A Colossal Mistake

My son Cody, at age thirteen, picked up a Bible and started reading. Later that evening, he announced, “Hey, I thought this would be a lot of preaching, but it’s a great story.”

Whatever the Bible may be to whomever, there’s no denying it’s a story. And having been a fan of stories from age two, a student of stories from age six, a writer of stories from age thirteen, and from age twenty-something a holder of several degrees in the study of stories from one angle and another, I feel it’s about time to offer my take on the Bible.

Suppose it’s the directly dictated word of God; or a literal history; or a collection of tales from a variety of sources; or a life-instruction manual. Or suppose it’s a work of fiction in the sense that it doesn’t mean to be read as fact but as a dramatized reflection of truth.

Most of us who have studied literature during high school or beyond have at least once been annoyed by a teacher giving us what he claimed was the only way to read a certain work.

As a writer, I don’t care how anyone reads my stories as long as they gain from them what I intend. If I write to entertain, as long as they are entertained, I’m satisfied. If I write to honor a certain type of character, if they admire the character, I’m content.

So from the creator’s angle (meaning whoever we deem the Bible’s creator or creators to be), I’ll argue that as long as readers receive what the creator intended, they have done the creation justice.

And what does the Bible intend to do? Unless I’m sorely mistaken, that’s simple enough. The Bible intends to bring people closer to the creator and more in harmony with each other.

Meaning, whatever genre someone might consider the Bible, as long as it works toward those intended goals, I believe the creator would be pleased.

Maybe I’m a heretic. Still, I’ll point out that an attitude like mine can eliminate a lot of bickering, bullying, and smugness that convince too many people not to read the Bible at all. Which is a colossal mistake.

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4 comments on “A Colossal Mistake
  1. tjustincomer says:

    One of my favorite ‘revelations’ from the Bible came when comparing the first two and last two chapters of the Bible together. The first two have darkness (called night) and sea, the last two do not. The first two has a Garden, the last two have a City. The first two have a river that turns into four, the last two have a river from the throne of God. The first two have two trees (life and knowledge of good and evil), the last two have two trees (both trees of life). The first two have man placed in the Garden and given purpose to rule, the last two have man placed in the City and given purpose to rule with Christ. The first two have immense beauty and sinlessness, the last two have immense beauty and sinlessness. The question is, how do we go from the Garden to Zion? The answer, in your own words, would be, “to bring people closer to the creator and more in harmony with each other.” I agree. For that is the whole of what it means to serve.
    Grace and peace, dear sister. I send blessings from Ohio =)

  2. gsgorsuch says:

    Ken,

    Well stated.

    Greg Gorsuch

  3. cheryllynn51 says:

    Love the simplicity of this truth. It also relaxes my anxiety that I have to somehow pour out a huge truth with each book, each theme. Thanks