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Elevate Your View of the Bible

This week we asked the question: What about the Bible? 
If you missed the sermon, you can watch it back here.

As a person who is following Jesus, it's necessary for me to have an elevated view of the Bible. The only way for me to elevate my view of the Bible is to know what is true about it and approach it with the honor and respect that it deserves. It's not a rulebook, an owner's manual for life, a promise book, or a history book, so I can't approach it as such. The Bible we use at Afresh (as opposed to the Quran, Hebrew Bible, Catholic Bible, or Book of Mormon) is not really a book per se, but a library of 66 books, written by dozens of authors over a vast time period. Each book has a unique flavor, a unique purpose for why it was written, to whom it was written, and what the cultural implications were surrounding it. Each book first has to be approached in its original, historical, cultural context before we attempt to apply anything in it to our current, cultural, personal context. If not, we aren't respecting the intent of the author and in turn hold a demoted view of the Bible. Another thing we need to consider is the genre of the book. For instance, Psalms contains a lot of poetry, prose, and music, while other pieces in her collection are more of a journal entry peering into the soul of the Psalmist. Much of the New Testament (2nd half of the Bible) are letters written to individuals and/or church(es), so you have to realize you're reading someone else's mail from the first century and approach it as such. When we have an elevated view of the Bible, we approach each book in the respect of the genre it was written in, thus allowing us to then apply its truths appropriately. When we see these nuances that are painted throughout this collection of books we call the Bible, it brings out the beautiful colors of God and humanity that are on every page, transforming our hearts and minds to experience God in another's story while creating an empathetic love for humanity in return. The Bible deserves the integrity to be read with the respect of the culture, context, genre, intent, and beauty each book brings. When we have an elevated view of the Bible, we can see who God is and who we are at the same time, which makes it a unique book that comes to life when we allow it to do a work inside us.

Help me to see You on every page of the Bible and know who You want me to be through it.

I recommended two resources this weekend to help you in learning more about the topic of the Bible. Here they are for your convenience.

How the Bible Actually Works* by Pete Enns
View the Book

Making Sense of the Bible by Adam Hamilton
View the Book