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Richard Hays on Imagination and Identity

Richard Hays being interviewed,

The figural character of scriptural revelation can encourage and inspire us to think and preach and pray in a way that is boldly imaginative. The New Testament’s richly imaginative reception of Israel’s story should warn us against narrow literalism. The Bible is a complex symphony that invites us to a posture of grateful astonishment at its unexpected harmonic variations on the themes of God’s power and love. Our hermeneutical instructions are clear: “Pay attention to what you hear; the measure you give will be the measure you get, and still more will be given you” (Mark 4:24).


. . . 

The public and personal reading of Scripture offers us, first of all, our true identity as a people. Scripture teaches us to know ourselves not as autonomous, self-inventing “consumers” driven aimlessly by market forces, but as God’s people, the body of Christ. We are given purpose and hope by the biblical story in which we are caught up. And we’re given one another, a community of brothers and sisters that transcends national identity and breaks down the barriers we erect to protect ourselves.

He does have a way with words!

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