I remember the last time I got some of my church members to read Winn’s article on Story. many of them got “puzzled” by his challenge on “scripture memorization” 🙂 Somehow, many missed what he was really trying to get at.
Reading his Verses Quoting Sucks! (there’s a specific context that helps me see why he’s emphasizing STORY so much!) Allow me to take the middle chunk of his post to get our brain juices bubbling, but at the end it’s better to read the whole post to get the full story!
The Bible is God’s story. It is not God’s promise box full of little nuggets to rip out of context and quote at will. Fragmented memorization and quoting of verses produces fragmented followers of Jesus. The many and varied Bible programs both online and desktop only exacerbate the problem by the endless algorithms for searching and then presenting one with verses as a result (of course they can do more than that in most programs). You would have thought that God would have been smart enough to have written us a versified Bible or maybe even a topical Bible which is the child of versification, maybe God should have just skipped all the authors of the Old and New Testament, those poor shmucks who didn’t know anything about the joy of fragments, and had Nave born centuries earlier and had him produce his topical Bible. Wonder why God didn’t just give us a group of propositions like 7,777 of them so we could just mark off the ones we have “applied” to our lives. Yep, that would have done the job.
Hooray for Eugene Peterson, may his move to have Bibles without verses conquer the publishers of the world.
An interesting comment on the post was “Winn…how the heck are we suppossed to find something without the verses? ” which was quite a touch of humor. Thus, I still appreciate the chapters and verses purely for reference, but I do get what Winn is trying to get at and it has helped me become less fragmented. It has definately helped me get the flow of the story better and the message too! And I like the idea of “story memorization” … a good alternative 🙂