I Still Believe in the Bible

With all the failures of the Church, with all the mistakes of leaders, with all the confusion across years and cultures, I still believe in the Bible.

I believe the heart of the Bible beats wild and free inside its binding, no matter how many times it is held down or torn apart or thrown across a room. It is a living Word whose breath bursts through any attempts to suffocate it.

I believe when the living Word joins forces with the living Spirit and flows into living hearts, something is unleashed unlike any other power in this world.

I have been afraid to admit this. Fearful of this belief being my voice. Unsure what box would be placed around me after this sort of declaration. Nervous about saying things in such a way that I might drive the nails into that box myself.

But my fear is no longer strong enough to hold back this fire within my bones.

I still believe in the Bible. I still believe this ancient Book can speak new things to humanity, even on the thousandth reading of a text. I still believe the Scriptures have power to change lives, transform hearts, and speak into the deepest crevices of our souls.

I still believe in the Bible
I still believe in the Bible

That doesn’t mean I believe the Bible is easy. Or clear. I believe the Bible is often frustrating, and usually confusing, but absolutely worth wrestling through. We cannot give up.

Which is why I believe we need each other. We need a community that reads and shares about the Scriptures with one another. We need academics to show us context, artists to show us beauty, doubters to show us questions, servants to show us surrender, and visionaries to show us inspiration.

I believe the life surging from God’s Word is meant to make its way into the world through every wrinkle, mole, joint, muscle, and bone of the Body of Christ. I believe the Bible is meant to be the lifeblood for each of us: anchoring us, encouraging us, and spurring us forth to the beautiful lives God desires for His beloveds.

I still believe in the Bible. I intend to spend my life cracking it open, breathing it in, and letting its life flow from me.

How do you feel about the Bible these days? Have you seen it change lives?


Where is Jesus?

Where is Jesus in Psalm 79?


Is Jesus there, somewhere, in the midst of the blood and vengeance and anger that seem so contrary to His teachings? Can we see Him underneath it all if we look carefully for Him?


Is He there as a lover? As One who dies sacrificially on our behalf, because without him, we can’t climb out of the mess of our brokenness?


They have poured out blood like water all around Jerusalem, and there is no one to bury the dead. –Psalm 79:3


Is He there as an empathizer? As One who knows how it feels when blood is spilt and God seems to have turned His back?


We are objects of contempt to our neighbors, of scorn and derision to those around us.

How long, Lord? Will you be angry forever? How long will your jealousy burn like fire? –Psalm 79:4-5


Is He there as a companion? As One who is present to love and listen when we are in the midst of our pain?


Pour out your wrath on the nations that do not acknowledge you, on the kingdoms that do not call on your name; for they have devoured Jacob and devastated his homeland. –Psalm 79:6-7


Is He there as a grace-giver? As One who hears the heart behind our requests, even if the words themselves are ugly?


Do not hold against us the sins of past generations; may your mercy come quickly to meet us, for we are in desperate need. –Psalm 79:8


Is He there as an advocate? As One who holds up pleas for mercy and help on our behalf when our own arms are giving way?


Pay back into the laps of our neighbors seven times the contempt they have hurled at you, Lord. –Psalm 79:12


Is He there as a transformer? As One who takes our desire for revenge and tells us to forgive not seven but seventy seven times?


Help us, God our Savior, for the glory of your name; deliver us and forgive our sins for your name’s sake. –Psalm 79:9


Is He there as an answer? As One who embodies the mercy, forgiveness, and help we ask for, not matter the context?


Is Jesus present in this Psalm, underneath all the raw and ugly words of vengeance, as the Word itself? As One who speaks life back to us when we speak words of death to Him?


Can we find Jesus even here?


Over the weekend, I had the privilege of hearing Greg Boyd speak about how he believes Jesus is the lens through which we should view all Scripture. This is my attempt to put that into practice with a Psalm I would have preferred to skip over if I could.


That was my reflection on Psalm 79. Please link up with your reflection below. Or add a comment: How do you see Christ present in this Psalm? Then, come back next week to reflect on Psalm 80. (Email & RSS readers, click over to my website to add your link or read the links of others.)