by Peter Enns (a summary by Pat Evert)
If the Bible is a history book or an owner’s manual, why doesn’t it behave itself? Once again, now in His Word, God surprises us with the unexpected. The Bible is as unpredictable as God is. He does not write scripture, but allows His children to tell the story. The main themes are correct, but the rest are highly embellished stories.
Some of the controversies are the warrior God in the genocide of Canaan, the two versions of the monarchy of Israel and the four versions of Jesus life
The Bible is a story, an ancient story.
Chapter 1 – I’ll take door number three – if I feel like I need to defend the Bible, I am probably viewing it incorrectly. Maybe it is not a legal document, an accurate history book or owner’s manual.
Chapter 2 – God did what?! – God, instead of telling the story, lets His children tell it. Instead of revealing Himself, He lets His children describe Him with the limited understanding they have of Him.
Chapter 3 – God likes stories – Our stories are connected, yet different perspectives. The past serves the present. It explains how we got here. It gives us a new perspective of who we are and who God is.
Chapter 4 – Why doesn’t God make up His mind? – God is in no hurry to correct our thinking of Him. The Bible brings to us more than one voice, and some of them contradict.
Chapter 5 – Jesus is bigger than the Bible – Jesus quotes the Bible in ways that those who take the Bible seriously would be greatly offended. Jesus was the true focus of The Bible.
Chapter 6 – No one saw this coming – Messiah would die and rise again. Wow! Jesus was a surprise ending to the Jewish story in the O.T. The gospel writers were not sticking to what the Bible said, but rather explaining Jesus with the Bible. This is creative reading. Paul was sure this was a false Messiah. Jesus death and resurrection has made it so Jews and Gentiles could all be brought back to God. Jesus was the conclusion to the Jewish story and Torah. You can do well without getting the Bible right, but you must get Jesus right. He is God’s final word.
Chapter 7 – The Bible just as it is – what the Bible is, is Gods call, not ours. The Incomprehensible has entered into the story of humanity. We can expect to be surprised. The Bible is not the center of Christianity, nor is it a weapon.