Sjolander Road Fellowship

Declaring the God of Unconditional Love

Weirdness on the Road to Progress



In discussing a book on how failure is an essential aspect of progress, the book's author quoted another individual who said that progress was less about "Eureka" moments and much more about outcomes which prompted the remark: Well, that's weird. Both men were suggesting that scientific program and success in general is often driven not by "Eureka" moments when the anticipated results are confirmed but rather when the unexpected results baffle and frustrate.


We could readily apply this to our attempts to understand and interpret the Bible. Unfortunately, we have become so immersed in a traditional church sponsored view of the scriptures that we experience neither "Eurekas" nor weirdness. We simply see what has been endlessly repeated and are blind to anything else.


When we pay much attention at all to the Bible we will see countless examples of passages which do not support the church's literal interpretation scheme nor its overall doctrine. These are passages the church dismisses as subordinate to the ones which allegedly do support their theology. The dismissal generally follows this line of reasoning: whatever the unsupportive passage means it cannot contradict this other passage which is an integral part of church theology. In this manner a great deal of the New Testament is ignored or simply explained away.


Instead of embracing the idea that "weirdness" in the Bible can be reason for serious reflection and growth in understanding, the typical Bible study views the unusual verse or passage as an unfortunate distraction from established truth. Established truth is supposed to be the mechanism by which anyone escapes God's wrath, so by implication any challenge to that truth in its current form carries significant risk Thus, the earnest Bible student is left in the unenviable position of trying to grow in knowledge while facing the real possibility that the effort will doom them instead of enlighten. Where certainty is essential, weirdness is never a good thing.