I was working out of one of my favorite coffee shops in Alphabet City a few weeks ago. Rain was moving through lower Manhattan in waves and anyone who didn’t plan on spending the next few hours sitting in their scuffed wooden chair had already changed their plans.
Next to me a couple of guys were getting to know one another—it was awkward first-date type conversation with lots of, “me too!” affirmations to keep the conversation moving. I wasn’t paying too much attention until they started talking about the Bible. Then I couldn’t help but eavesdrop as they shared their views.
“I don’t know how anyone in 2012 could still believe it… I mean…” The guy furthest from me said, in a voice that was equal parts conviction and dismay.
“It’s basically an old constitution,” his friend interjected. “To think of it as anything more is just asking too much of it.”
I thought for a minute about their views. There are a lot of people who try to use the Bible as a constitution. A sort of law for people to live by, and—sometimes tragically—a law to hold other people accountable to.
And, like many people in our culture, you may have been hurt by this type of person in the past. Someone who judged you, lifted out a verse and pronounced you as “wrong,” “foollish” or worse.
But what is the Bible really up to? Why have millions of people for thousands of years looked to this book and what should we really expect from it?
Perhaps Peter Enns sheds some light when he says:
The Bible is not a series of verses that tell you what to do or think, but a grand story that shows you what the life of faith looks like.
When we look at the Holy Scriptures as a rule book we miss out on the power that it has for our lives.
The Bible is a grand story. It’s story of a God passionately pursuing his people—the story of a God who wants the best possible life for his children—and the Spirit behind the story can change everything we ever known when he gets involved in our lives.
Our hope and prayer is, that as we engage with the narrative of Scripture, their story would become our story. That our lives would be transformed by the same Spirit, embraced by the same God and that things would never be the same.