The fundamentalist approach depends on a literal reading of the Bible that will be clear and indisputable to a reader willing to accept the Bible’s authority. But there are two classic problems with this.
First, readers who are equally and fully committed to believing the truth of the Bible and accepting its authority as God’s word, nevertheless frequently disagree about its meaning. The history of Biblical interpretation tells against the idea of a single literal meaning—attainable without interpretation. Instead, we must engage with other readers, from the past and present, a rich community of disciples, as we discern the truth we seek. There is a great tradition of very substantial Christian agreement about the key parts of our faith, embodied in creeds and councils, upon which we can depend. Just because we must interpret scripture does not mean our Bible’s message is indeterminate!
Who do you read the Bible with?
Do you use commentaries?
Can you find inter-generational connections around sacred scripture in our reading?
Share a favorite verse from the Bible.
Explain how you know what it means.