Original Article is available here.
The Bible is a confusing book, without a doubt. There are simple truths that can be easily distilled from the New Testament (God is love, Jesus died to heal the world, we can know God through the Spirit, etc.), but it is ultimately a book that came into being 2,000+ years ago.
This series explores the “why,” “what,” and “how” questions about the Scriptures. This isn’t so we can become filled with more information alone, but so that we can step into our own unique place in the story of God.
Please Note: There is a podcast version of this series available as well.
It is great to be writing fresh newsletter content again. For those of you who have waited for a season, thanks for hanging with me. I’m excited for this new phase of our journey together, especially around the topic of Scripture.
I’ve had an interesting relationship with the Bible. Since I was a kid, I’ve trusted it to be true in some unique way. The “true” part and the “trust” bit have both been in process as I grow, but my love for the Bible has only increased.
That being said, the place of the Bible in my own Christian identity has changed. I used to believe that the Bible was the center of the Christian faith. I was a Bible-believing Christian (as opposed to who?).
Now, I’ve shifted my understanding of the center: The center of the Christian faith is not a book, it is a Person. Jesus is the center. He is the point. This idea will come up multiple times in this series, but I think it is important to be upfront about it at the beginning.
Jesus is the Point. The Bible points to the Point but is never the point in and of itself. It functions like John the Baptizer (shout out to Brian Zahnd who I first heard use this analogy) saying: Look over there, I’m not the guy. The one you are looking for is so much greater than me. I’m not the point, I’m merely a signpost to the Point that we are all looking for!
That leaves us with an important question then,
The short answer: something happened.
Our faith was never a book-based thing at all. If we look back at the first century CE and forward into the early church, the last thing that the Jesus movements could be called were book-based………….
[For the full article, go to Kurt’s Newsletter page]
Author: Kurt Willems
Kurt Willems is a pastor, author, and spiritual director. His first book, Echoing Hope: How the Humanity of Jesus Redeems our Pain, releases in March 2021. Kurt is also the host of the Theology Curator podcast. He has a master of divinity degree from Fresno Pacific Biblical Seminary and a master of arts in comparative religion from the University of Washington.
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