The institutional church has historically presented the Bible as a take it or leave it proposition. One supposedly could either accept the Bible as God’s revelation along with the church’s interpretation thereof, or you could reject it. In a number of cases those who chose to reject the church and its biblical interpretation also chose to reject the very existence of God.
Many today are coming to realize that one’s response to the Bible is not really limited by these two options. It is entirely possible to accept the Bible as God’s message to mankind without buying into the orthodox picture of God and its understanding of the biblical message. Bible believers are not compelled to believe in the God of orthodoxy, the God who creates but cannot maintain, who loves but whose love is insufficient. If we “Christians” had been really listening to our message and the response of unbelievers all these years, we would have recognized long ago the inadequacies of this sad story.
A breath of fresh, invigorating air is blowing through our spiritual communities, as many, especially the young, seek to embrace a new, grander picture of God, His purpose, and His unfailing adherence to that purpose. It is too obvious that God cannot be about failure and a half-hearted salvation. The on-going reassessment of the Bible story and its implications is poised to sweep away the errors of the past centuries. Let’s pray for that development, instead of allowing the self appointed to sell us on a future catastrophe as God’s last gasp effort to regain control.