Reframing the Bible

00I have long harbored the suspicion that in certain respects, in certain habits of thought, modern Christianity reads the Bible like an English manuel written in the 1900’s. I understand that the analogy is little rough. But I still think that the approach is wide spread amongst preachers, small groups and even in how we teach our children. We often come to the scriptures to look for a clear and accessible truth to abstract from it. This style of reading is often called the “plain reading of scripture”. To some this “plain reading” feels holier. I’ve heard numerous times in different ways “God says it, I read it, and that settles it for me”. We hold to a western lens of “reframing” and it goes something like this: In order to address a problem or question I’m facing, our culture is facing, we take a chunk of scripture and first look to see how it can be applied to our modern issues. This process skips past the original frame in which the narrative of Scripture is written and instead unknowingly reframes. In doing this we barely make contact with the biblical narrative of a historically situated people. I would venture […]

Why Was Genesis Written?

00Why was Genesis written? I believe it was poetically recorded to not tell us how the world and humanity was created but to tell us why the world and humanity was created. It might seem like a small thing but it has Biblical proportions. The epic questions that sit on everyone’s heart are answered in Genesis 1-2; “why am I here?” “what is my purpose?” “what good is my life?” Over the last few years there has been so much pressure from the scientific community for Christians to answer the “how was the world created” question. A cultural boxing ring was created where the fight was about finding hard answers about how the world began. So the Christian community got pulled into the ring, began to fight and our main weapon was the first few chapters in Genesis. To not defend would be seen as weakness, so we spar trying to use our own scriptures. Problem, this was not why Genesis was written. It was never intended to be a defense to how the world was created. It instead was and is to be a shocking portrayal of why. It was a contrasting picture to the other recordings of pagan […]

Losing the Plot

00Have you ever watched a movie and half way through you forget what the plot is? Somehow in all the action, drama and character development you don’t remember what the whole story was even about or where its going? With all the preachers we download, church shifts like the reformation, liberalism, revivalism, the mega church movement, the missionary movement, the religious right and books written to argue for or against a certain Christian perspective I think we somehow have lost the plot along the way. Or have you ever started watching a movie in the middle and found yourself straining to remember key scenes in the beginning. I have a feeling this has happened in the American church, as over the years we’ve been talking about God and the christian life by starting at the halfway point of the story. Our desire to present the gospel in nutshells has caused us to exclusively highlight certain parts either to make it easier to communicate or to make sure people get the right points. Because of all this I believe there is a growing awareness that the epic heart of the story is eluding us. Here’s the bigger than big problem, the […]