I’ve been in an interesting place for a while now, trying to come to grips with a God who turns out to not meet my old expectations, and watching a lot of people who call themselves Christian act rather unlike the Jesus I read about in the Gospels. So I’ve been thinking hard about the nature of truth, and the nature of the Bible itself.
Betrayal causes a trauma response in humans. Institutions, not just people, can be the source of betrayal. A normal human response to betrayal trauma is to disengage completely from the institution. That’s where I am in relation to several institutions I previously trusted and depended on for my identity.
As my religious understanding changes, I’m discovering that so does my language about religion. But to “be all things to all men, so that I may save some,” I have to become multilingual – fluently speaking the native language of whatever tribe I am with.
Did God stop speaking at the end of the first century AD? Did He tell us literally everything we need to know in the Bible? I’ve been thinking about the various basic approaches to reading and understanding the Bible. It seems to me that there are at least two related methods of Bible interpretation, and their interaction results in some rather different outcomes depending on your assumptions.
Our testimony isn’t just for unbelievers. Sometimes it needs to be for our fellow Christians, inviting them to see a different perspective, expanding their existing awareness. And a gentle invitation is so much more effective than a demanding assault on what we see as error.