Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Great article about how not to read the bible

Link to the article: Why Bible Study Doesn't Transform Us 

Summary: It describes several ineffective methods of reading the bible- opening up to a "random" page, only looking for verses that address your particular problem of the day (worry, how to be a godly woman, etc), avoiding certain sections, etc.  Instead, we should be "learners"- make it a goal to study and understand the entire bible.


Christians should aim to read the entire bible and be familiar with the general theme of the entire bible.  Maybe people avoid certain parts because they’re really weird and confusing (the bible, not the people, haha) and it’s not obvious why those parts even matter.  

This is something I’ve realized lately- a lot of the bible is incredibly weird, and it’s okay for me to say that.  It doesn’t mean I don’t trust God.  (So, if you were worried about what I said on Monday about God being unreasonable...)  I totally trust God, and the reason I trust him and believe in him has nothing to do with how he ordered Joshua and the army to kill entire cities, because that seems really wrong to me.  (That seems wrong to everyone, right?)  No, I believe in God for other reasons, and I trust him, so I can question and ask why he told them to do that awful stuff.

And even if I don’t have an answer, that’s okay.  God is so big and complicated that no one can understand him- why do I expect that I’m going to read the bible and understand everything?

Maybe the point of reading the bible isn’t to get advice/answers on what to do about this or that problem in my life.  Yes, it does give advice and commands, but that’s not the purpose of the bible.  It’s to know God, and to know I don’t understand him.  So maybe I read a genealogy and I don’t see why it’s so important to have a list of names I can’t pronounce- but that’s okay.  It doesn’t have to have an obvious meaning for me personally.

Don’t be afraid of the weird stuff.  Don’t be afraid of what you don’t understand.  If God is really so big and amazing, there has to be stuff we don’t understand.

And knowing God is more important than always having an answer.

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