Sjolander Road Fellowship

Declaring the God of Unconditional Love

The Challenge of the Bible

Anyone interested in the Bible has a challenge, namely reconciling all that it contains by reducing it to a consistent message and purpose. The traditional approach to that reconciliation process has been to let the institutional church tell us what we need to know about the essentials of the Bible and then basically ignoring the rest. That approach was absolutely required for the first 1500 years or so after Christ because there were no Bibles written in common languages and the population was largely illiterate anyway. There was no possibility of the average citizen evaluating the Bible on his own.


Another result of the longstanding inability of most to consider the Bible separate from the instruction of the institutional church was that the opinion most had of the Bible was already established by the church long before they could consider any alternative. In other words, the teachings of tradition were engrained in western thinking first, and then much later the average person gained his first direct exposure to the Bible. That came only after his mind was conditioned by prior theology. Thus any subsequent personal evaluation of the text was pre-disposed to see things a certain way. Despite any number of so called “reformations” in biblical understanding, the tendency was always to stay generally where the church had been for the centuries past. No one was able to approach the Bible objectively, without the mental conditioning that permeated western societies based on so called Orthodoxy. This fact alone explains why the traditions of men continue to be held as sacred, despite their inherent confusion.