Bible: The Answer Book

The bible has always been considered to have all the answers. I’ve heard time and time again from the pulpit that if we ever have any questions to just look in the bible and you will find your answers. Now this is going to be a tough one to explain without sounding heretical but hear me out.

The way McLaren explains it I think is absolutely beautiful. He compares the bible to a math textbook. Think about this: the point of answers in the back of a textbook isn’t so you can flip right to the back of the book and read all the answers. The point of a text book is to work through it. You work out every question, struggle and push through each lesson and work out the answers for yourselves. Sure it has answers, but the point of it isn’t for answers. The point of it is for you to live through it. McLaren puts it best:

“Is it valuable because it [Math book] has answers in the back? No, it’s valuable because by working through it, by doing problems, by struggling with it, you become a wiser person, a person capable of solving problems and building bridges and balancing your checkbook and targeting the trajectory of a rocket to Mars.”

So I guess overall, the bible has answers, so in that context it is an answer book. Yet once again I don’t think the purpose of the bible, or any books in the bible are to provide us answers for life. Instead, maybe they are there to tell us something else and in the God-breathed words you have answers for specific situations at specific times and they help lead us to our own answers for today.

So while the bible has answers, is it really safe to call it our answer book? Maybe calling it our textbook would do more justice.

6 thoughts on “Bible: The Answer Book”

  1. what about the bible as a guide to formulating a worldview? think about it, this is a good way of looking at the bible as all those things while still holding on to the integrity of it as Gods revealed word. i like to think that the bible helps primarily to tell the story of the whole world and how that story affects me and then all those other things can come into play.

  2. What I’ve been learning is the very simplistic things.
    The Bible is God breathed, useful for teachings and all that. We, as we get older tend to need things explained a lot more, which is understandable, because we’re not an infant any more, we know how light bulbs works when we look at light and ask our dad ‘What’s that?’. With The Bible, there’s all these views, opinions, assumptions, of what it is to us, and/or what it should be to us. In reality, you can take my points that Christians talk about, and fight for or against different issues, all using the same book (The Bible). The Bible is clear on Jesus being the only way into heaven, it’s clear that we should come to God like a Child. It’s clear that we should be ministering it peoples lives, speaking the gospel into their lives (which I know is usually more effective by just living for God, and others catch that…more things are caught than taught).
    What I’m getting at is that Jesus has been saying to me, come to me, let me love you, I’m drawing near to you, draw near to me. If you want to know me, yes there’s stories about me in The bible, but a lot of stuff isn’t super clear, hence all the different opinions, and I think what results in that is if you really want to begin to understand God, you need a relationship with Christ. If you really want to get it in your heart what The Bible is trying to teach, you need to go to God, because just reading the bible, and trying to figure out how ‘the bible’ should be looked at, isn’t going to bring you closer to God is it? It’s just something else we’re trying to figure out, when God is saying ‘come to me’.
    I may sound naive, or something, but I don’t care. Maybe I’m just far behind you guys in my walk with God, which is fine, but I just thought I’d share what I’m learning.

  3. i disagree. nothing could be more demeaning than to classify the bible as a texbook. in doing so, it is robbed of it’s true essence. textbooks are about questions and answers. the scriptures are about revealing God. and to take it a step further, none of us ‘read the scriptures’…the scriptures ‘read us’. think about that…beatches…

  4. yea totally hear you there.
    Brian McClaren also wrote the chapter called ‘Letting the bible read us’
    he was saying, if we went to God and The bible, like a patient goes to his/her doctor, the Bible would be looked at very differently. A patient goes to the doctor (i’m talkin like a cancer patient) vulnerable, worried, desperate for good news. A patient doesn’t go and try to figure out the doctor, try to dissect the doctor. It’s the other way around, he goes and listens to the doctor, as the doctor dissects the patient, and tells him things about himself.
    We go to the bible, and dissect it, this verse says this, but this verse says that, this part doesn’t make sense over here. When really we should be a little more humble than that, and realize that it’s Gods breathed word, and we should be reading it desperate for good news, read the bible, and let it dissect you, not the other way around.
    billy likes soda

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