Yes, it's been a minute since I've written here. Life, distractions, writer's block, etc. have kept me from buckling down and giving this space the attention that I've always intended.
My last blog post was a book review and I return today with another.
I’ve been a Christian for most of my life. One of the things, well THE thing that is ingrained in most of us from the beginning of our faith journey, is knowing the Word of God. The infallible, inerrant, Word of God, aka the Bible. In fact, for several years during my youth and into my twenties, I was part of what’s known as the Word of Faith Movement or “Prosperity Gospel”.
So, when Keith Giles, author of Jesus Unbound, talks about how we as believers can be in danger of worshipping the Scriptures, I know from personal experience what he means.
For many Christians, the Bible and God become one and the same.
And I suppose if the Scripture hadn't been penned by several flawed human hands it might make more sense to continue holding to that view.
In his eye-opening work, Keith takes us on an uncomfortable spiritual odyssey that dares us to put our love for Jesus (which translates into expressing that love towards everyone, enemies included) above all else, even the Bible that most evangelicals embrace as the literal Word of God.
The basic premise is that we ought not to let the Bible, which while inspired, yet not necessarily inerrant in every instance, become an idol over the legitimate object of our devotion as believers, Christ Himself. So, when we read about an Old Testament God who commanded His people to commit acts against other tribes that we find personally repugnant and murderous today, Keith asks us to consider other possible explanations.
Did God really command those actions? In the New Testament Jesus made proclamations such as “When you’ve seen Me, you’ve seen the Father”, and “Love your enemies..”
How is it loving our enemies when we support “...Happy is the one who seizes your infants and dashes them against the rocks.”? (Psalm 137:9). Jesus Unbound tackles this problematic verse and more.
The idea that not every word in the Bible is inspired by God is something that I would never have allowed myself to consider only a few short years ago.
I’ve become more open to the idea now honestly, because the messenger, so to speak (Keith is one of several I’ve come across in recent years) is coming from a place of love as opposed to one that completely rejects all of Scripture and Jesus as invalid.
Contradictions (yes, the Bible has many, like the role of women in leadership) are not ignored, explained away, or downplayed, but faced head on which I really appreciate.
I highly recommend Jesus Unbound to all believers, but especially to those who just can’t reconcile the God of the Old Testament in light of Jesus and His teachings. And at the risk of sounding over the top or just plain corny, I have to say, that what Keith has written I believe will be life changing for many. It most certainly has been for me.
Follow Keith on Twitter
Keith's podcast: Heretic Happy Hour