Page 5 - Reading Between the Lines: The European Reformation
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What is Reading Between the Lines?
We believe in stories. Stories are how we make sense of our own experience and learn about the
experiences of others. Stories are how we pass on perspectives, traditions, understandings and expectations. As we make our way through life each day, we are surrounded by stories—from conversations around the breakfast table to items in the newspaper or on TV to books, movies, songs, pictures and videos.
The Bible is full of stories, too. They speak to us of what is best and worst, hopeful and despairing, creative and destructive about human life and the experience of the sacred in its midst. From generation to generation, human beings have discovered themselves again and again in the Bible story.
Reading Between The Lines offers a different way to engage the Bible stories, to connect them with the world around us, and to explore the resonances those stories stir in our inmost depths. Some forms of Bible study treat the Bible as an objective teacher, a ground for doctrine, or a quaint historical record, others look to it as a book of rules for behavior. Reading Between The Lines invites you to use your imagination as well as your intellect, your intuition and your reason.
Our assumption is that the biblical text and story is not
about you, but it is you. Engaging at that level requires
stepping through the looking glass as Alice did, into a world
where assumptions and values are challenged and brought to awareness. An encounter of this kind with the text invites you not simply to analyze and understand the text, but to experience it as a reality within yourself, connecting the text, the world around you, and your inner world.
What’s in Reading Between The Lines? For each Sunday of the Church year, there are five components:
Lectionary Text: Each week, one of the readings designated by the Revised Common Lectionary is featured. The text is taken from the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible, and is formatted without verse numbers, to focus more clearly on the story. Line numbers in the margin can help in referring to specific sections.
Begin with the text. Try to read it as if you have never seen it before. Don't confuse the words with the Word. Read between the lines, listen to and note your feelings, questions, wanderings, confusions, and surprises. Rather than trying to figure out, master, or understand the text, your initial task is to begin to see yourself in the text and to recognize the text within you.
Entering the Story: Some brief contextual notes to help you get started. It helps you to locate the story in the flow of the larger Bible story, and may include some historical background to help you understand the story better.
Reading Between the Lines of the European Reformation uses the same approach as the RBTL lectionary material, taking various text from leading European reformers, engaging with them to connect with the generations of the 16th Century, then connecting these themes with the world around us, and finally exploring the resonances these statements stir in our inner self.
Below is a description of how Reading Between The Lines approaches biblical text. For RBTL of the European Reformation exchange “biblical text” for “reformation text."

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