Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Bible is Not a Roadmap

As I wrap up this series, Your Bible is Wrong, I want to remind us of the main premise of the past five posts.  We, as modern (mostly) Western people, bring many cultural, societal, and personal influences into our daily lens and in particular into our view of the Bible.  The truth of the matter is that the Bible is not a book about us, nor is it a rulebook.  We are also mistaken if we believe it will make us better or serve as a solid source of role models.

In fact, the Bible is primarily one grand narrative about God and more specifically it is the story of how God is redeeming a people for Himself through the redemptive work of Jesus.  That's it.

The whole thing.

Don't get it twisted.

So as we look at this, one final reminder is this: The Bible is not a roadmap.  This could be considered a side-point from the idea "the Bible is not about you," but requires some more nuance.

Many well meaning people view the Bible as "the answer source", exhorting others to dive into "the Word" in seeking direction and discernment.  Other folks may view the Bible more along the line of my first post (as a good luck charm) and turn to it at times of need, where a crossroads has been reached and a decision needs to be made.

But there's a problem with all this.  And I've said it before.

The Bible wasn't written to you!  It's not about you!

So don't read yourself into it!

If I look to the Bible with important questions such as . . .

Should I take that job in Baltimore?

Should I marry Jenny Miller?

Should I buy this house in this or that neighborhood?

 . . . I do the Bible a disservice.  The Bible does not answer any of those questions.  It does not intend to either.

How do I know?  Because the words Baltimore, Miller, and neighborhood never appear in the Bible  (I just checked, so trust me on that).

Does God care about the important decisions in your life?


Should you seek His council and will in those?


But please don't turn to Scripture and seek for it to justify what you're looking for, because (say it with me) the Bible isn't about you!

The Bible is the story of a God who is hopelessly, head-over-heels in love with people who can't do anything to help themselves.  But this God, reaches out to those people and sends his Son and accomplishes for them the full requirements of everything necessary for those people to stand before this God fully forgiven, fully redeemed, and complete in Him.

This is the story.

This is what the Bible is about.

And I'd venture to say, this too, is what all of life is about.  It's not about you.  It's about Him.

Every last portion, iota, and story.

As is usually the case Tim Keller (one of my all-time favorite humans) has nailed this topic.  So, I'll let him do the talking.

*And of course, the Bible is our greatest, clearest indicator of who God is, but my point is that we should never confuse our decisions with the overall, grand direction of Scripture.


Anonymous said...

Might use this for youth group some day. Thx.