It’s a simple question with epic consequences: Is the Bible for real? If the Bible is not for real then at best it’s the collective wisdom of a Near Eastern tribe refined over thousands of years. If the Bible is not for real then the best it can do for us is provide insight into the human soul. If the Bible is not for real then it’s just a huge self-help book so confusing, its most fervent advocates cannot agree on exactly how a person should use it.
Of course, if the Bible is for real, then everything changes. If the Bible is for real, then Someone created this world we live in; it’s not a mathematically unlikely accident. If the Bible is for real then what we call ‘human history’ is really the sub-text to a larger story involving the relationship between humanity and this Creator. If the Bible is for real, then Jesus of Nazareth wasn’t just a Jewish carpenter who was unusually wise for his age and who gave great advice we can choose to listen to today.
I’m not saying you should believe and understand everything you read in the Bible the first time you read it, and I’m not advocating a literal reading of the Bible. I am saying that if the Bible is for real, we should take it seriously. How can you know if you are taking the Bible seriously? Here are three examples:
- You take Scripture seriously when you believe it has the power to give life to a person as surely as childbirth..
- You take Scripture seriously when you believe that ignoring Scripture is like ignoring the Surgeon General’s warning on a pack of cigarettes.
- You take Scripture seriously when you wrestle with it the way you wrestle with grief at the death of a loved one.
I want to take Scripture seriously. I don’t want to treat it like a Rule Book or a History Book. When I open the Bible I want to take seriously the fact that the One called Yahweh, Jesus Christ, and Holy Spirit is trying to talk with me today, in real-time. I want to take Him seriously.