Thursday, June 26, 2014

The Bible isn't Easy

As I have mentioned earlier, our Bible Study class spent some time reading Adam Hamilton's book, Making Sense of the Bible. I recommend it to you, and when I have the time, I'll write a review of it for the Blog.

Christianity isn't easy, and reading and living the Bible isn't simple. A statement like, "The Bible says it, and that's all there is to it," is difficult to agree with, right from the moment it is said.  Those who make that statement don't live it.

I don't mean that we fall short of what God, through the Bible, tells us to do.  Of course we do.  We don't feed the hungry or care for the homeless or love our enemies.  We try, and we have some success (thanks be to God), but we still fall short, but that's not what I mean.

Hamilton makes the point that even the apostles recognized that parts of the Bible applied only to those to whom it was written, or needed to be reinterpreted, or didn't express God's will for humanity.  Remember the debate in the book of Acts and throughout Paul's letters about circumcision and the necessity of new Christians following the laws laid out in the Hebrew Bible.

My sons weren't circumcised as a sign of the covenant with God, as the Hebrew Bible commands.  My sons were circumcised because it was the accepted and traditional practice.  We must be careful in our Bible interpretation to separate "what we have always believed" from "what is God's will for how we live our lives." I pray that our interpretation of Scripture involves more than a blind acceptance of previous beliefs and is grounded in the hard work of discernment of God's will.

The Bible isn't easy; don't pretend that it is .



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