Bible as Ammunition, or Mirror?

It’s really funny for me when people who have never read the Bible expect it to be a book of philosophy. After all, multiple religions use it as their founding document. You’d expect it to be like those religions: systematic, sterile, high-brow philosophy. That’s what I expected.

Image courtesy of le vent le cri

Don’t get me wrong, there are some philosophical parts in there. And many philosophical points can be inferred from the stories, laws, and songs that are in the Bible. But there are these huge sections of the Bible that read like the gossip section of a trailer park periodical. People getting pregnant by their father, spiritual leaders legalizing prostitution and building strip clubs, 8-year olds assuming leadership of an entire country, lying, cheating, stealing, and embezzling. Prophets telling fart jokes. Not exactly Socrates, this book.

And sometimes these stories of wickedness are not even expressly called wicked. They just relate what happened, and move on without overtly condemning the actions. Kind of the opposite of how good, upstanding, religious folks tell stories of wickedness.

Yeah, the Bible is tough to fit in your box. It’s certainly not safe for kids to read, and above all, it’s not philosophy. It’s the story of God rescuing a broken people. Don’t look to it for philosophical ammunition, look to it to find a Jesus big enough to save even horribly wicked people like David, Abraham, Rahab, Paul, Jonah, Mary Magdalene, and you. The Bible is a mirror for your wicked heart, and mine.

Once you find all the philosophical ammunition to win a high brow debate, it might be too late to notice that all the guns are pointing at you.