Friday, September 13, 2013

"Mine ears hast Thou opened"

Peter Leithart, in "A Hermeneutics of the Open Ear," on how earlier Christians...
...were as saturated in Scripture as we are in entertainment and advertisements. They read the Bible, of course, but because they studied Scripture in the liturgical setting of a church or monastery, they also heard the Bible, over and over. Monks sang through the Psalter each week. Spend a lifetime doing that, and you’d have the Bible on the tip of your tongue, too. ....

.... The seventeenth-century Westminster Confession of Faith captures this brilliantly when it says that “a Christian believes to be true whatsoever is revealed in the Word, for the authority of God himself speaking therein,” and immediately adds that a believer responds differently to the Bible’s different ways of communicating: He or she obeys God’s commands, trembles at God’s threats, rejoices in God’s promises, believes God’s assertions. His ears are open so he can sing along when God plays a tune.

Above all, premodern interpreters knew that both good reading and good living are gifts from God. ....