An Atheist's View of the Bible

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Last week the director of Home Mission, Moses Chung, asked us at a couple of different meetings to reflect on Ephesians 1. Reading that passage reminded me again of the richness of the Biblical text and how packed and wondrous it can be. At the same time I know that for some the Bible is a book that is boring, without surprises or wonder. But what is particularly surprising is how many people declare the Bible to be that kind of book without having read or studied it. For some reason we assume the Bible is boring and that it has little to say to us, about us or about the world. Contrast this with Camille Paglia, an art critic and an atheist. Here's what she says about the Bible,

"[T]he Bible is a masterpiece. The Bible is one of the greatest works produced in the world. Those people who only have the Bible actually are set up for life. Not only do they have a spiritual vision given to them but artistic fulfillment. They don't even recognize just the pleasure of dealing with this epic poetry and drama. Everything is in the Bible."

This attitude is rare both among believers and unbelievers. Rare too is the attitude that if we want to live in a better world that knowing the Bible is hugely important. Joe Carter in his article on our Biblical Illiteracy points out that knowing the Bible is essential for building a better culture.  Again, few people imagine such to be true.

I recognize that the CRC comes from a rich tradition of Biblical and Theological study and reflection. I know that we declare that the Bible is our only rule for faith and life. I also know that in the midst of busy schedules both lay people and ordained folks seem to put digging into the Bible, searching out its treasures, and searching out the God behind those treasures into the cracks in their schedules. I know this not only because people tell me, but because I hear it is conversations that show a lack of Biblical depth and insight, in talks given that chose to grab the low hanging fruit of a passage rather than diving in deep, and from my own life where I spend far too little time diving deep into the Scriptures.

So how do you in your ministry bring the scriptures alive so that people want to know them better, live them out more diligently, and see them as wondrous rather than boring?

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