Welcome to Estillyen’s open discussion on the subject of Scripture Engagement and Message Perception.
Port Estillyen Productions’ primary focus is to provide creative literature that speaks imaginatively about Scripture and its redemptive message. That’s what we do. Messages from Estillyen: A Novel of Redemption and Human Worth is a prime example.
At the same time, we realize that everyone who reads Messages from Estillyen will engage Scripture. Interestingly, the subject of “Scripture Engagement” has drawn respectable attention in recent years. Admittedly, it may not be a mainstream topic, but just the same, it is a very important subject.
What does Scripture Engagement really mean?
The team at Port Estillyen Productions recently decided to pause and ponder this question. Our aim was to try and better understand what is meant by the phrase Scripture engagement and see if we might be able to make a contribution to the topic.
Linking any two words changes the meaning of both, even if the words are as simple as one and two. The phrase one two is different than the words one and two set apart. Together, they start counting; apart, they enumerate.
The phrase Scripture Engagement brings two words together—the noun Scripture, with the noun Engagement. This particular paring of words, however, does not create a new noun, like the words “home” and “schooling” do in creating the noun “homeschooling.”
The thinking process is not hard to follow. It goes like this—Scripture is good and true in all that it affirms, so it’s good to engage it. The words “Scripture engagement” are thereby linked as a hopeful expression—not unlike the words “creation” and “care” create the subject “creation care.”
Importance of Message Perception
At Port Estillyen Productions we believe the message of Scripture, and the perception of that message is what really matters.
Scripture is the medium for the message it bears. While the medium and the message are one, it is quite possible to engage the medium without grasping the intended message.
One must be honest. Many who engage Scripture end up distorting the message, rejecting the message, or railing against the message. Yet they, too, must be counted among the engaged.
Consider Satan, the evil one. Whoever he is, whatever he is, he is depicted in Scripture as the prominent figure of darkness who actively opposes the God of light.
Satan’s characterization in Scripture renders him a master of amazing arts. He can soar into the heavens to converse with God, as he did concerning the fate of Job, or lead Jesus Christ to the highest point of the Temple. A master of many arts, Lucifer appears to be, including Scripture Engagement.
“Truth,” it’s said, “speaks a language of its own.” Yes, it’s true, but truth doesn’t always speak it for itself. That is, in the claw of evil, truth can be clutched. Ponder the child who is berated, demeaned, and harshly reprimanded by a parent wielding Scripture as a whipping board. Or consider those who inappropriately use Scripture to justify unrelenting acts of bigotry.
The Bible is history. Yet, it’s more than history. It is God speaking in and through history. It is God directing his message in a way that allows free will to fill in the lines. Pilate washes his hands; the rich young ruler walks away. Peter declares to Jesus of Nazareth, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
Scripture’s redemptive message finds its form in a person, Christ. Peter saw anew; he perceived the heart of the message. This is the apex for understanding Scripture.
Much more can be said along these lines.
Scripture Engagement and Message Perception Scale
To help illustrate what has already been stated, the main contribution of Port Estillyen Productions is expressed in the Scripture Engagement and Message Perception Scale. We have developed four charts under this title.
Imagination and Research
Albert Einstein once said: “Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.”
We believe Einstein got it right. At the same time, knowledge is critical in every aspect of life. Port Estillyen Productions welcomes research on the Scripture Engagement and Message Perception Scale. We invite institutions, agencies and organizations to consider a range of research possibilities, on the important topic of message perception.
We welcome communication. The discussion is open. The team of Port Estillyen Productions would be delighted to receive your comments about this topic, the Estillyen work, and the Scripture Engagement and Message Perception Scale.