The Bible continues to be an important and central concern within the Christian faith. It is also a subject of concern, especially in regard to its violence, for many outside, as well as inside, the tradition.
For those who are raised as Bible-believing evangelicals, it is important to read and be familiar with the entire Bible (cover to cover) and especially to know the New Testament stories and teaching of Jesus and the apostles. Many evangelicals, conservatives, fundamentalists, and charismatic/pentecostal Christians read the Bible devotionally either alone or in groups.
Liberal Christians have sometimes struggled to continue taking the Bible seriously once they stopped reading it literally. Once you start using words like allegory, metaphor and myth … it can be difficult to see those texts as significant, informative, or relevant to modern life.
Many progressive voices have recently begun to talk about the Bible in some new and interesting ways.
These resources are helping lots of people reconsider their views on the Bible and their relationship to scripture. It is crucial to know about the Bible and it can be very helpful to know about different views regarding the text.
What we are up to here at Progressive Bible Study is a little different. We have come to a point in our spiritual journey where we have learned a lot about the Bible and we want to actually read the Bible. There are lots of podcasts and books about the Bible, we love them and have learned so much from them. Now it is time to read the Bible again – as progressive Christians.
Many of us know how we don’t want to read the Bible but we have never figured out an alternative. It is not easy work and it can’t be done alone. Scripture was meant to be read in community and to be applied not just personally but interpersonally.
Join us as we read the Bible together through a progressive lens. This is an experiment for some of us who want to move beyond talking about the Bible and actually read the Bible together to see what it says again.
We want to read the Bible again as adults with an eye to the world as it is and with our minds and hearts fully engaged. We want to avoid the classic traps of a wooden, one-dimensional reading that ignores the genre of the text and trying to pretend that the 1st century can just be imported and imposed on the 21st century.
As progressive Christian we know that the world has changed and that history has had its effect. That doesn’t mean that the Bible is irrelevant and unimportant. We want scripture to inform our faith and practice – we just know that it will take a little bit of work to translate it for our cultural and historic context.
We are willing to do the hard work because we believe it will be worth the effort.