I’m always reading fiction, along with whatever else I might be studying. I’m currently ready Annie Dillard’s, An America Childhood.
Dillard speaks as a girl, growing up in Pittsburgh, in the mid-Twentieth Century. About midway through the book, she describes the character’s exposure to church, summer church camp, and the Bible. She writes,
“The adult members of society adverted (referenced) the Bible unreasonably often. What arcana! Why did they spread this scandalous document before our eyes? If they had read it, I thought, they would have hid it. They didn’t recognize the vivid danger that we would, through repeated exposure, catch a case of its wild opposition to their world. Instead they bade us study great chunks of it, and think about those chunks, and commit them to memory, and ignore them.”
Read it again, and let it sink in.
Now, read it again.
“this scandalous document…”
“they would have hid it…”
“its wild opposition to their world…”
“and ignore them…”
According to Dillard’s character, the Bible is a scandalous, dangerous document, that through repeated exposure can awaken us to the fatal flaws of this world, and that we act like we believe, but usually just ignore.
What if Dillard is right? What if Scripture is dangerous? What if we didn’t ignore Scripture? What if we, instead, through repeated exposure, caught “a case of its wild opposition to their world?”
I think we need a lot more of that!