All Good Things Must Come To An End

Hello There!

This is just a quick update post to let everyone know that we are formally rounding up the conversation here on Unlocking The Bible.

You are more than welcome to utilise this platform to continue the discussion both on and offline, however the blog will no longer be monitored or moderated on a regular basis.

We’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who contributed to the conversation in one form or another.

The enthusiasm with which you shared your thoughts, comments and experiences with the Bible, was both very much admired and appreciated.

God Bless

Rob Bell Speaks On ‘Restoring Confidence In The Bible’

Author, pastor and founder of the Mars Hill Bible Church in Michigan, Rob Bell has written an interesting piece on his blog on Restoring Confidence in the Bible.

You can read what Rob has to say on it here.

Does Scripture Paint An Accurate Picture Of God?

What are your views on scripture and its ability to paint an accurate picture of God?

As always, we eagerly await your comments and thoughts.

Please feel free to share them in the comments section below.

Has The Church Got Biblical Interpretation Wrong?

Has the church got biblical interpretation wrong?

And if so, when?

What can we learn from the mistake(s)?

Please be encouraged to share your thoughts, comments and experiences.

Should Jesus Be Our Primary Lens For Interpreting Scripture

Do you agree that Christ should be our primary lens for interpreting scripture?

If so, does this make some sections of the Bible more important than others?

Steve asserts that is

“the task of the whole Christian community – and every individual follower of Christ – is to seek continually to grapple with and better understand Jesus’ life, character and teaching as the centre of our biblical framework for decision making, both personally as well as communally.”

 How do we do this and how should this understanding shape our view of the rest of scripture?


Your Questions To Steve Answered

Steve Chalke has put together a summary video where he answers a selection of some of the most interesting questions that have arisen from the #BigBibleDebate so far.

Here is a breakdown of the questions that he covers in this insightful video:

1. Why are you calling for a conversation around the Bible? (00:00)

2. How do you respond to the claim that your understanding of inerrancy and infallibility is wrong? (3:33)

3. Do you still consider yourself an evangelical? (4:17)

4. Are you being dismissive of the biblical text? (5:54)

5. Do you believe the Bible is inspired? (10:07)

After watching, hopefully you’ll find that some, if not all of your questions regarding ‘Restoring Confidence in the Bible’ are answered.

As always your thoughts and comments are warmly welcomed.

Just In Case You Missed It The First Time….

To interpret scripture well, Steve suggests that we should ask the following questions that make up the ‘Eight Key Principles’ document:

1. How does this passage or story relate to other contemporary writings from surrounding nations and cultures? Is it using literary techniques such as allegory, hyperbole, metaphor or parable to make its point? How does it relate to other examples of the same genre from outside the bible? What does it have in common with them? What is different, distinctive and unique about it?

2. What were the cultural customs, pre-understandings and preconceptions of the day?

3. What events and attitudes were shaping the author(s) world?

4. Why did the author(s) find it important to tell this story?

5. What does this passage/story tell us about how the author(s) understood who they were?’

6. What does this passage/story tell us about the author(s) understanding of God at that time?

7. How does this passage/story/book fit into the library we know as the Bible?

8. What would Jesus’ comment be on this passage or story?

Let us know how you get on. We hope that you find them useful

Jesus and Virtue Ethics

If we agree that Jesus, the full revelation of Yahweh, is our lens for understanding the rest of the Bible and our guide for establishing our framework to wrestle with the array of moral issues which confront us in every community and generation, we have to continually seek to grapple with who Jesus is and the character, virtues and responses he demonstrated.

What are the virtues of Jesus?

And how can they help guide us as we approach issues and moral dilemmas that the Bible doesn’t speak to?

The Biblical Cat is Out of the Fundamentalist Bag?

“Once a conversation about the bible gets started, it’s hard to stop. That was true 500 years ago when the reformation was brewing, and it’s true today….”

Above is the opening paragraph to Brian McLaren’s challenging blog piece, urging us to rethink and reconsider how we view the bible and how we interpret its teachings.

He also shares some thoughts on Steve’s latest article ‘Restoring Confidence in the Bible’, describing it as ‘bold’ and ‘important.’

The full article ‘The Biblical Cat is Out of the Fundamentalist Bag’  is available to read on Brian’s blog.

2 Samuel Vs 1 Chronicles

2 Samuel 24:1 is clear:

“Again the anger of the LORD burned against Israel, and he incited David against them, saying, ‘Go and take a census of Israel and Judah.”

However, 1 Chronicles 21:1 speaks of exactly the same event, but takes a very different view:

‘Satan rose up against Israel’ it asserts, ‘and incited David to take a census of Israel’’

  • How do you interpret the difference in these two texts?
  • Can both accounts be right?
  • If not, why are they different?
  • If one of the texts is wrong, why was it included?
  • What can we learn for the inconsistency?

Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.