Don Miller’s Why The Bible is a Tough Book for Americans

Posted: August 26, 2010 in Discipleship, faith

Go here and read this post.

Then…what do you think?  Do you feel more like a “why” or a “how?”

  1. Melissa says:

    I disagree with him. I don’t disagree that America is a “how” culture, but I think the Bible is a “how” book. I’m a why person. Don’t tell me how to do something, tell me why and I’ll figure out how. I don’t take things at face value, but try to find the motivation behind them. I look for the why. Maybe because I’ve STARTED to read the Bible many more times than I’ve actually finished it, and feel I have to read it in order from cover to cover, I’ve read the Old Testament a lot more than the New. I’ve found a lot of how in it, but not a lot of why. The whys have had to be explained to me. But, even in the New, I’m reading for the why and sometimes have a difficult time finding it. I also think that’s why some people struggle with Christianity. There are so many hows (rules), but the whys are more subtle. Of course, it’s also possible that since I’m American, the hows are just more obvious to me.

  2. Carl says:

    I might even suggest the Bible is a what: what has God been doing in human history. People argue over why things happened the way that they did, and how we should mimic or ignore it today.
    God chose Jacob for no reason at all!
    God chose Jacob because he hated Esau.
    God chose Jacob because He saw Jacob’s heart.
    God chose Jacob in order to change him.

    We should make our own stone monuments to God.
    We shouldn’t swindle our father in law, bribe our brother, take mistresses, overlook our sons’ rampages, choose a favorite child.
    We should acknowledge our mistakes, even though Jacob never did.
    We should bless our children like Jacob did.

    Why? How? Nope, often just the what.

  3. Jim says:

    I think Miller’s right that the Bible is not a “how” book. But I am not sure I see it as a “why” book, either. I like what Carl says about it being a “what” book, but it’s also a “who” book in that it introduces us to God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit.

  4. Heather says:

    Would God be anything less than Who, What, Where, When, Why, AND How?

    But otherwise, I do agree that the Bible is not primarily a How. If you have a question, and expect to be able to look up “how to cook dinner without screaming at the kids,” you won’t find much help. Using the Bible as a means to find answers to questions, without also understanding the Why, and seeking the Who and What, and contemplating the When… it will leave you longing for something more.

  5. Doug says:

    I know I am definitely a why type person–and no one would/should argue that–but I don’t think the Bible exists to be a why *or* a how answer book. We do tend to ask all kinds of questions of it (at least I believe we ought to be…). But I think, if we are crazy enough to generalize, that it is not a rule book, or a how to, but mostly a diary of a people in relationship with their God.

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