Almost invariably, when someone introduces their understanding of the Bible, someone else will ask the question, “Well what about this verse or passage which seems to contradict your view?” Generally, the questioned one immediately becomes defensive, feeling that they must provide a scholarly rebuttal to any and all objections. I have often fallen into this trap myself. Lately, I have come to consider such exercises as largely a diversion, drawing attention away from the real issues of the Bible. Arguing and debating about the meaning of isolated passages without establishing the basic character of God and the purpose of His revelation is meaningless and self-promoting in most cases. No one, and I mean no one, can reasonably claim to have a Bible position which does not leave many passages unexplained and/or seemingly contradictory, at least when viewed apart from the total context of the Bible.
I now contend that once you determine in your own mind what God is like, your interpretation of the Bible falls out of that understanding of God’s basic nature.
For a God of Love, every aspect of the Bible must serve a loving purpose. Nothing, including acts of wrath and judgment, can fail in that regard. Such a God cannot let judgment stand as the last word. Wrath in that case must be a lesson which draws mankind forward and upward into a growing spiritual maturity. When considered in this way, the Bible story unfolds in a dramatically different fashion than what orthodoxy teaches. God ultimately does what Love demands and mankind enjoys a blessedness which is greater than our ability to comprehend.