My, how it has grown!
This seems like a good time to reflect a bit on this project – a good time to remember my story, if you will.
This blog was born in a time of reflective prayer. I had gathered with my Oregon colleagues from InterVarsity Christian Fellowship in a lovely, but very rainy beach house in Lincoln City, OR. We spent a couple of hours listening as we prayed. During that time, I felt like God was inviting me to really own the fact that I loved Scripture.
This was not a surprise to me. I’ve loved inductively studying the Bible for over a decade. But sometimes we need invitations to take our passions to the next level. This was my invitation.
Though I loved reading and studying Scripture, I had never read the entire Bible.
Even as I was leading my fellow IV staff through the Gospel of Mark, there were chapters and entire books of the Bible that I had never even cracked open. Lamentations? Ezekiel 16? Jude?
God was calling me to step up. To make my love of Scripture a discipline.
Originally, I thought I would inductively study one book, like Genesis. But something about that seemed too small. That would be too timid a response. This was a call to go big – to dive head-first into the deep end.
So I decided to study the whole thing . . . The Whole. Dang. Thing.
What It Is. What It Isn’t.
So this blog was never supposed to be about getting really popular (though I would love it if it did.)
This blog was never supposed to be about gaining tons of readers (though I have thoroughly enjoyed all of you who have been following along. You make it so much more fun!)
This blog was never supposed to be about making me famous or getting me a book deal. (I might be interested in a book, but fame increasingly looks less and less appealing.)
This blog is about learning the story of God and living the story of God.
This blog is about seeing God anew, as if for the first time.
This blog is about letting the Bible tell its story, and letting me (and us) respond to it.
Not As Easy
After spending a year in the beginning of the story, I am realizing one thing. And I anticipate this becoming more and more true as the story continues.
Believing the Bible is not as easy as some want to make it. But rejecting it is also not as easy as some want to make it.
Human beings are created in the image of God. I love that. Do we realize how radical that is?
A flood covered the entire earth and one little family repopulated it. That is a hard pill to swallow.
God wants to be identified as one who liberates his people from slavery. Given the current state of our world, who doesn’t want that to be true?
God’s people are used as his instruments of brutal, destructive justice; slaughtering entire people groups is a divinely mandated activity. That does not and will not ever sit well with me.
But that is the story we have been given. I can’t throw it away on account of the bad parts because I would lose so much goodness! I also can’t just cling to the good parts because so many of those parts are intimately connected to things I would rather not have in there.
And So Year Two Begins.
This time, we won’t start with the glorious creation of the universe.
We will start with the brutal and bloody conquest of a tiny piece of land in the center of the world and the unfolding saga of the messy people who made it their home. This year we will spend some more time with Joshua. We will meet Gideon, Deborah, Ruth, Samuel, Saul, David and many others.
We will see the beginning of a Kingdom, the foundation of a temple, and the rise of the prophets.
Still interested? I hope so, because it is about to get very interesting.