“For all its inspiration, for all the lives it has changed, the Bible is undeniably problematic. Put in the hands of egocentric, unloving, or power-hungry people or those who have never learned how to read spiritually inspired literature, it is almost always a disaster.” — Richard Rohr
“Just as the Bible takes us through many stages of consciousness and history, it takes us individually a long time to move beyond our need to be dualistic, judgmental, accusatory, fearful, blaming, egocentric, and earning—and to see as Jesus sees. The Bible itself is a “text in travail,” according to René Girard’s fine insight.  It mirrors and charts our own human travail. It offers both mature and immature responses to almost everything. In time, you will almost naturally recognize the difference between the text moving forward toward the mercy, humility, and inclusivity of Jesus and when the text is regressing into arrogance, exclusion, and legalism.”
When I read, in the quoted portion in the previous, intiial post on this article, this line: “Put in the hands of egocentric, unloving, or power-hungry people”, I thought also “and in the hands of people who have accepted dualism so that they think they can maintain a ‘healthy spirit’ while they neglect the demands of the gospel upon their economic, social, and political lives” , for these also abuse the purpose of the Bible for their own selfish ends.
In the portion quoted here in this post, Rohr goes on to say : “it takes us individually a long time to move beyond our need to be dualistic, judgmental, accusatory, fearful, blaming, egocentric, and earning—and to see as Jesus sees”. I feel I am on the same wavelength here.
I am also reminded here of the opening chapter of Stanley Hauerwas’ book “Unleashing the Scripture: Freeing the Bible from Captivity to America”
Unleashing the Scripture: Freeing the Bible from Captivity to America (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1993), p. 15.
North American Christians are trained to believe that they are capable of reading the Bible without spiritual and moral transformation. They read the Bible not as Christians, not as a people set apart, but as democratic citizens who think their “common sense” is sufficient for “understanding” the Scripture. They feel no need to stand under the authority of a truthful community to be told how to read. Instead they assume that they have all the “religious experience” necessary to know what the Bible is about. As a result the Bible inherently becomes the ideology for a politics quite different from the politics of the Church. Note, it is not an issue of whether the Bible should be read politically, but an issue of which politics should determine our reading as Christians.