If the Bible were still being written

August 10, 2011

I’m always intrigued when I’m reminded of some of the background stories (context) behind the actual words of the Bible. John’s famous line “God is love” was born of out of a messy leadership conflict (1 John 4:8). Paul’s unifying dictum “you are all one in Christ” addressed social and racial tensions (Gal. 3:28). The book of Revelation wasn’t written to inspire a whole industry of apocalyptic ‘art’ (I use that term very loosely!), but addressed those first Christians who literally faced death for their decision to place Jesus as Lord. I could go on and on. 

And really, we shouldn’t be surprised when we we’re confronted by such messiness. History, and our own lives for that matter, tells a story full of conflict and struggle. I take comfort knowing the themes of scripture arise from a world not unlike our own. 

From this idea, a hypothetical question recently came to mind: 

If the bible was still being written, which issues or stories would be addressed? 

I’m not asking this to delve into issues of the closed biblical canon. I have a pretty strong confidence in the decisions made by the early church fathers in the first 300+ years of church history. No, I just think it’s an intriguing question. The Bible addressed specific places, people, and situations. I can relate to that. So, which people, places, and situations would be addressed today? 

I’d love to hear your responses. I’ll post a follow-up later in the week.

Originally posted at Considerations.


The Bible Today

I think if it were written today there would be a letter to the modern-day Church or to the Church of the West addressing how we've treated those in need of the gospel--people who were not like us because of their race, gender, ethnicity, sexual preference, etc. I think it would address our allegiance or attempt at allegiance to both God and country. I also would like to think it would address our priorities like large church buildings and marketing programs vs. reaching out to the communities in which we're planted, reaching the poor, etc.

unity unity unity

Yes, I think you're right on with pushing us to change our priorities, especially in the West. Unity in Christ is a timeless theme of the NT, but should be applied to our specific situations lest we simply throw it around as some sort of abstract mantra that ends up making little or no difference.

Look for my follow-up post soon...

If the Bible were still being written today

About four years ago it suddenly hit me that the experience Saul of Tarsus had on the way to Damascus resembled a flashback. I then pursued the story in Acts and discovered that the events closely followed the description of the characteristics of the Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. I could not have done that before about the prior ten years; sufficient research on PTSD had simply not been done.
Looking at the biographical account of Saul - evolving into Paul and then the Apostle Paul - not only the sequence of the writing of the Pauling letters make themselves evident - but also some of the beliefs the founding fathers accepted in the following centuries become open to a new perspective.
One factor in this, for instance, became more and more evident: a woman's perspective had to be respected. The book will come out as coauthored by my wife, a clinical social worker.
Robert Collie

lacking in resources???

Your project makes me wonder how the countless squabbles of the Early Church would have been handled if they had the same clinical resources at your disposal that we do. Yet with all our expertise and resources I'm not sure we've ever really gotten past the same basic human issues of dysfunction and conflict we see in so much of the Early Church...