I don't know how long me and blogging will last. Number one, it's kind of a thing that everyone's doing, and I just don't do that very well (read: I am severely pop culture illiterate - music, TV, movies, etc. - despite my short-lived periodic attempts).
Number two, I start writing and often wish that I could lay it _all_ out there - not quite PostSecret, but maybe? Dumb idea, for many reasons, including that I might hurt myself, you, or at the very least be misunderstood. A conversation with each reader, face-to-face, would be so much more preferable. Writing (reading too) is just often inadequate, and I guess I didn't realize that until I started trying it. So we'll see.
So I'm thinking about all that, and I had a little epiphany this morning - writing gives such an incomplete picture of the author's mind - and maybe that is a glimpse into why the Bible also seems inadequate and contradictory. Before you heartily agree or disagree about the sufficiency or clarity of the Bible as giving insight to God, here are some further bits of thought.
Being honest, the Bible is a tough book. God's law as I'm reading in Exodus/Leviticus is pretty much blown by almost every character in the Old Testament at least (wives, gods, love, etc. etc.) Then there's Proverbs about the merits of wisdom and hard work, followed directly by Ecclesiastes, which existentially blows both of those nearly to bits. Or Esther, where God's name is never mentioned. That's just the tip of the iceberg, as the some of you could tell me.
So why so many issues in a text issued by God himself? I don't think it's so much the flawed people who wrote it and maybe messed it up. Maybe when God puts himself into writing he'd like to lay it all out there, like me but on an infinitely bigger and complicated scale. As it is, He exposes himself by putting anything in writing for us (because we proceed to pick it apart or have the final say on God). But if he laid it all out there, it might hurt us and it would definitely be misunderstood. A conversation will some day be so much better suited to understanding Him, I hope. His thoughts aren't flawed, but the characters are, both then and now. Is that some of the root of the contradictions?
It feels like I'm becoming more baffled by the Bible all the time - both as I read it and sometimes when I talk about it with others. God is BIG, and all I have is a tiny little book to explain His mind, plans, and 6000 years worth of stories. Maybe it's not so crazy that it seems like big chunks of God's thoughts are missing from the pages. I read this quote recently, and it challenges me to stay uncomfortable with what I find in God's writing.
"There is, in a word, nothing comfortable about the Bible - until we manage to get so used to it that we make it comfortable for ourselves... Have we ceased to question the book and be questioned by it? Have we ceased to fight it? Then perhaps our reading is no longer serious... Let us not be too sure we know the Bible just because we have learned not to be astonished at it, just because we have learned to not have problems with it." Philip Yancey quoting Thomas Merton's "Opening the Bible"
I'm just thinking out loud today, offering my opinions, severely lacking in knowledge to back it up. But whether you have seventeen Bibles around your house, or no current interest in ever owning one, maybe you with the most questions or discomfort might seriously have something right.