"The Bible Is Dangerous"

The quote above (the heading for this post) grabbed my attention this afternoon as I was reading. Paul Fromont points to a short, almost bullet-point-like post by Andy Goodliff on the Bible:

...I'm not interested in reading the bible as if it were a text book or an instruction manual. Let's stop pretending we all know how to read the bible. The bible is not a book to be studied. The bible is not a book that can be mastered. The great tragedy of the bible study is it has made the bible dull and boring. The great worry of the bible study is we've turned the bible into a weapon against those who interpret it differently. The bible study has created as many infallible popes as there are Christians, all who believe that they are right because their bible says this or that. The bible is a book to be wrestled with. The bible is a dangerous, world-changing, life-altering text that is out to transform the reader...
Both Paul and Andy point out that the Bible is life-changing and unsettling - dangerous. I can agree, especially in context of some of the sayings of Jesus that we've been reading at church (also known as "The Beatitudes"):
 Blessed are the poor in spirit, 
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called sons of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say
all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because
great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the
prophets who were before you.
  From Matthew 5, NIV

The stuff Jesus said above doesn't make much sense in real life - rejoice when you are picked on??? Perhaps that should be filed along with other wise but hollow sayings. But Jesus meant for this teaching to be applied. This is one of the many things that make the Bible "dangerous", in my opinion.

It's worth looking at the rest of Matthew 5 to see how counter-common-sense/anti-current-thinking Jesus' teaching is.

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