If you really want to know the deep dark secret is of “what I’m trying to prove,” I’m gonna tell you. In this post. So get your cameras ready.
There is no question about it: most people who sign up for my “40 Things” Bible class start wondering where in the world I’m going after about lesson 3. I raise the question of “What is a canon?” and I eventually get to the question, “Just whose idea is canon?” People who start out excited, sometimes get scared, or angry, or concerned–and they quit. And they don’t ever get to the really good stuff–which is after lesson 10. But 1-10 is foundational and must be covered—–up front. I hide nothing from you.
Nobody wants to be misled. I don’t, and I know you don’t. That is why learning to search, to question, to evaluate, and to face tough topics is such an important thing for Christians to do. And that is why I put the controversial stuff right up front. If you’re willing to think with me, we might just all learn something together.
But when somebody joins this group and writes to me demanding to know the gritty details of just what I’m up to, what church I go to, what I really believe: I won’t tell them anything. I’ve already been more transparent on my websites about such things than anybody reading the websites. Some people want to know ahead of time whether I pass inspection. So let’s answer that: if you have to ask, then I likely don’t. So, you can either leave—or you could just listen for a while and evaluate what is being said.
That’s something that many Christians are not very good at: evaluating ideas on the basis of the worth of the ideas.
I have been asked what new church I’m trying to start? What crazy cult do I hail from or am I instigating? One person said “I thought you were a crazy atheist just trying to get attention.” Well, I hate to disappoint, but I don’t make or drink Kool Aid—in fact, I don’t even drink coffee! (which is actually funny). I have no interest whatsoever in starting a new church. That would be like having another kid to raise–and after nine of those I’m quite happy not to do that any more. (I love all my kids! And I don’t want any more.)
So what is the secret that I’m hiding? What am I not telling you?
The truth is–and I hope you’re ready for this–the honest truth is . . . I just want to help people study the Bible better. I’m not so much after what you believe, that is between you and God. I’m more concerned to challenge you about how you get there (present tense). Are you going to a church? Good. Keep going! I’m not in competition with any church, any school, any website, or any group that meets anywhere. I simply want to help people around the world study the Bible better! That’s my dirty little secret! (Isn’t that scary?) As a matter of fact, I’m not only not a threat to anyone, I’m trying to be a “conversation partner” to any serious searcher.
And by the way, if you read my book (Scripture, Canon, & Inspiration) I am NOT attacking the Bible! If that is what you think, you are not really reading it! I definitely do challenge what a lot of people think about the Bible, but that is a far cry from attacking the Bible! As a matter of fact, I am (and my book is) a strong advocate of the inspiration of the ancient scriptures. Although I refuse to blame God for any particular Christian canon (and I believe that you should refuse to do that too), I strongly advocate that God can work through any of those Christian canons to the glory of Jesus as Lord. And that (Jesus as KURIOS: LORD) is the central issue.
Ok, now you know my secret. I believe that Jesus is LORD. It once was a mystery, hidden. But now you know.