I’ll admit it. I’m feeling edgy as I write this post.
I just finished reading an article via Relevant Magazine’s website entitled “5 Things I Wish Christians Would Admit About the Bible.” It has layers and layers of comments with all the diversity that you might expect. .
I hope it’s okay, but I’d like to share what I wrote there here to enlarge the conversation.
The article’s author essentially makes the following five points:
- The Bible Isn’t a Magic Book: “It isn’t really a book at all. It’s a lot of books. It’s a library.. and those books have dozens of authors… each had very different target audiences, disparate life circumstances and specific agendas for their work; so we don’t approach each book the same way.. some are for inspiration and some for information; we receive and see them differently.”
- The Bible Isn’t as Clear as We’d Like It To Be: “When you read and study this library in its totality, there are certainly themes and continuities and things that connect exquisitely, but if we’re honest we can also admit there are ambiguities.”
- The Bible Was Inspired by God, Not Dictated by God: “The Bible is ‘God’s Word,’ but we need to be careful about what we mean when we say it was ‘written’ by God. These are the words of men who were compelled by God to tell, not only what they claim to have heard God say, but things happening in and around them—their struggles, personal reasons for writing and specific experience of God. Of course they were inspired by God… but it doesn’t claim they are God-dictated.”
- We All Pick and Choose the Bible We Believe, Preach and Defend: “There are as many specific individual interpretations of Scripture in history as there have been readers of it. Our understanding and belief about the Bible is a product of our upbringing, the amount of study we’ve had, the friends we’ve lived alongside, the area of the world we live in, the experiences we have and much more. Is it really fair to accuse someone else of selectively using Scripture, unless we’re prepared to admit to the same crime in the process?”
- God Is Bigger Than The Bible: “The words in the Bible point to someone for whom words simply fail. The words are filled with good and lovely things that give us some frame of reference, but ultimately, God is far too big to be contained in those words. The Bible is not God. The Bible is a library filled with inspired words about God.”
Again, read the whole article if you’d like. I had to abbreviate it for space.
That said, I wasn’t initially sure where to start in my commentary on it.
Maybe it’s worth noting that the language of its headline alone indicates it is an opinion piece. That means that much of what is contained in here is based on feelings and ideas that may or may not be God’s intent.
Now, that’s something!
Imagine an article with the same headline that God would write as the author. Maybe it would go something like this:
- The Bible Is a Divine Book: It’s not just a collection of many books, but One Story that involves several chapters. I AM the star. You are the supporting characters. It doesn’t work if you reverse that.
- The Bible Is As Clear As I’d Like It to Be: I did this on purpose so that through its words you would know The Word… and through Him, the Father and Spirit. You are meant to turn to Me, and I have provided you the verbal on-ramp of the Scriptures to this relational Highway.
- The Bible Was Inspired by Me, Because I Am, in fact, I AM: While many people would point out the humanity in the Bible, I AM in that very humanity. I AM in all things… but I specifically was in relationship with those people so that these timeless words could be articulated in time for all of history to benefit. Make the most of their journey to impact your journey.
- People WIll All Pick and Choose the Bible They Believe (But It’s Possible to Not Use This As An Excuse to Be a Cynic): Truth exists, and the fact that people argue over it will either propel them closer into the Truth or away from it because they dislike the tension. The choice is yours on which way you will live.
- I Am Bigger Than The Bible. .. Which is Something You Know Because of the Bible: Do not look for Me wherever you want to find Me. Look for Me in the places I have told you I would most like to be found. Do not use My omnipresence as your excuse to be selectively present.
Then again, maybe my opinion is an informed one because of the Bible?
What do you think?