So tonight was an interesting night. Donald Miller (author of Blue like Jazz) was at Tyndale tonight and he spoke. After we had our small group with a few new additions. All went well, and then after small group Nathan came out and then we started talking. No better subject than talking about the Bible, it gives me content to write about on here.
But first to respond to Joe’s comment, he disagreed on my last post, so I like to respond to comments.
“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…”
In response to the above of what Joe said, I don’t think it is that demeaning to classify the Bible as a textbook. I think that it might be restrictive though. To classify the bible as only a textbook, then yes of course, it’s not a textbook, it’s the bible. But I think what I mean by classifying the bible as a textbook I mean it helps us understand something, that something being God. It helps us understand his history, his relationships, his interaction with humankind, his redemption and his love. And yes, it does have answers but the point of the book isn’t about the answers, it’s about the questions and the information it reveals about the subject. The bible for me at least does not give me as many answers (maybe I haven’t found my way to them yet) as it brings up more questions.
McLaren also talks about the scriptures reading us, it was a really good point and really interesting, I just don’t get where it comes from? It sounds great and all, and is very tempting almost, yet I don’t get it really. What I do get though is how we can let the bible teach us about ourselves even, because it’s our history wrapped up into it also, but maybe if we could define what we mean by the bible reading us.
Anyway, back to tonight, Donald Miller talks about how we as a postmodern generation are always asking the question why. Why we are ‘why’ generation. Yet, the modern church reads the bible as a ‘how’ book. He says that we need to show them the why questions in the book and stop focusing on the how’s because our generation now doesn’t care. I thought there was a lot of truth in these statements. Yet for some reason, i have a hard time classifying the bible as a book that just answers questions. Why do we have to look at the bible as a ‘how’ or ‘why’ book? Why doesn’t it have to be a any-kind-of question book.
We started talking about this tonight and it started to get pretty interesting. Of course I pull out my skeptical questions trying to bring out new answers and new ways of looking at things and I think I just got more confused. This whole Bible issue is really starting to get to me, and it’s more starting to get to me after I talk to people about it. The only option I seem to be getting to is accepting it by faith. So is that what happens, when you can’t find any answers then faith is just the final straw?
I was challenging the way we read the bible and how we read into it. We read it as a rule book, or an encyclopedia and all these other things listed below, and is that ok? I was saying that we should only read the bible through the filter of the purpose it was written for. Everyone agreed yet Nathan was on to something I think. He started talking about how the Bible is more than just this or just that. For me to say that the bible is a story book and that’s how we read it, does that derive it of having answers and thus being an answer book?
This really started me thinking. Maybe all these posts about the bible not being a rule book or the bible not being an answer book are kind of naive. Why do I find a need to put the bible into a category or classify it as a certain something? I was starting to come to a conclusion of what the bible was, and to be honest I had one in mind since I started these posts, but I’m starting to question it. It’s hard for me now to classify it as one specific thing. Maybe it wasn’t meant to be, but if it’s not then that makes it a lot harder for me to read. If I don’t know why it was written it, then I don’t know how to read it. Yet maybe that’s where Joe and McLaren’s point comes in, maybe the point of reading it isn’t so we can necessarily read it but it’s supposed to read you.