Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Words without knowledge

[Finally, a first post to this blog.]

In the midst of the debates that are convulsing the "mainline" churches, debates in which I participate in various spots online, at the basis of our debates is how we read the Holy Scriptures themselves. Increasingly, the Bible is being authoritatively interpreted by scholars who enthusiastically endorse the reversal of traditional Christian teachings on how the Christian lives his life -- sexuality is the flash point, but I have been long convinced that this is barely the tip of the iceberg -- and seemingly too often are unable to honestly confess the Creeds of the Church. So I was struck this morning in our weekly pericope study (where a group of fellow pastors spend some time discussing the assigned readings [pericopes] for the upcoming Sunday) when I came upon this.

From the First Lesson according to the Revised Common Lectionary (Proper 7B or, in the ELCA, the 3rd Sunday after Pentecost, Year B):
"Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge?" Job 38:3

From The Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture, OT VI: Job (p. 196)--

Elihu Is a Model of Arrogance.
St. Gregory the Great: As often happens with one who incorrectly says right words and correctly bad words, so Elihu, in his arrogance, does not speak right word correctly, because in his defense of God he speaks humble sentences with an arrogant tone. So he is the perfect example of those who, in the universal church, look for vainglory. While they believe themselves to be more expert than anybody else, they are accused of being ignorant by the judgment of God, because, as the apostle says, "If one believes to know something, he still has to learn how to know (1 Cor. 8:2)." Morals on the Book of Job 28.11