Monday, February 12, 2007

Blogging the Bible

Do you remember the first time you did something?

Rode a bike? Encountered Jesus in a personal way? Kissed your spouse the first time?

Do you have the same zeal now as you did in the beginning?

My good friend Rick at The Mind of Rick is breaking out of a "mind rut" to rediscover and reevaluate what we do at church and why--all from the perspective of an enthusiastic beginner. What got him started was reading excerpts of Made To Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die by Chip and Dan Heath. One of his favorite quotes from the book:
"This is the Curse of Knowledge: Once we know something, we find it hard to imagine what it was like not to know it. Our knowledge has "cursed" us. And it becomes difficult for us to share our knowledge with others, because we can't readily re-create our listeners' state of mind."
When it comes to reading the Bible, sometimes our previous knowledge can keep us from discovering new truths. Which is why I'm enjoying reading entries from David Plotz's "Blogging the Bible" at

Plotz started his project in September of 2006, after hearing an unfamiliar story from Genesis 34:
Like many lax but well-educated Jews (and Christians), I have long assumed I knew what was in the Bible—more or less. I read parts of the Torah as a child in Hebrew school, then attended a rigorous Christian high school where I had to study the Old and New Testaments...

So, the (Genesis 34) tale of Dinah unsettled me, to say the least. If this story was strutting cheerfully through the back half of Genesis, what else had I forgotten or never learned? I decided I would, for the first time as an adult, read the Bible. And I would blog about it as I went along.
Plotz embarked on his journey freedly admitting he isn't a "scholar." And rather than trying to find every imaginable problem or so-called contradiction, Plotz says:
My goal is pretty simple. I want to find out what happens when an ignorant person actually reads the book on which his religion is based...I love Judaism; I love (most of) the lessons it has taught me about how to live in the world; and yet I realized I am fundamentally ignorant about its foundation, its essential document. So, what will happen if I approach my Bible empty, unmediated by teachers or rabbis or parents? What will delight and horrify me? How will the Bible relate to the religion I practice, and the lessons I thought I learned in synagogue and Hebrew School?
As of this moment, Plotz is blogging his way through Ezekiel (when was the last time you read through that book? Note to self: "When was the last time I read that book?").

Check out Plotz's complete log of entries here.

His entries are funny and insightful--and display a fresh encounter with God's Word.

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