I hope no one takes offense to this post. I don’t wish to force anything upon you. This post is primarily for those who currently or in the past have called themselves Christians. This is simply something I believe and am passionate about. You can completely disagree with me, and I will just as much as before wish to be your friend.
Have you ever had trouble understanding why in the Bible we read that God killed millions of babies, permitted race-based slavery, allowed forced marriages, commanded the killing infants, but we call him a God of Love? I know that bothered me immensely for many years. Now I feel that I can read the Bible and know that God really is a God of Love despite the contradiction.
C.S. Lewis once said, “It is Christ Himself, not the Bible, which is the true word of God.” That is something I never fully appreciated and certainly not what I was taught in my evangelical world. If I was, it went over my head. Despite recommending C.S. Lewis’s books and writings, those same schools, churches, and myself would likely have on considered it heresy to say, “the Bible is not the true word of God.” Lewis even said, “The human qualities of the raw materials show through. Naivety, error, contradiction, even (as in the cursing Psalms) wickedness are not removed. The total result is not ‘the Word of God’ in the sense that every passage in itself, gives impeccable science or history. It carries the Word of God.”
Have you ever wondered why in Matthew Jesus says, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the law…” but in Ephesians it says “He has abolished the law with its commandments and ordinances…” Matthew 5:17 and Ephesians 2:15 (NRSVCE). I believe that read in context, we see that Jesus is speaking of God’s unchanging law. One that wasn’t captured by fallible humans when the Torah permitted slavery, revenge, taught that ceremonies could make a person an abomination, or that we must stone adulterers. I believe that God is unchanging and never wanted or gave the okay to stone people, kill babies, have slaves (particularly based on race), or numerous other unchristlike things taught as holy.
I just finished reading the book God Speaks by my good friend Gabriel Gordon. Like C.S. Lewis, Gordon does a fantastic and earnest job in helping people like me see that we must lean upon the revelation of Jesus more than anything else. I believe Gabe’s book and others are helping me build a personal faith, that more so than before, puts Jesus at the center – not the Bible. It isn’t to take the Bible away, but to read it in the light of Jesus, which John 1 calls the Word.
God Speaks showed me things in the Bible I had never seen before and has made it easier for me to fully trust in Jesus when he says, “Whoever has seen Me, has seen the Father.” Like any good reader, I will not wholly agree with everything the author says. The book certainly does not answer all questions either, but I can’t recommend this book enough. It just became available to the public today. If you want to read it but can’t afford it send me a private message.
Below you will find a link to the book and some quotes from C.S. Lewis that further layout some of his views, which I mostly agree with today. If you want to know more about how these topics have changed my beliefs over the last several years you can read about that some here. There are certainly those that disagree with me and C.S. Lewis. This is a website that summarized some of those arguments, if you would like a counter.