Formation episode 17 - The Bible: Wisdom text or instruction manual?

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In this episode we begin a series on the bible, and we begin with a reflection on what kind of book (or collection of books) the bible is, and what this means for the way we read it and how helpful it might be for us. The bible is a curious thing and we all have a different relationship with it. Some of us might love everything about it, some of us might know we’re supposed to love it but are not really sure what to do with it, some of us might have loved it in the past but aren’t so sure anymore, some of us might have had quite negative experiences of either reading scripture or the way it has been used by others. For some people, the use of scripture has been traumatic, for a variety of reasons.

So how do we move forward in healthy ways? Perhaps it begins with recognising that the kinds of things that the authors of scripture are wrestling with are in many respects the same we wrestle with now. They’re couched in different contexts and different language, but it’s often the same journey. Whether it’s how we deal with conflict, about what we believe lies at the heart of fundamental reality, about what we believe is central to the human experience, about how to negotiate our own demons, our jealousies, anger, rage, anxiety, worries, loves, relationships. And what we find here is wisdom, and a journey to enter into, rather than a divine set of instructions and commands for life.

Clint Gibson