Lenten roadmap

Romans 4:13-25

The life situation of the reader of a text provides a lens through which that text is read. Or, to change the metaphor, the life situation provides the magnet, which draws from a text that which most clearly addresses the reader. For the same reader the same text may, under different circumstances, console or correct or convict or enlighten or inspire. If this is true of one reader, then certainly a nursing home resident and a teenager at camp do not read the same way. This observation is neither an endorsement of total relativity nor a reduction of the text to an inkblot test. (What do you see? I see an elephant. I see an airplane.) Rather, it is to recognize how the Bible functions as scripture; that is, how it speaks an appropriate word. As a document of the past, the text is at home in the hands of historians. As the scripture of the church, the text is at home in the inquiring faith of believers.


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