I like the article I posted yesterday, but even though it points to ways that we communicate and interpret Scripture non-verbally, it remains a predominantly cognitive, abstract exercise. This afternoon I delighted to read Dave Rogers’ account of training for his first marathon; I was rooting for him all along as I read, and when at the end he laid out the punch line —
When I left my condo last Sunday, my kitchen sink had been clean for seven straight days. Prior to that, I would clean it from time to time, but it would always accumulate a collection of dirty dishes, food scraps, water stains and the occasional beer bottle cap. I’d come home from work and see it and feel rotten about it, but always sort of regard it as something that was just “too hard” to keep up with. Well, maybe not anymore. Commitment and consistency. Embodied knowledge that we have within us the means to achieve the things we wish to achieve, if we choose to commit to them. Right now, I’m committed to a clean sink.
— I was wishing I had put a more vigorous, explicit emphasis on the embodied aspect of sound biblical interpretation. It’s très à la mode to say, “You have to be the change you want to see in the world,” but Gandhi was applying to direct social action a principle that applies every bit as much to sound theology or sound Scriptural interpretation. If you aren’t doing your biblical interpretation with your whole body, you’re probably not on the right track (or, “you’re interpreting the Bible sure enough, but your interpretation is that the Bible doesn’t matter”). And if you try to make your whole body accountable for an interpretation of the Bible, it’s going to change the way you read as much as it affects your presence in the world and your relations to all creation round you.
Well done, Dave — congratulations!