I have been reading a book by Scot McKnight called The Blue Parakeet, and it is rocking my world about the way I read the Bible. It has changed my perspective from "How should I think, feel, and live?" to "Who is this incredible God of this interactive story told over time by several authors from several perspectives?" And in reading in this way, I am undone. The God of the Bible can in no way be boxed to conform to our minute ability to describe Him nor can He be mastered. To quote Scot McKnight:
"God did not give us the Bible so we could master him or it; God gave the Bible so we could live it, so we could be mastered by it. The moment we think we've mastered it, we have failed to be readers of the Bible."The Bible is the Story of God, the unfolding of who He is, told from the perspectives of different authors from different cultures and various time periods. It's a story that cannot be tamed, boxed, nor (do I dare say this) is it complete. For the God of this story eternally existed before any words of Him were penned, and is so vastly above our ways that the story serves merely as a window into the height, depth, breadth of our wonderful Creator. It no longer is a matter of readers laboring and studying to grasp His ways, but rather it is a matter of readers, so in love with Him, listening to know Him so that His ways grasp their very hearts in radical transformation.
How then does this affect the way I teach my children about God? Do I present Him as a taskmaster with rules to submit to? Do I force scripture on them when their hearts and minds are elsewhere? Do I summarize the text of the Bible from the traditions I have always believed? Do I content myself with mere outward behavioral obedience? NO! I must patiently weave the Story into their everyday existence. I must remember to present it as God's amazing Story full of action, blood, deception, romance, treason, beauty, art, passion, death; and then let them find their own way with this Beloved Creator of their souls. I must introduce this Savior whom I love from the depths of my heart, and leave them to find Him who is already seeking them, that they will love Him, know Him, and let Him radically transform their lives.
Image by lori joy.