I’m a recent convert from Christianity. I spent most of my life living like a standard Evangelical but, like many others, I had a crisis of faith in college. I pretended to be religious for a couple years around friends and family but it didn’t take long before the desire for honesty overcame the desire for an afterlife. All of this makes the process sound easy, but I can assure you, it was long, arduous and painful every step of the way.
Somewhere along the way, I was listening to a podcast called Unbelievable, which is an excellent religious debate program. I cannot remember who it was I heard say this (maybe someone can help me figure that out) but I remember hearing one guest say that they wished the Bible wasn’t a religious text because then people would be able to read it objectively and they would see how beautiful of a book it actually is. I didn’t think anything of this idea at first but it stuck with me in the back of my mind and recently, I decided it would be a fun project to read the Bible in full, and try to do so as objectively as I can, recording my progress along the way. Eventually, I decided, why not share my thoughts with the world by turning this project into a blog. So, I’ll be loosely following one of those “Bible-in-a-year” plans and writing my thoughts whenever I feel like they’re interesting or relevant.
What this project will NOT be…
As I said, I’m not a Christian, I don’t believe the Bible is divinely inspired, I don’t believe Jesus rose from the dead or that he’s God or anything like that. It should be obvious that I won’t be reading this for any sort of religious purposes. I don’t expect to be converted back to Christianity through this reading, I’m not trying to reread the Bible to find some sort of magic that I missed the first time around but for those of you that are convinced that I’ll be overwhelmed by the power of the holy spirit, stay tuned, I’m always open to being proven wrong.
However, this project will also not be a Bible-bashing project or a Bible-debunking project. This is not “Blogger DESTROYS the Bible with FACTS and LOGIC!” That’s just not what I do and much wiser writers have already done this elsewhere. I’m perfectly happy to sound off on some of the philosophical and scientific claims of the Bible if I find them to be relevant but it’s not my focus so if that’s what you’re looking for, you won’t find it here.
What this project WILL be…
I’m looking to learn something from the Bible. This book has encapsulated the lives of more people than any other book ever written. Like it or not, there has to be something worth reading here.
So I’m going to be reading the Bible as I would read any piece of mythology or literature. Many of the problems I have with the Bible come from the fact that people treat it as if it was handed down directly from God and not written by human beings. My hope is that reading the Bible the way it should be read will allow us to reclaim a lot of the important lessons without having to drag along all the baggage that comes with any book from ancient times. My hope is that by reading the Bible as is, without reading modern ideas or scientific claims into the text, we can begin to understand the people that read it, the times in which it was written, and, hopefully, we can begin to understand ourselves a little better too.
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