For those of you who have been following my blog, mostly my friends at FPC, Twin Falls; you know that Kathy has returned from her trip to San Antonio where she attended the annual event of the Association of Presbyterian Church Educators (APCE) and while she didn't bring me back a T-shirt, she did bring home an excellent little book that is chock full of some interesting ideas about our world today.
While she was at APCE she went to one of the booksellers in the conference's marketplace and asked "What do you have that is really new?" and the representative shared W. Eugene March's new book, that it was new and that the author was also at the conference, meaning that Kathy could get him to sign it was good enough reason for her to purchase it and give it to me on her return home. So what did I think of this gift, especially in comparison to Eric's gift of a futuristic ray-gun that makes all sorts of noise and a Texas Ranger badge with his name on it? Well, I couldn't hardly put it down and finished it within a few days. So over the next few weeks I want to share some of the ideas from the book with you.
In March's preface he starts with a story about a phone call from his mother expressing concern over a Presbyterian publication referencing God in feminine language. In response he pointed his mother to passages such as Isaiah 42:14, 49:15 and 66:10-13. His mother, a long-standing and very active member of a Presbyterian church was somewhat astonished at feminine images of God in the Bible and wondered why no one had ever informed her of such things.
From that anecdote March felt propmpted to address the concept of Diversity as so much more than simply a politically correct buzz word. He sets out fromt he beginning, from his story of his mother's phone call, to make it his goal to lay out how the Bible itself embraces diversity from it's very core. So why don't we see the Bible that way, well March suggests it is all up to how we interpret the Bible and it is time to reexamine our interpretive models, especially in light of the world in which we find ourselves.
I hope like me, that you come to see the insights addressed in this book as very wise and important for the world and even a place like Twin Falls, Idaho that has become startlingly diverse. How we see the words laid down in scripture may very well change how we see our place in the world in which God has placed us where we are to love God and our neighbor whomever she might be.
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