interim book report: The Jesus Driven Life by Michael Hardin

I have been taking The Jesus Driven Life slowly over the past month because Michael Hardin has many important things to say and I can only hold a few of them at a time in my cluttered mind. My 22 part ongoing series, Not everything Biblical is Christian, tries to do in part what Hardin is able to do more substantially. I started the series because I shared the issue Hardin raises,
The ‘standard’ Protestant view of the inerrancy or infallibility of Scripture is unacceptable. It is not simply a question of ‘historical errors’ (was Jesus crucified before or after the Passover meal) but the deeper theological ones (why is God as reflected in Jesus so substantively different than God is portrayed in many Old Testament texts) that have caused me to rethink the nature of the Bible. loc. 4375 Kindle
Like Hardin, I was raised dispensational fundamentalist with an adoration of the Bible instead of the person who is the living, embodied, incarnate word of God. My blog series has tried to expose the faultiness of inerrancy, not through historical errors, but through direct contradictions or overrides by Jesus himself. As a dispensationalist, I could solve (temporarily) the problem Hardin points out by telling myself God's approach has changed since the arrival of Jesus. A dispensationalist would, ironically, rather negate a verse in scripture, "Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever" (Hebrews) than posit the Bible is imperfect.

The fear of the fundamentalist is that if one part is considered imperfect then what part is trustworthy? My simplistic answer is any part in disagreement with Jesus is not of God, but provides the negative space to contrast with the beautiful parts from God. Hardin offers a more refined perspective, using the anthropology of Rene Girard.
Some may object and say but if that is the case how do we distinguish between what is “man’s word” and what is “God’s Word?” This has already been answered by suggesting that revelation comes through the voice of the forgiving victim. It is the Crucified that speaks the eternal word: shalom. loc. 4400 Kindle
This line "revelation comes through the voice of the forgiving victim" clearly applies to the last words of the martyr Stephen as opposed to the martyred prophet Zechariah, as explained in the previous post. In order to "get" the Bible, we need to gain the outsider perspective. Do we have friendships with those who are blamed for society's problems? How do they perceive Jesus? Why do they see him that way? They can give us eyes to see and ears to hear if want.

Here is the 22 link series, Not everything Biblical is Christian.
Part one points out that the words of Satan recorded in the Bible are not Christian doctrine.
Part two shows the Sermon on the Mount overruling the cursing of enemies exhibited in Psalm 137.
Parts three and four show Moses getting overruled by Ezekiel and Jesus.
Part five merely brushes the concept of source criticism.
Part six looks at the Old Testament application in the early church: a brief summary of the book of Acts.
Part seven looks at how the church has worked this out regarding slavery.
Part eight, showed one example of how an unchristian part of the Bible helps tell the Christian story.
Part nine asks who would Jesus hate?
Part 10 discusses women as Biblically approved spoils of war.
Part 11 discusses divorce.
Part 12 discusses the imposition of Bronze Age social constructs onto our diverse and complex modern world.
Part 13 discusses women as property in the Biblical world.
Part 14 discusses dehumanization of people with Biblical support.
Part 15 discusses the evangelical culture that tends to proclaim the terrible day of the Lord is around the next corner.
Part 16 shows how the end of the book of Job overrules 90% of the soliloquies in the book.
Part 17 discusses a Psalm of confession.
Part 18 discusses more Psalmist theology.
Part 19 discusses something in the New Testament writings of Paul.
Part 20 discusses condemnation.
Part 21 discusses religious zealotry that approves of murder.
Part 22 discusses how two prophets responded to their murderers.


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