Whichever translation of the Bible you choose to read and whether you read it all as literally happening and true or take into consideration different forms of writing, both the angry God and the loving God can be shown. We put our own filters into the reading and interpreting what we read so the meaning for each of is influenced us by those things we have seen, heard and experienced before we read or hear the words. My reading of scripture and understanding of God is that God is love, love without exception.
The Bible is a collection of books to be wrestled with, studied, explored, enjoyed and loved. The Bible provides stories that help us to understand God and recognise ourselves, to see God at work even in the times when it feels like God is absent. I put my faith in God and I believe the Bible is the written authority on the nature of God. It is on this basis that I seek to understand what the Bible teaches about God (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) and humanity, about good, evil, creation, salvation, the Church, hope, faith and how I might live my life.
“I’m not sure what I believe.” There was a pause and I assured her that this was okay. She went on, “I mean, we have been taught about God in church but we have been taught all this other stuff in school that makes sense too. Evolution makes sense. So, I don’t know if I believe in God or not.” I could tell she was nervous saying this and other faces suggested they were interested to see and hear my response. Again, I assured her that this was alright. I appreciated her honesty and I think it’s better that we are honest about what we believe than to pretend. One after another the group all backtracked on their previous answers. It was liberating.