The Bible as Manipulative Tool

The Bible is God’s inspired word. Yet, it has been used by unprepared, foolish, and evil men. Instead of a means to renewal it has been used to destroy lives and to offer a false Gospel. The first matter to be considered when the Bible is at the center of a community is the matter of its applicability/livability. The Bible, to use Eugene Peterson’s famous language, “is to be eaten.” We don’t actually use the Bible, we live in the Bible. What we do as those who depend on its truth is incarnate it in our rhetoric and re-live its drama in our lives. Chuck DeGroat meditates on this idea of using the Bible and his reaction is similar:

How do I use Scripture?  It’s the wrong question.  We can ask, “How do I use an empty chair technique?” or “How might I use my own story to build trust?”  No, we don’t use Scripture.  We live in it, we breathe it, we are immersed in it (see Eugene Peterson’s Eat this Book).  I suspect a fish wouldn’t ask, “How do I use the water in my tank?”

The Bible is the word of the living God. But the Bible in the hands of man who do not live in its story establishes a precedent for abuse and misuse. We have seen too much of that. It’s to time to feast in it. Eat it. Consume it. And then proclaim it boldly.

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