The Bible From Life’s Autumn

The Bible looks different once you’ve survived the autumn. It’s no longer a repository for theological abstractions that can be organized into a tidy fortress called a “Christian worldview” or “orthodoxy.” It’s no longer a wallet full of credit cards that you can slap on the table to pay every bill. It’s no longer a weapon by which you vanquish those who don’t have the good fortune of sharing your approved opinions. No, for an autumn-humbled seeker, the Bible is the living legacy of people who have lived in the real world, a diary of complexities and perplexities survived and reflected upon. It’s the family album that carries the memories of ancestors who managed to keep their faith, hope, and love alive in a world that shocked them, rocked them, and mocked them. When you’re in springtime, you love the Bible for the affirmation of the goodness of life that it offers. When you’re in summertime, you love the Bible for the motivation to stay in the fray that it offers. But in autumn, you love the Bible more than ever, now for the honesty it offers — honesty about the death of naivete, the falling of all green leaves.

— Brian MacLaren, Naked Spirituality, p. 171

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