible truly, one must be in the process of being transformed by the world that Scripture imagines; to speak truly about Jesus, one must be in the process of being transformed into his image."
*To be clear, I wouldn't endorse everything Johnson has to say in the article, but this little snippet was terrific.