Five Hard Questions
We all approach the Bible with invisible and unknown prejudices and biases.
Here are "five hard questions" to ask as you approach Bible study or Bible
reading, perhaps helping you with your own "invisible and unknown":
- Do you think of biblical characters — especially Old Testament
heroes and Jesus' disciples — as essentially like you, in terms of their
membership and attachment to a local congregation of fellow believers?
(Most likely most of them were NOT attached to a "church" as you know
- What really bothered and angered Jesus about the religious
institutions of his day, and their leaders? (Be careful here, or you
might be projecting onto Jesus' day things that are more true of today's
- Who gets ignored in the biblical stories, or our retelling of them?
And who gets the consistent glare of our spiritual spotlights? Do you
see any problems or possibilities in comparing the two?
- How much does your study and application of the Bible require
"extra-ordinariness" (or heroic activity) as the expected response to
God's will? Is there any room in your biblical interpretation for
ordinary, everyday spirituality?
- In what ways does the context of a Bible passage or story match your
lifestyle and living context? In what ways does is not? (Be careful
again, because you may be imposing impossible conditions on contemporary
life OR ignoring subtle similarities that are easily overlooked.)