[quote=Scott Waddell]I don’t think they are shaken up, and I think many would agree that verse memorization of choice passages is good.
The problem is when non-Catholics (although Catholics can be guilty of this to) do what I call Scripture Spam, just a bunch of quotes as if a list is an argument. It assumes way too much like complete perspecuity, authoritative interpretation, and the appropriateness of the passage to the topic. Also, usually what happens we actually get analysis of the proof text, the only thing the person demonstrates is that he can interpret a passage differently, to which the only reply is, “So what else is new?”
A great example is Jesus in the desert. Satan quotes Scripture, Jesus quotes Scripture. Why is one right and the other wrong? It comes back to the question of authority and shows that just because one can toss out Scripture passages doesn’t make one right.
Just remember that David, Paul, Peter, John quoted ancient scriptures without worrying about what history behind it etc.
To know the context of a bible passage is good, but not always necessary. Why ? Because the highest layer of truth is always truthful regardless the context.
For example “Jesus the messiah, the son of the living God”. This is truthful in all context. Because God declare it as truthful and therefore it is according to our faith. Of course this is questionable for those who does not believe.
Another example: Psalms 22. When we read it we know it was about Jesus’s crucifixion. But funny that David wrote it. Surely David wrote it when he was under a dangerous situation or even at war. But does it really important? Psalms 22 prophesied about Jesus regardless David’s situation when he wrote it. David himself might not really aware of why he wrote it except his own situation. But God use this passage to a bigger context than what David must have ever think of.
Other examples :
“You are my beloved Son, in whom I am pleased”
“I have written your name on the palm of my hand”
“even if your mother forget about you, I will never forget you”
“Your faith has saved you”
These are God’s words. And it has no context whatsoever for those who believe that those are God’s words.
Ofcourse it is different when we talk to an unbeliever, in the context of science/ history/ language/ culture, etc. But as for our faith, it has nothing to do with worldly truths. Our faith should be higher than knowledge. For if we believe because we have knowledge about it, it is not faith. So faith is a matter of higher Truths, above all things : “because God says so, so it is”
So in this humble situation we-- unlike Eve who dicided to take the forbidden fruit from the tree of knowledge-- we submit to whatever God says, and we believe whatever He tells us, regardless our knowledge and understanding of it’s contexts.
And it’s true that bible does speaks to everyone personally. Because these texts-- although regular, similar to any other texts–become the word of God for those who belive.
May God bless us all.