Wednesday, December 27, 2017

A Christian Community of Moral Deliberation

In Richard Hays' book The Moral Vision of the New Testament, the author follows the New Testament in its community or group focus. He would commiserate, I think, with me in my desire for "significant conversation aimed at transformation" as I wrote yesterday.

On page 305-6 he insists on "the embodiment of the Word" in "the body of Christ," that is, in the community or group or " church" of people who are seeking to know and live the ways of God.

Hays cites Nicholas Lash: "the fundamental form of Christian interpretation of scripture is the life... of the believing community," that the interpretation and application of God's Word is a "communal activity," and that that "it's no more possible for [an isolated individual to know and do God's Will] than for him [sic] to perform a Beethoven quartet or a Shakespearean tragedy."

Hays concludes:
Knowledge of the will of God follows the community's submission and transformation. Why? Because until we see the text lived, we cannot begin to conceive what we are reading. Thus, the most crucial hermeneutical task is the formation of communities seeking to live under the Word.
I long to be an active part of such a community in these days.

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