How Much Of The Bible Is Important?

Let's have a discussion about Richard Rohr

We’ll soon be hosting an event for subscribers called What Do We Do With Richard Rohr?

The event will be a lecture and discussion surveying and critiquing both his approach to Christianity and the places where his views diverge from an orthodox understanding of the faith.

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Let’s Discuss

To get the discussion rolling (and to try out Substack’s discussion feature), we thought we’d throw a question out to you, our dear subscribers, with a Rohr quote on how we ought to read the Bible.

Here is the quote (bold portions added):

Jesus consistently ignored or even denied exclusionary, punitive, and triumphalistic texts in his own inspired Hebrew Bible in favor of passages that emphasized inclusion, mercy, and honesty. He read the Scriptures in a spiritual and selective way. Jesus had a deeper and wider eye that knew which passages were creating a path for God and which passages were merely cultural, self-serving, and legalistic additions. That becomes self-evident once you know enough to see the “comparative meaning” of an incident or statement. [1]

When Christians pretend that every line in the Bible is of equal importance and inspiration, they are being very unlike Jesus. This is precisely why Jesus was accused of teaching “as one who had authority, and not as their scribes” (Matthew 7:29, RSV), and why they hated him so much. Jesus even accused fervent and pious “teachers of the law” of largely missing the point. “Is not this why you are wrong, that you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God?” he asked them (Mark 12:24, RSV). We cannot make the same mistake all over again—and now in Jesus’ name.

Follow Up Questions

  • What do you think of Rohr’s overall point? How would you respond to the two bolded sentences?

  • Are there parts of the Bible that are less important?

  • How do you think Jesus read and talked about Scripture?

  • What else do Rohr’s words bring up for you?

To join the discussion, leave a comment.


About Richard Rohr

The popular and controversial Franciscan priest and Christian mystic, Father Richard Rohr, has become an elder statesman for disenfranchised evangelicals and spiritual seekers of every stripe. He presents a version of Christianity that syncs with modern progressive values, but changes the meaning of almost every central Christian teaching. His unique theological mashup of Christian elements with Buddhism, New Age thinking, and modern intuitions has proved to be a “theology for the modern era” and many people find what he has to say both attractive and personally helpful.