Unsettled Christianity

Gloria Dei homo vivens – St Irenaeus
July 11th, 2016 by Joel Watts

A proper view of Scripture?

How should Christians relate to their Bible? The primary locus or home of Scripture in Christianity is the liturgy, the church gathered for worship. Theologians write books about the Bible because it is proclaimed in the liturgy; the Bible is not proclaimed in the liturgy because theologians write books about it. Further, for Christians, the fullness of God’s self-revelation is a person, not a book. Hence the book is read in the light of the person, Jesus the Christ. It is believers who celebrate the liturgy, and theology is faith seeking understanding. If this is the case, then in some way – and I would be the last to say that it is easy – the Church must maintain the double interpretation of the Old Testament, literal and spiritual. [Adapted from Joseph T. Lienhard, S.J., “Origen and the Crisis of the Old Testament in the Early Church,” Pro Ecclesia 9 (2000): 355-66.]

I stole this from a friend on FB who shared it on his wall. Because I agree with it.

The books we have in our canon are those framed in the developing liturgies…then liturgy… of the Church. I’ve covered this elsewhere and don’t want to rehash. But, this goes further. It tells you how to read it.

We have the books we have because of liturgy. We read the books according to Christ, and through the Tradition of the Church.


Joel Watts
Watts holds a MA in Theological Studies from United Theological Seminary. He is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of the Free State, analyzing Paul’s model of atonement in Galatians, as well as seeking an MA in Clinical Mental Health at Adams State University. He is the author of Mimetic Criticism of the Gospel of Mark: Introduction and Commentary (Wipf and Stock, 2013), a co-editor and contributor to From Fear to Faith: Stories of Hitting Spiritual Walls (Energion, 2013), and Praying in God's Theater, Meditations on the Book of Revelation (Wipf and Stock, 2014).

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