Spiritual Sounding Board – This is your place to gather and share in an open format.
Discussion: The Blue Parakeet by Scott McKnight
From Chapter 1, “The Book and I”
What I learned was an uncomfortable but incredibly intriguing truth: Every one of us adopts the Bible and (at the same time) adapts the Bible to our culture. In less-appreciated terms, I’ll put it this way: Everyone picks and chooses. I know this sounds out of the box and off the wall for many, but no matter how hard we try to convince ourselves otherwise, it’s true. We pick and choose. (It’s easier for us to hear “we adopt and adapt,” but the two expressions amount to the same thing.)
I believe many of us want to know why we pick and choose. Even more importantly, many of us want to know how to do this in a way that honors God and embraces the Bible as God’s Word for all times. We’ll get to that. First, I offer some examples of picking and choosing, or “adopting and adapting.”
The examples given for picking and choosing include:
- Sabbath – Observing the Sabbath meant not working from Friday night to Saturday night (Exodus 20:9-10; references also in Acts). Most Christians today observe the Sabbath on Sunday which includes worship and fellowship. True Sabbath meant resting from work.
- Tithing – The Bible does not insist that all tithe must go to the local church. Moses taught that the tithe was not only to go to the Levites but also to the alien, to the fatherless, and to the widow.
- Foot washing – Jesus commanded foot washing in John 13:14. How many Christians practice this regularly?
- Surrendering possessions – Jesus told his disciples in Luke 14:33 and Luke 12:33 that they must give up everything to follow him.
- Contentious issues – i.e. Calvinism vs. Arminianism, the relevance today of charismatic gifts, ordaining women, the type of music played in church, and which view of the second coming is biblical.
Do you recognize that there are areas of the Bible that you pick and choose to follow?
Why do you think people focus on certain areas in the Bible yet chose to ignore the rest?
Because all parts of the Bible were written during a certain time period and to a specific people/culture, how does one read it today for our time and culture?
You have set your glory above the heavens. From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise because of your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger.
When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him? You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor.
You made him ruler over the works of your hands; you put everything under his feet: all flocks and herds, and the beasts of the field, the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea, all that swim in the paths of the seas.
O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!
Proverbs 11: 8
The righteous man is rescued from trouble, and it comes on the wicked instead.
May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you: wherever he may send you;
may he guide you through the wilderness: protect you from the storm;
may he bring you home rejoicing: at the wonders he has shown you;
may he bring you home rejoicing: once again into our doors.
Feel free to join the discussion.
You can share your church struggles and concerns.
Let’s also use it as a time to encourage one another spiritually.
What have you found spiritually encouraging lately?
Do you have any special Bible verses to share, any YouTube songs that you have found uplifting?
Photo credit: Kathi – Disney Springs, Orlando, FL