Commitment-Phobe: Tackling the Bible
I’ve discovered some worrying parts of the Bible
I have been a Christian for just over three years and I still have not read all the Bible, but rather a scrapbook version – some of the letters, the Gospels, some psalms, Genesis, Exodus, Job and selections from randomly opening the book. It’s embarrassing.
I have been using the Bible in One Year app on my phone. I’d rename it Small Bits of the Bible when You Can Be Bothered. The app includes three readings from the lectionary with a reflection and invitation to prayer from Nicky Gumbel, founder of the Alpha course. A wonderfully engaging speaker who has given me insights into God’s love – but what are my insights?
I tried another way to read the Bible, a plan allocating different sections to different days of the week. I rushed ahead and devoured the book of Job, 42 chapters in two days, finally seeing the story arc and reading commentaries to see why Satan seems to be on good terms with God (very confusing.) Then I started reading Joshua and got stuck. I could not understand why the God of Israel kept telling Joshua to commit war crimes which these days would incur a prison sentence that even a long-lived biblical character might struggle to outlive. This was not the quiet voice of God that I heard when I worshipped. This was not my loving Nicky Gumbel God. But weren’t they one and the same? By avoiding the hard bits of the Bible, I had fooled myself into thinking my faith was easier than it was…
Commitment-Phobe is a new Christian
This is an extract from an article that was published in the March 2018 edition of Reform