...so, I was watching a program on the History Channel (about the development of the doctrine of Hell), and in the corner of the screen a little ad appeared saying, "Find out about the Scriptures of Christianity...only at History.com". Wow.
Now, I don't want to eisegete what I saw; there's already too much eisegesis in our pulpits, in our books, and in the blogosphere. But...what a wonderfully loaded phrase!
First, there's the implication that we can only find out about the Scriptures on that particular website...a secular site devoted to history from a particular historiographic perspective. Don't get me wrong...I love the History Channel, watch it occasionally (though not regularly), and generally enjoy its programming. While I haven't investigated its website, I'm sure it has some nice info on the Bible and is probably correct much of the time. But, the notion that their website is the "only" place to find out about the Bible is interesting. (Again, I know the little ad was written from a marketing perspective, not a theological perspective, but, hey...so are many sermons preached each week!)
Second, there's an additional implication that the Bible is strictly "history". The ad wasn't on the Discovery Channel or the Learning Channel; it was on the History Channel. There are many devoted Christians who view the Bible as strict history...both liberals and fundamentalists...but that doesn't make it so. The Bible is, theologically speaking, our story, transcending history even while sharing some space with history, and we are fully expected to continue the narrative. It's more than history; it's alive, in a very special, unique way. The best place for a program on the Bible isn't the History Channel, it's ESPN!
Despite the wonderful nature of this divine and human book, we can make it so boring. Few things are as painful to sit through as a boring sermon. The material doesn't need "dressed up" or "modernized" or "made relevant" (it already is relevant) as much as it needs faithful passion and a desire to be used of the Spirit to show the life of the Scriptures...in pulpits, in coffee shops, in hospitals, at the Eucharistic Table, in living rooms, in workplaces, wherever.
So, what are you doing to help the Bible to come alive to the people in your life? To yourself?