“The Bible is Clear”: No, It’s Not—But That’s Okay

“The Bible clearly says…” I’ve heard this many, many times over the years, always spoken with great fervour. I’ve even been known to say something like this myself a time or two. So I get it, I really do. You read a passage in the Bible, and it just makes sense. It fits with what …

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The Bible and Same-Sex Relationships

This was the subtitle of a study conference our denomination had 3.5 years ago, hosted at our church: “The Bible and Same-Sex Relationships.” I was one of the plenary speakers at the conference. Although I would word a few things differently now—I’ve learned much since then, and my own perspective has settled—I feel two of …

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On Being—and Doing—Church

There are many good New Testament passages one can explore to envision what the church should be and do: Romans 12-15, 1 Corinthians 12-14, and Ephesians 4-5 are all good options, among others. Still, when I think about the church there’s one specific verse that always seems to come to mind first: They devoted themselves …

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The Bible as Witness to Jesus (2)

The New Testament claims that the Author of it all, the God who has shaped humans out of the stuff of earth and breathed life into them, the God who has taken up the writings of Scripture and “breathed” life-giving power into them—this God has entered the human story in Jesus. Take a look at …

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The Bible as Witness to Jesus (1)

Imagine that you’re reading a really good story. It’s the kind of story you hate to put down and you can’t wait to get back to. It’s got an interesting premise, a believable world, compelling characters, and a riveting plot. It’s enlightening and challenging and entertaining and disturbing and refreshing. Now imagine that you’re reading …

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The Bible as Diverse Anthology

A key idea I’ve emphasized here and here is that whatever we mean by Scripture’s divine inspiration, it cannot mean that the biblical writings are somehow not genuinely human writings. As I said earlier: Written in ordinary human languages and idioms, making use of conventional genres, employing scribes, relying on prior sources, edited by individuals and communities, …

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