Metavista: The Bible and Culture
I’m reading a new book called,Metavista: Bible, Church and Mission in an Age of Imagination by Colin Greene & Martin Robinson that I received to review. This isn’t really my official review but I’ve really enjoyed it so far. What I like most is that they don’t pull any punches when talking about how the church has interacted with culture.
In the chapter I am reading now (chapter 5), they are talking about how the church has read the Bible during the age of Christendom. They make a rather bold statement with this one:
“To put the issue baldly and somewhat simplistically: with all possible exception of the early Reformation period, the fact is that the Bible has enver been central to the life ad witness of the church during the whole Christiandom project, which has obviously covered most of the time the church has been in existence.” (p.97) (emphasis mine)
Okay, now if you are going to make a statement like that you’ve really got to back it up. I am trusting they will. I am fairly sure that they are not saying that the Bible hasn’t been used or read. I think that would be kind of a dumb claim. What I am guessing is that they will argue that while the bible has been read a lot by Christians, its message and worldview has somehow not had an impact on the life and especially witness of the Church. Needless to say I am really, really interested in how they unpack this.
They do give one quick example in the following quote,
“The raw apocalyptic energy of Biblical messianic eschatology with its obvious critique of earthly king, kingdoms and thrones in favor of the more compelling vision of a kingdom where God rules, justice and righteousness prevails and genuine shalom exists, has rarely surfaced in the church’s attempt to define its ecclesial and political existence though the story the bible recounts. In face, for most of its existence – at least in the modern period – the church has found it convenient to believe that religion and politics are two quite separate spheres to be kept firmly apart, while all the time reading the Bible through this bifurcated lens. (p.98)
Do you agree?
What do you think?