I’ve chosen this week’s Bible passages, as it’s essential for any extended comment on the Bible to face up to the fact that there’s a great deal in it that’s incredibly difficult, when judged by our modern standards. We can’t ignore this, but it’s a powerful argument for not taking the Bible literally. If we reject homosexuality because it’s called an abomination in Exodus 20, but we then choose to turn a blind eye to the instruction to put homosexuals to death, then are we taking the Bible literally? Surely biblical literalists should, in order to maintain their argument, be campaigning for the death penalty to be introduced for homosexual acts? This small example highlights the impossibility and stupidity of the biblical literalist arguments.
In my last post, I urged the importance of creating time and peace, to allow God to talk to us individually through the Bible. In this post, I want to look at the nature of the Bible and tackle some of the pitfalls we should try to avoid. My final post will give advice about which readings to start with, where additional help can be obtained and summarise some basic principles. Please do stick with me through this most important of topics!
Over the months, an increasing number of my readers have told me that they’re reaching out for something, but they’re not quite sure what. These are people who have no tradition or background in Christianity, but they feel that following their experience of COVID and lockdown, something important seems to be missing from their lives. They’re reaching out for God, perhaps, rather than for formalised religion, and they don’t know how to make progress.