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Make Heaven on Earth and Occupy Human Hearts. – Diana Butler Bass

“The biblical narrative is that of a God who comes close, compelled by a burning desire to make heaven on earth and occupy human hearts.” – Diana Butler Bass

One of the reasons I’m passionate about creating daily blog pieces about the Biblical text is how my much I love uncovering the many different faces of any given story within it. Stories we’ve heard since childhood, like David and Goliath, Joshua and Jericho, Jonah and the whale, Mary and her miracle child, and Cain and Abel; all have rich and complicated histories and meanings. More than we could ever discuss in a lifetime. More than what we’ve been told.

They inform our faith, and how “we faith.” They give us courage and correction. They confuse us and encourage us. Some parts of the Biblical text are so horrific; I wonder what their purpose is for being in there. And then, just when we think we know it, and have a handle on the “truth,” something happens – whether that be an experience or revelation or both – that changes everything; turning what we thought we knew upside down, or the right way up, or somewhere in between.

That’s why I do Pocket Fuel; why I’ve created for myself, and for us, this daily spiritual practice of analyzing and pulling apart and questioning and listening to what it has to communicate to us, and how – if – it can relate to our current world and lives.

I’d love to hear from you today:

What stories in the biblical text have you been reading, or wrestling with?
What ones make you angry, and what ones bring you peace? And why?
How do you think this ancient collection of stories and letters and histories relates to us and our modern world?

For me? It’s a (cliché alert) journey. A winding, endless, sometimes frustrating, sometimes awful, mostly beautiful, journey.

Faith is not a full-stop set of beliefs, but an invitation to believe that there is more going on in the world and beyond, than what I currently know and can probably ever fathom. And the Bible is a window into that world.

Faith is not a full-stop set of beliefs, but an invitation to believe that there is more going on than what I know. Click to Tweet

The bible isn’t for intermission: something we read during the ad breaks of life. It’s not a rule book, or a road map, or a constellation tracker.

It’s part of the journey. It comes with us. Its pages live in-between and alongside ours. Sometimes in confusing, sometimes in hopeful, ways. Sometimes I want to throw it against the wall; sometimes it makes me weep. Sometimes I think it causes more harm than good; sometimes I cling to it as if my life depends on it.

But at the end of the day, all our theological questions and differences aside it comes down to this:

The biblical narrative is that of a God who comes close, compelled by a burning desire to make heaven on earth and occupy human hearts.” Diana Butler Bass. Grounded: Finding God in the World-A Spiritual Revolution (p. 13). HarperCollins.

And that, my friends, is the main show.

Written by Liz Milani

Lizzy Milani

Co-Author of PktFuel.com // Speaker // Coffee drinker // Story reader

This Post Has 2 Comments
  1. Thank you for every day sharing your thoughts and questions with us. You have caused me to question why I believe the way I do and through those questions I am stronger in my faith. Through your writing, you are an inspiration to me.

    I know God’s plan is perfect. But why would God “harden his/their heart” ie: Pharaoh, all the kings of Israel, the Sadducees and Pharisees? His plan might/could/would have happened with less pain.

    There I go thinking and not trusting.

    Continue on with strength, wisdom and confidence

    Allen.

    1. Allen!! thank you! That is about the nicest thing you could say about our work.
      What I would say about God hardening his heart is this: The authors of the Bible lived in a different time and space and era. They had different language to explain different occurrences and phenomeno. They were trying to explain in the language they could in the context they had how they were interpreting the movements and seasons of a God they were still getting to know. Peter Enns writes about this in his book “The Bible Tells Me So.” And it really helped me with a lot of these kinds of questions I had about the Bible, particularly the old testament.
      I would also say it’s not a matter of trust. In fact, it could be a sign of GREAT trust. You feel safe enough to ask your questions, and even let the answer be ambiguous. Allowing yourself to engage your mind and thoughts IS an act of trust. We have been so conditioned to believe that anything other than blind faith is a lack of belief. But its just not true. In Judaism, a person with no questions is a person with no faith. And vice versa.
      Happy exploring, Allen!
      Much love,
      Liz.

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