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A Time to Wonder

Others had said something similar. But it was during a dark time in my life that, through the novels and Unspoken Sermons of Scottish author and poet, George MacDonald (1824-1905), I began to take to heart— what I now believe to be some of the most helpful counsel and caution I’ve ever heard:

If, while reading the Bible, you come across something that doesn’t seem to rise to the level of a good and loving God, don’t feel compelled by faith or fear to embrace or reject it. Instead reserve judgment. Prayerfully wait for a better understanding.

Time and history seem to be on the side of humility when it comes to believing in God at the expense of our minds, hearts, or neighbors. Widely accepted interpretations of the Bible (regarding presumptions about a flat earth, a sun that revolves around us, race, slavery, the time of Jesus’ return, the silence of women etc) have turned out to be possible but not necessary ways of reading Scripture.

I am so grateful for the courage of those who, at the risk of their own reputation, have urged us to conclude that it is better to live with mystery—  and to wonder what we might be missing— than to embrace widely held, possible interpretations of Scripture (including possible but not necessary interpretations of the words of Jesus) that don’t rise to the level of One we would want to trust and love with all of our heart, strength, and mind.



























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101 Responses to “A Time to Wonder”

  1. foreverblessed says:

    How timely this topic came for me!
    I was reading a parable that Jesus gave:
    Luke 19:11-27 the 10 slaves and the 10 pounds.
    It is a wonderful parable,
    But…. Why is the end as it is:
    Luke 19:27
    That verse is troublesome to me.
    So I kept asking Jesus, what did You want to say with this, because You are not a revengefull God! It is not a description about You.

    So here is Mart’s topic,

    Thank you Mart

  • SFDBWV says:

    First of all I would like to thank Mart for attempting to fix BTA so we who are addicted to it can get our morning “fix”.

    BTA has gotten to be so much of a part of my day that when it’s on the blitz something just doesn’t seem right all the day long.

    Now as to the subject at hand.

    Speaking of course only for myself, it seems that with aging the messages and the understanding of Scripture changes with my own maturing.

    Remembering that there is a difference between maturing and aging.

    Out in my back yard I usually have volunteer sunflowers that crop up around the heart shaped rock that I feed on. They may survive if deer don’t come in and eat them while they try and grow, sometimes sadly as they begin to produce that bud or buds that will soon blossom into beauty is when the deer like to eat them the most.

    This year the deer one lone deer came in and ate all of them before they even had a chance to grow much higher than a couple feet.

    I have a couple old copper washtubs that Glenna used for flowers, and this year a lone sunflower has grown up out of it. It is in such a position that the deer couldn’t get to it so it was able to make it into its final stage of life. However, the washtub is too shallow for its root system so that even though it has grown up it is anemic stunted and its blossoms smaller.

    Jesus taught using nature and I see always a similarity in nature and the lives of people.

    Without the proper nutrients plants age, but don’t mature to their potential.

    I think the same applies to people and their understanding of Scripture.

    Smog and toxins will affect the growth of plants. Intellectual interferences and misinformation will also do the same to a developing mind.

    The very age a person is, sculpts the view they have of everything and as they age and that view changes, their view and interpretation of Scripture changes with them.

    However some never mature and some never mature to their potential and it all is about how they age. Even at what age they discover Christ.

    I often like to quote Billy Graham and while I am note actually quoting him now, I will say that an earlier Billy Graham was a stoic fire breather, but towards the end he was more like the comfort of a warm fire. His message about Christ remaining the same, but his outlook on some things took on a milder more sympathetic approach.

    I hope the site stays up, and we are able to learn together as we share where we each may be in the process of growing up in Christ.