Sunday, August 15, 2004

Reading text in a new context

The video played and the camera panned over a V8 classic car; shiny, grunty, engine throbbing.

The driver turned off the engine, opened to Colossians 3 and began to read:
Since then you have been raised with Christ
set your hearts on things above
where Christ is seated at the right hand of God
Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.

Someone said aloud; you can’t possibly read the Bible like that.

Why not? Reading the Scriptures in this context will asks different questions of the text; very different questions than if the Bible is read in abstract in a church context.

And so today, we showed the video and asked what it meant, practically, to live Colossians 3. And I think I touched a male spirituality in a new way.

While church is generally run by a male leaders, by and large it is a feminised spirituality. To show a video of a V8 classic car, to explore Scripture in that context, in some way touched new dimensions of being.

I am not sure of the impact, but I am convinced the car driver enjoyed the ride.

Posted by steve at 04:02 PM


  1. I think I love it, shame you couldn’t put the video (small pics bad sound but it’d give a bit of the effect) on the website. I know lots of men who’d enjoy such a reading. And is a V8 any worse a context than a nice flower arrangement for reading Paul….

    Comment by tim — August 17, 2004 @ 6:44 am

  2. Long time no comment… 🙂

    Not sure whether I agree with this though. Sure use different ways of reading scripture, be creative with the modes of thought etc, but shouldn’t we as the church be somewhat deconstructing the way we view masculinity and femininity rather than reinforcing the stereotypes associated with them. Associating masculinity with V8s for me is something I find difficult to reconcile 1) to my own particualr masculinity and 2) to other men that i know and their versions of masculinity.

    I think the gendering of our faith to stereotypes is dangerous and limiting. Pulling out rugby or sporting illustrations and associating that with masculinity is a concern for any sense of liberation from the negative gender roles that encomber our society (i.e women as nuturing and therefore women stay at home).

    I have some constructive ideas, but that’s another post… Unfortunately seeing as I’ll never have the time or techno-sense to be a blogger i have to restrict myself to commenting :-).

    Comment by Gareth — August 18, 2004 @ 11:20 am

  3. not sure how to respond gareth – i can’t get my head around what is your reading of my reading and what might be your misreading of my re-telling of a re-reading of Scripture reading.

    my point about male spirituality was not a generic comment on male spirituality, but a comment on how some males at opawa engaged in new ways with the text and with how they drive cars.

    one of the most striking things about moving south is how different constructions of masculinity are here in south island and i am still trying to get my head around them and what incarnation will look like.

    Comment by steve — August 18, 2004 @ 4:11 pm

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