Re-enchanting the Text: Discovering the Bible as Sacred, Dangerous, and Mysterious
My book, “Re-enchanting the Text: Discovering the Bible as Sacred, Dangerous, and Mysterious” is on its way to warehouses for distribution. As it is in transit, I want to give you a fair warning. This book will stretch you. I talk about Scripture as sacred ethos, sacramental space, and a portal into the Divine Life. I see Scripture as having the dangerous power of abjection – the possibility of negation-deconstruction, & resurrection.
Far too many Western Christians- Conservatives and Progressives-are stuck in the world of Newtonian physics, and their Bible is pretty much a flat two-dimensional object. The former group views the Bible as an inspired, perfect historical document. The latter sees it as a record of humans attempting to understand the Divine. Both groups understand the Bible as an artifact-an object to be studied, analyzed, and in too many cases, used. Both groups retain the power of the human subject.
I attempt to move the Bible into another metaphysical reality- one in which the Bible exists as a key player in a sacred cosmology. I also try to note how this vision of the Bible is also attuned to newer forms of quantum physics in which time and space are permeable and relative. The metaphysics of the Feast of Pentecost.
I hope to write a full review, but it begins exactly where it should, taking apart the project of modernity from both the left and the right. It covers the disastrous separation of the noumenal from the phenomenal. It reminds all of us that biblical illiteracy is a disease of huge proportion, but it doesn’t stop at the illness without providing a prescription that will work: the Text is true because it points to a Living God before whom all of us should stand in awe. He is a God that has not left us propositional documents, but a narrative of imagination. There is mystery and enchantment in a world soaked in miracles. It’s not simply text to prove a point or to be studied as historical artifact. It is the invitation from God to jump into an adventure.
Johns’ work immediately reminds one of the power that our world has lost because it stopped believing that the universe is more than we can ever know, and as C.S. Lewis said, “sometimes fairy stories say best what needs to be said.” In the spirit of Lewis, Tolkien, and Chesterton, Johns calls Christians to start reading the Bible with a child’s heart to look for a world where magic and miracle are synonyms, and God literally inhabits the pages.