The Bible For Grown Ups
As children, many of us received a leather-covered book full of long words and difficult names we couldn’t pronounce. We were told everything in it was true and we should do our best to abide by its teachings. Then we grew up.
Most of us know some Bible stories, but very few of us know the story of the Bible. And it may be surprising to discover it’s a story that doesn’t actually begin in the beginning. It begins with the accounts of a few men who sat down to record the death and resurrection of Jesus. It begins with the words of his followers who were compelled to document the events that had changed everything for them—because they knew it could change everything for us.
“In the beginning. . . .” can be a loaded phrase—one that forces us into debate and doubt. But maybe we’re missing the point of Genesis 1:1—a point Moses made to a world where the violence and injustice of the gods justified and legitimized the violence and injustice of human rulers. Moses introduced a radically different, unparalleled, and untested worldview.
The Old Testament chronicles God’s redemptive, sequential activity in history. It’s a fabulous, gritty, epic history of the Hebrew people in which, over and over, Israel is reminded that they are a divine means to an end. So, maybe instead of seeing the Old Testament as a spiritual guidebook or a storyline that needs to be tidied up, we should see it as something even better: the history of God preparing the world for a Savior.
The Bible did not create Christianity. Christianity is the result of an event (the resurrection) that created a movement (the church) that produced sacred and reliable texts that were collected and bound into a book (the Bible). But how do we approach not being at peace with everything we read in the Bible? Paul—the apostle, Pharisee, author, preacher, and church planter—offers us clarity and confidence to move forward.