why the bible isn’t the key to our answers….

A Valentine for my Wife

 

if the divinity of jesus is what we hinge all of our faith, then the building falls. if we think god has reduced himself to a set of doctrines or faith points, then we have conceded to the reality that god is less secure in himself then we think he is. god doesn’t need bulletpoints to prove himself. the ancient jewish writers didn’t think god ever had to be proven, the scriptures were, aren’t and shouldn’t be about trying to prove that a divine being is real or alive.

let me explain. if someone tells your story in a book, in some sense your life becomes that much more alive, but it also becomes canonized and bound to pages. ideas go from being abstract to concrete. there is nothing wrong with having concrete ideas, they do provide a framework, but the danger is when the framework becomes the very thing we spend all of our time worshipping. the framework becomes the very enemy of creativity and discovery, because the framework becomes this unmovable bulwark (a good old word that has been used for a while!) that seems to ‘guide’ those who follow it. but the problem is, God isn’t a framework. the ancient church fathers used the word ousis, a greek word substance. we can’t fully define who god is through words, this is why the bible as the book of ultimate answers fails, because if we agree that the bible tells us everything about god, then we agree that god is nothing more than the descriptions of humans who discovered him through words (at least those who read the bible now) and handful of people who had met with him many years ago.

see, the bible is an amazing compilation of stories of people who met and were changed by the divine. they were transformed by God. this can’t be easily surmised by words. truth can’t be encapsulated by a few good cliches. truth is bigger than language. bigger than religion. bigger than faith. even bigger than right or wrong. and so is God. when we see God this big, he can constantly surprise us. and that is the beauty of this scandalous adventure called walking with God.

if anything, the bible shows us what it looks like to walk and journey with God. the word law in the hebrew is halakh, it means ‘to walk’. to live out the law, which jesus summed up as love, is to follow the law. but i think law is such an archaic word. maybe reality is a better one. that we live out of this reality that is already embedded within (‘the kingdom of god is within you’). its something already present, we don’t need to drum it up or force it out of us by doing contemplative practices, or to memorize scripture, as importance as they are, they aren’t the point, jesus says we’re capable of living it now without that help. those things are good and do help, but we shouldnt look to them to save us. the bible, if anything, invites us to bring our questions to god who will journey with us, sometimes he will guide us, most of the time he won’t. he lets us do it ourselves. he lets us fall on our asses, maybe cause we need to. most assuredly he trusts us with the ability to journey with him. all of us. all people everywhere. if the bible is a book of answers, than the journey ends when we’re done reading it, but if we are the bible than it continues for as long as soul does. enjoy the journey!

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