The Bible, not as shield or weapon

Photo by Jaanus Jagomägi

I have an upcoming Q&O (questions & opinions — my first ever — which you should be a part of, btw).

The thought occurred to me that someone may come on and challenge me, theologically (I know, I’m paranoid). My first reaction was to head to the Good Book to start jotting down the possible openings in my recent theological musings and plan my rebuttals. To steady my theological shield, if you will.

But then, something occurred to me that disarmed me (in a good way)…

Even if I was well-versed with the Bible (which, I’m getting there, but I consider myself an intermediate student, at best), that flawed-yet-sacred library of texts isn’t best used in that way.

From what I can tell, the Bible makes a horrible law book.

Yes, there are a lot of laws in it, but they’re so varied in so many ways that it’s useless as any sort of objective source. Sure, I could cherry-pick the verses that served my particular worldview and argue to the hilt that they’re more ‘right’ than the ones you pick, but then we’d both walk away from the conversation even more rooted in our self-righteousness.

We can do better.

The gospels can change us. But they’re only going to do that if we show up willing to be wrong.

If you were to ‘come at me’ Biblically (bro?), I’d probably get frustrated and defensive, but hopefully, the holy spirit would give me the wherewithal to thank you for showing me something I haven’t seen before. And I hope you’d afford yourself the opportunity to do the same.

How amazing would it be if more theological discussions were like this? The Bible, not as a weapon or as a shield, but as a decentering transformative sacrament that opens us up to the moreness of the divine in this clunky human experience.

Hope to see you on Friday.