About the Bible

What’s the Bible about?
The heart and core of the Bible is its story. What I write below is my humble synopsis of the drama God calls us to live in, through the anthology of sorts we today call the Bible. It’s dense, but concise.

Act 1: Creation
In the beginning, God is already on stage as we marvel and watch him form his good creation for a special creature called humankind, who bear his image. God’s purpose for creating them, male and female, is so he can dwell among them and have a relationship with them as they carry out their task of taking care of and enjoying his good creation.

Act 2: Fall
Tension is introduced early on, when despite God’s explicit warning, Adam and Eve, this first human couple, succumb to the temptation by God’s enemy, the Satan (the Adversary), to doubt God’s Word and his love. And so they go their own way and seek to become like God in a different way, not by bearing his image, but instead by knowing good and evil by experience. They were duped!

Now, the question is: What will God do? Will he abandon what he created and start over, or does he have a plan to restore the curse of evil and possibly make his good creation even better?

Act 3: Israel
Early on we see that the Creator-god didn't simply abandon his creation, but instead worked out history ("his story" as its been coined by many Christians) to redeem it (buy it back) by calling a particular man (Abraham), and making a covenant (solemn contract) with him to form a particular people from him (Israel), a people through whom God would restore his creation and thereby bless all the peoples of the earth. We see how the one and only Lord God bit by bit, formed, instructed, and commissioned his own set-apart people to bring about his renewing purposes and glorify his name.

However, his people (Israel), who were called to bring his saving light to world, soon became part of the problem, and were themselves judged and exiled, despite the warnings and ministries of many of God’s prophets (people who speak for God). But, just as the Creator-god didn’t abandon his creation, the Covenant-god didn’t abandon his covenant with his people who were called to save the world, and so he promised to one day restore them, forgive them their wrongs, and thereby bring an end to their exile when he would return to establish himself as king in Zion (the mount area where Jerusalem, Israel’s “capitol” stands).

Act 4: Jesus
After centuries of anticipation, this drama finds its climax when God fulfills his covenant promises by sending his people Israel a representative (Jesus the Messiah) to be the Israel which Israel had failed to be.

This representative lives out Israel’s true calling, dies by suffering the curse Israel and the world brought upon themselves by their evil and corruption, and then rises from the dead.  By conquering evil and death by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus fulfills the covenant promises made to Abraham and Israel and shows how their hope was not in vain. And Jesus  promises to give this life in the blessed age to come to those who follow him. By Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection he became the true king of the world and inaugurated his kingdom.

Act 5: The New People of God
Welcome to today. In this act’s opening scene, Jesus ascends into heaven as the world’s king and lord as he sends a chosen group of followers called apostles to go into all the world and bear witness to Jesus' life, death, and resurrection. Jesus gives the apostles his Spirit who blesses them and all who trust in Jesus, and who enables his people to go into all the world and announce this good news (Gospel) of forgiveness, life, justice, and peace. Jesus tells his people to announce this good news by making disciples of every nation, baptizing them in his name, and teaching them everything he’s commanded them. So this is what they do, as Jesus also calls a man named Saul to spearhead his people’s missionary (sending out) work and reach out to all peoples.

And Jesus promised that he would come again in glory to be the judge of the world and reunite heaven and earth into a new heavens and earth where God’s perfect justice, peace, and love will reign supreme forever.

One simply way you might even summarize the entire drama is the following "7Cs"®:
1) Creation
2) Catastrophe
3) Covenant
4) Collapse
5) Christ
6) Church
7) Culmination

What's does God's story have to do with me?
You didn’t think the Bible was about you, did you? Well you see, every one of our lives can be described as a story as well. We ourselves are characters of sorts who journey, interact, wrestle with, and live within this grand narrative. The Bible reveals to us God’s purposes in this grand narrative. The Bible itself is a library God set apart, and it’s comprised of many kinds of documents of various genres, written by scores of people across the span of hundreds of years, which all come together to tell and describe this one unifying drama.

So what do we do now? The better question is: What is God doing to us, now? God is calling the world to repent (change the way they think, and act accordingly) through his people (most commonly called Christians, which means someone who follows Jesus Christ), and follow him so they can have their promised share, or inheritance, in his love and glory.

So we improvise our parts. We play jazz. God’s given us the tune and key signature since he’s the authority. God is with us, and we have other “musicians” supporting us and we know how it’s going to end. God says it’s going to be a challenge, so we might need to be creative, but that’s just part of the deal. Just remember, God is with you all the way and will love you until the end.

How do I read the Bible, practically speaking?
The quick answer: frequently and thoroughly! And my site has a reading schedule for you to follow!

The other answer: Immersing yourself in the Bible is like rocking out...

Sometimes you rock out alone, and that's fine. This way you can listen to what you want and you don't have to worry about other people making fun of how ridiculous you look. Now, when you listen to music alone, sometimes you listen to one track over and over again to get into the details, and sometimes you play the whole album so you can get a sense of it all. 

So sometimes you'll want to read entire books of the Bible at a time so you can a feel for the structure and outline, and once you have an overall handle of a book, you'll be able to properly dig in and focus on just one passage in context that you maybe heard at church, saw quoted, or were particularly interested in. Both ways are needed.

Now, you haven't fully experienced rocking out unless you've been to a concert. To fully know and appreciate the music, you need to be with others who share your passion, and quite often your craziness. 

So I'd encourage you to experience public worship where the Bible is read and participate in group Bible studies in whatever way you're able to. Then you can encourage others in their reading, you can gain insight and knowledge from others, and you can give and share your thoughts and experiences as well. 

And remember, devotion and discussion. I leave you with God's words to Moses when he approached the burning bush, "Slip your sandals off your feet since the place where you're standing is holy ground." Both devotion and discussion are key to Bible reading. I personally don't like to separate the two because it introduces a dichotomy I'm not comfortable with. Prayer is good as well!

Reformation True

Reformation True
Sola Gratia, Sola Fide, Sola Scriptura