Church of the Resurrection Insights Blog Genesis 17:9-14, Acts 15:4-19
Early Christians struggled with understanding scripture as much as we do today. One of our early African fathers, Origen of Alexandria (c. 184-253 CE), challenged his fellow Christians who insisted on literal interpretation only, saying they weren’t honoring the layered depth of scripture that God invites us to dive into.
But even the very first generation of Christians struggled with some of the rules in scripture that no longer seemed to apply. For example, the commandment to circumcise no longer made sense for brand-new gentile (non-Jewish) Christians. This was a big controversy for the earliest Christians – how much of scripture was binding and how much was so burdensome that it actually worked against God’s own desires for people? Ultimately, in Acts 15, Christian leaders allow these new Christians to disregard most of the Torah. A shocking yet life-giving move.
The Bible is not above God and God’s love for the world. We take the Bible seriously when we engage it with our whole selves, with our best thinking and our best loving, together. We can trust the struggle of engaging scripture, wondering and asking questions. God the Word meets us here!
The final test of our fidelity to the Bible is not having all the answers or proving we are right, but showing that we love. So we are invited to wonder, ask, investigate, listen, linger, challenge, rest. Let the Bible be alive!