But I never understand

Yesterday, I gave a couple suggestions about researching ideas in the Bible. I could suggest many more. But first, I need to think through a couple questions that come up when reading the Bible.

I hear the first one often:  Why is the Bible so confusing?

I understand. There are days when I read a page and I think, “What?” I know all the w0rds I read, but I can’t figure out what it means.

But I’m writing this post four days after the series finale of “Lost.” It is a TV show. During the past six years, it developed very loyal followers (and people who said, “What?”) In order to track the characters, you had to keep watching, you had to think through each episode carefully. You had to tie different episodes from different seasons together to understand why characters were the way they were. And you had to live with a willingness to wait for more clues.

Too often, when we read the Bible, we read one sentence and think, “I wonder what God is saying to me?” We read one paragraph and think, “I know there should be a life lesson here, but I can’t figure it out.” But what if we treated it like “Lost”, looking for clues, anticipating twists, waiting to see where we end up?

Or consider another way of thinking about reading the Bible:

Do you like conversations? Think of any of the letters (everything after Acts and before Revelation, except for Hebrews) as one side of a conversation. Now, try to think of the other half, the situation that Paul is speaking to, the question Peter is answering, the argument John is responding to. Thinking of two parties helps me think more deeply.

I’ll suggest a couple more ways of reading tomorrow.

4 thoughts on “But I never understand

  1. Rich Dixon

    I’m going to remember the “letter as one-half of a conversation” tip. Understanding the other half is a great way to dig deeper.

    I also try to remember that the bible is about God, not about me. Sometimes it makes more sense if I ask, “What’s this tell me about God?” rather than, “What’s this tell me about me?”

    Besides, as hard as it is to admit, God might be more interesting than I am!

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