A Good Backstory

 

Oh man, I’m so excited to bring you this blog. I have so much that I have personally wrestled with that I want to share with you. I’d love to dive in and start connecting pieces of the spiritual puzzle that you may currently find confusing, but I think I need to back up. I should probably share my story first. It might be helpful for you to understand what context has done for me, how it has expanded my understanding of Jesus and provoked deeper worship from my life. A good backstory can change how you experience the main event. So let’s start there.

A Church Kid with Big Questions

I was a church kid. I went to Sunday school and I knew all the songs. When the pastor said, “read your Bible and pray”, I did. I went through the motions, I did my Christian homework, and I knew I was saved. Pretty compelling story, right? The problem is that I grew up in a tradition that left me wondering why Jesus was worth following. I knew he loved me, but was that really enough reason to devote my life to him? In 2001, I attended a conference that changed everything. One of the speakers brought the Bible to life in a new way and I started to realize that I had been missing much of what the scriptures have to offer. The Old Testament provides context for us; it’s the backstory of the gospels. Understanding it changed everything for me. As I learned to look at Jesus in the context of his time and place, I began to understand him in new ways. I recognized his boldness. I marveled at how he used signs his contemporaries couldn’t miss to demonstrate that he’s much more than a teacher or a good man. He was—he is—a person infinitely worth knowing. He’s a leader whose mission and call are to take his life into ourselves and follow him.

Context Changes Everything

There’s a really decent chance you’re missing a giant piece of the picture. When you read the Bible, some of it doesn’t make sense, some of it carries very little meaning for you. You probably just skip those parts. I’d like to change that for you. I’d like to show you how understanding the context of the scriptures—things like language, culture, worldview, time, and location can bring new clarity to our view of Jesus.

I want you to feel at home when you read the Bible, the same kind of “at home” you would feel if you sat down to read your local newspaper. For me, it took learning roughly a dozen ancient languages in order to feel “at home” in the Old Testament. I thought it was fun, I’m guessing you wouldn’t. So come here often and hopefully the things I share in this space will give you the context you need to bring the Bible, particularly the Old Testament, to life for you and help bring richer context and deeper meaning to your understanding of God’s whole story.

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