Sunday, July 08, 2012

How Some People Approach the Bible

Over the years I've seen people approach the Bible in various ways. Here are some common approaches (not an exhaustive list):

1. Some dismiss it completely.

They consider it nonsense; full of outdated beliefs and fairy tales.

2. Some pick and choose to believe certain parts of it.

Some Christians are right up front about this. They believe certain parts and eschew other parts. Other Christians, however, claim to "follow the whole Bible" yet carefully avoid engaging large parts of it because it would conflict with what's traditionally been believed by them or their churches.

3. Some claim to believe all of it but actually interpret it in such a way that the Bible just so happens to agree with everything they already believe in.

They go to the Bible to support some pet theory or opinion. If they're Republican, guess what: the Bible supports Republican views. If they're Democrats, the same applies. Some here are so creative they can turn a text or passage right on its head and end up affirming what the Scriptures actually condemn! This is especially true with today's hot-button cultural issues. You know what I'm talking about.

4. Some claim to believe it all and *try* to live in light of its truth consistently.

They understand interpretation is involved, but they are cautious not to simply interpret it as they see fit. They go to the Bible and are challenged, rebuked, and convicted by it. They try not to muffle what is says, but are eager to hear what God's word has to say to them. Hearing what it actually says isn't the hardest part; it's changing one's lifestyle, attitude, behaviors, etc., in light of it that's the hard part.

Why people adopt these various approaches (and others) is complex and has a lot to do with one's upbringing, culture, traditions, life experiences, worldviews, presuppositions, etc. But people can and have changed how they approach the Scriptures.  I speak from experience!

So how do you approach the Bible?

1 comment:

Christian said...

I go for the 1st option. As the question arises why the bible in the first place?