(Re)Imagine Week 2 - Livers, Typewriters, and Star Trek

1.  Have you ever found yourself tempted by either the "Liver" or "Typewriter" approaches to scripture?

  • Why was it so tempting?  Did you succumb to the temptation?  
  • If so, how did you find your way out?

2.  Have you ever considered that you bring a great deal of yourself to your reading of scripture?  

  • How might this change how you approach the text?  
  • How might it change how you think about others who disagree with you?

3.  What is your favorite Bible story?  

  • Can you clarify why it is your favorite?
  • Have you found any stories which are difficult for you?

4.  How often do you read the Bible and how much of it do you read?

  • Do you feel guilty about not reading it more often?  If so, why?
  • What would need to change for your thinking to move from "ought to" to "excited to?"

5.  N.T. Wright says this about creatively responding to what we read in the Bible:

Suppose there exists a Shakespeare play whose fifth act had been lost.  The first four acts provide, let us suppose, such a wealth of characterization, such a crescendo of excitement within the plot, that it is generally agreed that the play ought to be staged.  Nevertheless, it is felt inappropriate actually to write a fifth act once and for all: it would freeze the play into one form, and commit Shakespeare as it were to being prospectively responsible for work not in fact his own.  Better, it might be felt, to give the key parts to highly trained, sensitive and experienced Shakespearian actors, who would immerse themselves in the first four acts, and in the language and culture of Shakespeare and his time, and who would then be told to work out a fifth act for themselves.

Consider the result.  The first four acts, existing as they did, would be the undoubted ‘authority’ for the task in hand.  That is, anyone could properly object to the new improvisation on the grounds that this or that character was now behaving inconsistently, or that this or that sub-plot or theme, adumbrated earlier, had not reached its proper resolution.  This ‘authority’ of the first four acts would not consist in an implicit command that the actors should repeat the earlier pans of the play over and over again.  It would consist in the fact of an as yet unfinished drama, which contained its own impetus, its own forward movement, which demanded to be concluded in the proper manner but which required of the actors a responsible entering in to the story as it stood, in order first to understand how the threads could appropriately be drawn together, and then to put that understanding into effect by speaking and acting with both innovation and consistency.

N.T. Wright - How Can the Bible be Authoritative?


  • How does this fit with this past week's message?
  • What are the difficulties innate in maintaining "innovation and consistency?"

6.  Any other thoughts or questions which developed from the sermon?