Why do people who pile into movie theaters on a Friday evening complain that the Bible is boring on a Sunday morning? One reason, and I stress ONE reason, is that we have not rightly been convinced that the Bible is a compelling story.
If our view of Scripture is akin to Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth then I doubt very seriously that we will be compelled to open its pages. At least not until something goes wrong.
I’m one of those guys that attempts a project without the instruction manual. Key word in that sentence is “attempts”. I typically read them after the project is “finished” and I’m holding an extra part in my hand. Or I consult a week or so later when the whole thing topples in on itself because that extra piece really wasn’t an extra piece.
If we view the Bible like an instruction manual then we won’t pick it up until we have significant trouble in our lives. And even then it likely will be misread; rather than seeing Christ you’ll see “answers”. In fact any answer will often do. Occasionally, we consult this instruction book just to reassure ourselves that we are doing just fine in our project. Then we go back to building our piece of junk and don’t consult the manual again until the wheels fall off.
Do you realize how hard it is to convince people to find Life in the Scriptures when this is our view? Or to convince them to attend your Bible study? It’s like trying to convince people that if they want to really enjoy food they should become acquainted with their refrigerator’s manual of operation. That’s just silly.
What if instead we started viewing it as a compelling story told by the Creator of the universe or as a drama that is acted out and then explained by God about God? (I’m indebted to Michael Lawrence for that thought).
I’m convinced that a good number of people piling into movie theaters on a Friday night are doing so because they are looking for story. Not everyone mind you. But story is powerful. And we have the most compelling story ever told—the story that all stories comes from—but we’ve decided to sell it as an instruction booklet.
So, please…Let’s stop it!
Originally posted here.