Generally when we discuss constructive theological issues, its important to establish the authorities recognized by the participants, be it Revelation, Tradition, Scripture, Reason, or Shared Experience.
In many discussions, both scripture and traditional interpretation of scripture head up the list. Once those authorities are recognized, theological arguments often fall victim to cherry picking of select verses to back up a point.
Recently while looking over a Quaker response to the Lima text (aka Baptism, Eucharist and Ministry, a publication of the World Council of Churches) from the London Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends, I found a great paragraph in their discussion of that sort of biblical proof-texting:
During a lecture this past year, Anna Carter Florence of Columbia Theological Seminary told a story about the gay students at her school. Tired of being assaulted with the same handful of Bible verses over and over to "prove" that homosexuality is wrong, they were seeking out their own texts to defend themselves and their positions. In the war of words Scripture had become ammunition and the debate was nothing but a firefight of accusation and defense. I was struck by Anna’s remark:
Proof-texting is a form of violence: it is violence against one another and it is violence against the text…
After a lackluster summer of blockbuster releases, I was thrilled to see the Man of Steel return to the big screen this weekend. With Bryan Singer directing, I figured that things would be great. And they were, though not in the way that I had expected.
I came away from the movie thinking about how Hollywood touches the lives of everyday people in ways that the Church cannot. But in the latest installment of the Superman saga, I see undercurrents of Jewish and Christian faith that resonate with me.