26 November 2005

Identity vs. Authority pars tres

And then I re-read my last post and realized how negative I sounded. I'm still carting around a lot of baggage from 14 years in a conservative, evangelical church. The church I am a part of now is not like this at all. I'm very fortunate to have found this community to be a part of. I'm grateful and really enjoying this new experience.

I've been mulling over this new concept presented by Mr. McKnight. This idea of the "identity" within Scripture. This concept that we might begin to find ourselves in the community that is presented in the Bible, but that it's only the beginning. That the Bible is only one place to find God and that He cannot be wholly contained therein. That is not **all** of who He is, it is only a partial revelation, as it must be. Scripture itself makes this abundantly clear. Here is a key quote from his post:

I’m suggesting we use the term “identity.” The term “authority” is that of power — it tells us that we are “under” something. The term “identity” speaks of the Spirit who is at work — in the world in God’s redemptive work, in the Church as the community of faith, and in that community as it tells the story of God’s redemptive work. And I’m not suggesting that we understand “identity” as filling the same spot as “authority,” but that we learn to see Scripture (not so much as the Authority) but as what gives us our Identity because through it God’s Spirit speaks to and guides us.

I'm enjoying this new idea and wondering what paths it might take me down. I will admit to having a problem with the word "authority." It has usually been used in such a way to say, "Stop asking questions." I don't think God is threatened by questions. If He could create the universe, a few questions from someone who loves Him and is earnestly seeking Him, cannot possibly be threatening. Even in Scripture He treats questions with respect. The Psalmist does quite a bit of questioning and we're told to memorize those poems.

So, yes, I'm glad to add a new metaphor or paradigm to the family. I think "authority" can move over and let "identity" join him at the table. I think it would be good for both.


Blogger Scot McKnight said...

You're more than welcome to share your thoughts on my site. We welcome all to the table.

11/26/2005 04:18:00 PM  

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