I love the Bible and have spent much of the last two decades studying it both inside and outside of school. I teach it and I preach it.
But there are parts, especially in the Old Testament, that make me uncomfortable. It would be nice if it was all as beautiful as the 23rd Psalm but that is not the case.
When it comes to the Bible, is it a case of embracing all or nothing?
I need to be absolutely clear. I am NOT saying we should pick and choose what parts of the Bible we accept. Our personal preferences are not infallible.
What I am saying is that Gospel is specifically about the incarnation, the life and teachings, the death and resurrection of Jesus. This is the foundation on which Christian faith is built.
If we are struggling with the commands to kill the Canaanites or some of the capital crimes in the Torah, that shouldn’t shipwreck our faith.
Again I need to be clear. I am NOT saying we unhitch our faith from the Old Testament, although I probably coming from the same place as Andy Stanley.
What I am saying is that if we are confident in the identity and deeds of Jesus, we can take our time to work through the other stuff.
I get frustrated when I hear people leaving the faith because of a struggle with some Old Testament passage. I want to shake them and ask them, “Did Jesus die for our sins and rise from the dead?”
I am not saying that some of the Bible is inspired and and some is not. I am saying that we need to focus on Jesus and have some patience with ourselves as we figure out the rest.