The bible and The Shack

Someone made my day a few days ago when he said, “Geoff, I’ve been bringing the bible to work and trying to read some on my breaks. How do you do choose what to read?”

Hearing that was better than catching 10 oversize snook in a day on lures. It really was. By the way, don’t comment that I look like a dork in the picture with my top button buttoned. I already know I do. But safety first.

But this phone call was especially welcome on a week which I started reading a book called The Shack. This is a book I don’t recommend, but am reading it because so many people are. As far as a story goes, I’ve enjoyed it like the Da Vinci code. But here’s an excerpt that exposes an underlying presupposition which I can’t support:

“In seminary he had been taught that God had completely stopped any overt communication with moderns, preferring to have them only listen to and follow sacred Scripture, properly interpreted, of course. God’s voice had been reduced to paper, and even that paper had to be moderated and deciphered by the proper authorities and intellects. It seemed that direct communication with God was something exclusively for the ancients and uncivilized, while educated Westerners’ access to God was mediated and controlled by the intelligentsia. Nobody wanted God in a box, just in a book…..”

Ultimately, the point is that God’s Word is not sufficient for us today. We need some sort of direct personal encounter that is not limited to God’s Word. What those look like I don’t know (can they go against His written Word, should they even be tested against the written word?); I just started reading. Does God still speak through his written Word today? If so, how? How intelligent do I have to be read and understand the bible? Is it bad to have people help me interpret the bible? I’ll be visiting these questions in future posts.

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