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I’m paging through a travel magazine that features safaris in Africa. The pictures are stunning …  and normally I would find these images very engaging, yet I skim through the magazine with little interest. The reason is simple: I’m sitting a few feet away from a camp fire overlooking a vast african landscape. The magazine is thrown to one side as I notice the elephants that have just arrived at the watering hole, about 50 meters in front of us. Being in the middle of this experience renders the magazine irrelevant.

Reading the Bible has often been like paging through a travel magazine for many of us. Pictures of exotic places and larger-than-life characters are painted with such vibrant colors in these pages. But these stories can soon become pale and lifeless if we do not discover our involvement in them. My desire with this series of articles is to show you a way of reading the scriptures that will pull you out of spectator-mode into participator-mode.

We can read the Bible in search of wisdom and inspiration … and we may find it there. But how vast the difference between trying to find something in the text and finding yourself inserted into a living narrative … invited into a vibrant conversation where your contribution is expected and valued.

There are however a number of obstacles that can hinder us from experiencing scripture in this way. I have stumbled over a few of them, most often without knowing it. Our ideas about the scriptures are often the very obstacles that keeps us from understanding the ideas in scripture.

And so the first thing I need to do is share some of the mistakes I have made in reading the sacred text, mistakes that were very difficult to identify because they were so well hidden under sincere motives and pious cliches.

So the first part of this series will focus on deconstructing some popular ideas about the Bible. During this phase it might be easy to forget the actual intention – discovering ourselves as part of this living narrative – but stay with me, in the second phase we will reconstruct a new framework of reading and interpreting scripture that will make such participation possible.

The first sacred cow to be slaughtered: the doctrine of inerrancy. That will be the subject of the next article. (New articles every Tuesday and Thursday)

23 Responses to “Inserted Into a Living Narrative Part 1 in The Scriptures Series

    • Paul Seville on

      I have had a hard job getting a good understanding when reading the Bible i feel that i am missing so much, so i am Looking forward to it with an expectant heart. Paul

      Reply
  1. wayne rogers on

    This sounds very exciting Andre! I have been encouraging folks to be “active” participants with God in our daily lives; not just “waiting ” for the Spirit to move us or work through us. Every small or large act of living kindness, compassion or love is the kingdom on earth. It doesn’t have to make the news; it just makes the new. The trivial, the mundane can be and are the divine because we are in action. It’s all Holy ground!

    Reply
  2. Dean Delker on

    I don’t remember ever hearing as beautiful, enticing and masterful an introduction to a series of deconstructions as this. Thanks for the injection of hope I know is to come.

    Reply
  3. Kay on

    Awesomeness! Eagerly anticipating the freshness and beauty that pours from your heart thru the pen and for our absortion…I can hear my spirit say yummy, just like it does after I have warm soft baked chocolate chip cookie and coffee! Have the best day Rabe’s!

    Reply
  4. Andrea T on

    I can’t wait to start reading these articles. A living narrative is what I believe we are in this world. I look forward to correcting my mistakes in reading Scriptures, too!

    Reply
  5. Kelly Arceneaux on

    Always love to explore with you! So looking forward to more diconstruction and metanoia in this series and the academy. Thank you my friend for always challenging me and not letting us get stagnant in our thoughts and lives!

    Reply
  6. Anton Reisig on

    Andre you had me at “Being in the middle of this experience renders the magazine irrelevant” This is so true, looking forward to reading more !

    Reply
  7. Rudy Z. on

    Sure looking forward to this series of posts, Andre. And I, too, was stunned at the beauty of the wildlife in front of us there near Kruger.

    Excited about the new course, too!

    Reply
  8. Jan Young on

    Wow, this sounds absolutely fascinating! Can’t wait to keep reading these emails. We still talk about your visit to Long Beach, CA. It was amazing. So glad you’re enjoying time to “be creative” – this is the medium for reaching many more than personal visits. Although hearing and seeing you and your beautiful wife was fabulous. Thank you again, Jan

    Reply
  9. Andrea Joss on

    Quite challenging, if you translate the proposition “Being in the middle of this experience renders the magazine irrelevant” to the bible. Did you really mean to say that being in the middle of the experience would render the bible irrelevant? Looking forward to reading on, Andre! How awesome to be part of the discussion.

    Reply
  10. Debbie Birch on

    We as a church organism have not known we were stuck in the ‘written word’ mode –
    how exciting to realize that the ‘Living Word’ mode is here and available – Jesus!!!!
    Andre – Can’t wait my friend!!!!!

    Reply

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