Sunday, June 2, 2013
I have known my friend Julie for more than 30 years. A long time ago she told me about her encounter with a group of Christians. Christians “in the worst sense of the word.” They pretended to be interested in her as a person. They were really interested in converting her to their way of thinking. It didn’t work.
They asked her a truly intriguing question. “If you could describe God in just one word what would that word be?”
Julie is a thoughtful person. She pondered for a moment before she answered “Surprise. My one word for God would be ‘surprise.’”
“No,” they told her. “That’s wrong. The one word for God is ‘love’ because 1 John 4:16 says ‘God is love.’”
I firmly believe that all Christians should read the Bible. I mean the entire Bible, cover-to-cover, straight through, including the boring parts and not just select verses.
I also believe that some Christians need to get their heads out of the Bible once in a while.
The Bible may be the written word of God (and it is). It may be sufficient for the knowledge of salvation (and it is). It may be the “source and norm” of Christian doctrine (and it is). But it is not the sum and compendium of all knowledge. Not even all knowledge about God.
There I said it.
God’s word is also written in the leaves of nature’s book. God’s word is written in human hearts and human interactions. The Bible bears witness to God’s Word. But there’s more to it than that.
Some Christians, if they would get their heads out of the Bible from time to time, might just be surprised by God’s word.