The Prejudice of God

“By acknowledging that all our readings are located in a cultural context and have certain prejudices, we understand that engaging the Bible can never mean that we simply extract meaning from it, but also that we read meaning into it. In being faithful to the text we must move away from the naive attempt to read it from some neutral, heavenly height and we must attempt to read it as one who has been born of God and thus born of love: for that is the prejudice of God. Here the ideal of scripture reading as a type of scientific objectivity is replaced by an approach that creatively interprets with love.”

–Peter Rollins, How (Not) to Speak of God

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3 thoughts on “The Prejudice of God

  1. Zach, I read Rollins’ How (Not) to Speak of God a few years ago and loved it. I can’t remember if he addressed this or not, but when I read this quote today I wondered how he might answer the question of how we can come to recognize a love that is born of God with which we can then read and interpret the Bible. I am thinking that for many evangelicals, the answer to this question is that our understanding of love is informed by the text (e.g. the life and teachings of Jesus). But if Rollins is on to something, how can this be if we never begin from the text, but from the presuppositions that we read into the text?

  2. I’m not sure Rollins can perscribe how one can be “faithful to the text”. I have no background in hermeneutics, but it seems to me that Christians from all over the spectrum are simply announcing their interpretative glasses for reading the text and pulling out what they wish. I’m not sure there is anything wrong with that (or if it can be avoided), but certainly Rollins would admit that the very value and definitions we give to phrases like “born of God”, “born of love” and “the prejudice of God” are not obvious. They are subject to all kinds of differing interpretations. When he prescribes them as a starting point their definition must either be assumed or they must be understood from something like the scripture, or empirical proof (and thus we have achieved “a neutral heavenly height” of interpretative understanding).

    I actually reject the later along side Rollins, but then what are we really left with….?

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