Matt Mikalatos is starting a new series on “translating” the gospels for people who have them so many times that they need some help hearing them again for the first time.
It looks like it will be a fabulous series. So follow along and offer your thoughts/comments.
Here’s how he starts off the series.
I grew up in church, and frankly, I love it. I know that’s not cool right now, and I don’t care. Don’t worry, it will come back into style.
One side effect of growing up in Christian culture can be a certain contemptuous familiarity with the Bible. I remember impatiently tapping my feet when we trotted out the Christmas story, begging for it to end so we could tear into the presents. I remember playing “Bible Trivial Pursuit” in sixth grade and thinking to myself, “I know everything there is to know about the Bible, except how to pronounce some of the names.” I knew all the answers because they had been provided for me, like an answer key at the back of the book (or, more likely, in the margins and footnotes). There weren’t questions I needed to wrestle with or even consider.
Over time, the weight of all those flannelgraphs and picture Bibles and trivia games and cinematic portrayals and the occasional agenda-driven Bible study flattened Jesus out. It washed the color from the stories. Knowing all the answers made the Gospels little more than thinly disguised theological textbooks, where I knew what would happen next and why and what that meant. Two-dimensional characters packed the Bible so tightly that I couldn’t avoid them: the bumbling disciples, the evil Pharisees, the serene Christ.