The Bible is not for you or me?

I’m wrestling with an idea at the moment.  The idea is simple but has grand implications.  What if the Bible was not written for me?  I have to admit.  I did not come to this thought on my own.  Right now I am reading Matt Chandlers new book “The Explicit Gospel.”  I have to be honest, I don’t understand why  Christian’s are not getting as uptight about this book as we did about a certain book about hell that came out a few months ago.

In his book Chandler is shaking the very foundation of most of modern-day evangelical teaching.  The idea that all of the Bible is written to guide and direct our lives.  That we are the supreme completion of God’s creation, and at the end times we will be glorified. 

Chandler sums up his point very well with one sentence, “What if the Bible isn’t about us at all?  What if we aren’t the story of God’s revelation?”  He contends that the end result of God’s revelation is to bring glory to himself.  He backs this claim up with not a few scriptures.

Ezek 2:5-9

Ps 106:8

Ex. 14:4, 18

John 7:18; 17:4

John 12:27-28

Ephesians 1:3-6

Matt. 5:16

1 Cor. 10:31

1 Peter 4:11

2 Thess.1:9-10 etc.


This is a radical idea to me that has many implications, and I’ll list just a few.

1) It means that God’s ultimate desire is not our salvation but his glory.

2) It means that we do not exist to be loved by God, but to love God.

3) It means that the Bible was not written as a road map for our lives, but as a book that shows who he is and why we should worship him.

This is vastly different from the, “You are the supreme end of God’s creation.” “The Bible is a road map to life,” and “You exist because God loves you.” teaching that I have heard and quite openly admit that I teach sometimes.

I understand that this is not the means to the end of Chandler’s book, but I do believe that this is a radically different teaching than what we are accustomed to, and as such it should be evaluated.  So what do you think?

Was the Bible created for you and I?


About jondrms

Hoping to finish well.
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3 Responses to The Bible is not for you or me?

  1. iamconley says:

    I have yet to read this book. It is in my stack. However, just reading what you have written I have to say it seems to echo some of the thoughts I have had. Lately I have really been wrestling with what Old Testament and New Testament writers were talking about when they say God loves us since love as we understand it today (romantic, heavily emotional) is a way of thinking and living that really didn’t become prominent until the Middle Ages when chivalry came to be. Naturally that take on love has evolved and engrained itself into our culture, and thus is part of the lens we read scripture with. I have yet to reach any sort of conclusion, but it is challenging the way I understand scripture. It’s actually what I want my next blog series to be about (if I ever get around to finishing the one I am in now, haha.)

  2. iamconley says:

    I have yet to read this book. It is in my every growing and unquenchable stack. However just based on your writing, I can see that there is a lot of stuff I have been wrestling with written here.

    Lately what I have been wrestling with is what Old Testament and New Testament writers alike meant when they talk about the love of God. I have tons of thoughts that I won’t flood your blog with on the subject (I am actually hoping to address it my next blog series should I ever finish the one I am doing now.) But the one thing I will share that has had me rethinking the way I view it is the notion that “love” as we know it and understand it in our culture today is rooted in romance, emotions, attraction, etc. This is a way of thinking that really didn’t come to be in culture until the Middle Ages and the rise of chivalry, meaning that our scriptures were written before romance flourished. However, since the middle ages, romance has evolved and engrained itself in our culture and thus become part of the lens we see everything through, including the scriptures. Does that mean we read into what the OT and NT writers mean by love? I don’t know. This is what I am wresting with and exploring.

  3. iamconley says:

    oops! thought i lost that first comment, so i tried again!

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