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An unbiased reading of the New Testament concerning the church?

Posted by on Apr 7, 2011 in blog links, discipleship, scripture | 6 comments

An unbiased reading of the New Testament concerning the church?

Art at “The Itinerants” has answered one of my questions in his post “New Wine for New Wineskins (revisited).”

In the post, Art responds to this question that I asked in my post “In the NT there is no distinction between clergy and laity“: “What would it take for churches and Christians today to move towards this way (all believers serving, not just some) of life in Christ?”

Art’s answer is quite complete. So, I invite you to read the whole thing. However, I want to highlight the start of his post:

It is VERY hard to divorce from our heads all that we “know” about the church already from experiencing what we have grown up with, and to NOT read into the scriptures reinforcement for these (mis)understandings by twisting scripture, pulling single verses completely out of context, etc.

Think about that just a moment. Whatever your current understanding of the church might be, when you read Scripture, you will naturally read that understanding into what you are reading. This is true for everyone. We all read Scripture (and anything else) with bias.

Let me say that again: We all read Scripture with bias.

Trying to remove that bias is very difficult. However, it is beneficial to begin by recognizing your own bias before critiquing someone else’s bias.

Just something to think about…

(By the way, I like what Art has to say in his blog post. But, then, I’m biased.)


Comments are closed. If you would like to discuss this post, send an email to alan [at] alanknox [dot] net.

  1. 4-7-2011

    Once I got over the anti-Catholic bias instilled in me at SEBTS, I began reading the Scriptures in historical and communal ways that I had never thought of. It’s easy to address our own biases when we allow for the ‘democracy of the dead’ to speak to our presentism and correct it.

  2. 4-7-2011


    As long as you understand that you’ve changed from a non-Catholic bias to a pro-Catholic bias. :)


  3. 4-7-2011

    It wasn’t “non-Catholic”, it was “anti-Catholic”, as I said. I was also fairly reluctant to Catholic readings of Scripture, having been taught that Catholics aren’t Christians. So I had no reason to believe Catholic readings of Scripture. As a Catholic Christian, I know far more about Protestantism than the Protestants I meet know about Catholicism, so I think my biases are at least situated within an informed position.

  4. 4-7-2011


    Yes, and I as continue to interact with you and other Catholic friends, I hope that my bias also becomes better informed. The bias will still exist.


  5. 4-9-2011

    Ran across two quotes this morning that seemed relevant here:

    “The great obstacle is not ignorance but the illusion of knowledge.”
    Daniel J. Boorstin

    “The inertia of deeply entrenched mental models can overwhelm even the best systemic insights.”
    Peter Senge

  6. 4-9-2011

    When Art speaks – Doug listens