The Bible: Fire or Toast?

If we’re honest, though, we don’t always experience the Bible as a dramatic and powerful force in our lives. Most people, after reading the Gospels, don’t go and sell all their possessions and devote themselves to a monastic community or a life of itinerant preaching like Francis and Antony. Nor does Scripture always seem to crash into our imagination the way it did for Ann Griffiths, soaring through her soul and bursting out in poetic ecstasy. And long before the ministry of Martin Luther King Jr., throughout the decades leading up to the American civil rights movement, the Bible had been widely read and discussed, but it hadn’t caused many people to reshape their views on justice for African Americans or other minority groups. In fact, in previous generations the Bible had been vigorously used to defend slavery and the subjugation of the “sons of Ham” (that is, people of African descent). The Bible clearly has the potential to provoke the most radical and far-reaching changes in individuals, societies and nations. And yet equally clearly, the Bible is read day after day by countless numbers of people, and shared Sunday by Sunday in millions of churches around the world, without that change being widely experienced.

Chris Webb. The Fire of the Word: Meeting God on Holy Ground (Renovare Resources) (Kindle Locations 278-285). Kindle Edition.

“Why not?” I wonder.

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