I think the Bible is worthy of our adult attention, worthy of serious study and reflection, not because it provides a course-of-life syllabus for us, but precisely because it doesn’t: the Bible difficult, challenging, and difficult to wrap our arms around.
Nature of the Bible
Just as the church is made up of all sorts of people with different personalities, different histories, and different and conflicting perspectives, so is the Bible.
The Bible—even where it talks about God—is a relentlessly contextual collection of ancient literature that takes wisdom and patience to handle well, and in doing so drives us toward further contemplation of God here and now.
The Bible bears the marks of the messiness of the diverse human drama. Christian theology, if it wishes to be compelling and speak into people’s lives, needs to incorporate that fact, not shy away from it.
We honor tradition best when we take seriously the sacred responsibility for shaping it.
The issue is not so much about “balancing” theology with history or vice-verse, but acknowledging the tension and letting that tension inform and fuel our spiritual engagement of the Bible.
The recurring unrest with conservative readings of scripture from within conservative circles suggests that the paradigm is flawed.
Any notion of, say, inspiration or revelation that seeks to gain traction cannot be formulated in blissful isolation from or in antagonism toward these 5 point. The ship has sailed, the horse is out of the barn, cats are beyond herding, worms are out of the can—pick your metaphor.
Any claim to what the Bible “teaches” us has to go beyond citing a lone verse or amassing several verses and move toward a deeper engagement.
As foolish as we may look in resisting the so-called “scientific consensus,” we are bound by Scripture.