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The Bible to keep you awake

by James Woody
Translation Louise Thunin
I’ve given up opening the Bible to figure out how to react to a certain situation or to answer a specific question. I remember doing that when I was much younger, when there was a funeral, or to understand why death exists. Never having found real answers to specific situations, I understood I was asking the Bible the wrong questions ; it wasn’t made for those. It isn’t made to reply in my place, so I can dispense with taking a personal poisition in debates about society .
I noticed that regularly frequenting biblical texts helped me to think better, not to be a dogmatic thinker. When I looked at the work that had gone into writing and rewriting texts, I realized that there is not one truth that is valid for all eternity and can be found in that one big book. And so, I discovered the benefit of thinking of life through dialogue, comparing experiences, analysing and putting God into the equation. That may perhaps be the greatest benefit I have gained from reading the Bible : fitting God into my personal equation. The Bible reminds me to hold on to an ideal, to that which has ultimate value and that we call God, not to to consider gains and losses. God is otherness, the other, which leads me out of a very egotistic vision and to work in favor of the general interest, all the while avoiding sacrificing on the altar of the common good. The Bible is a sort of stimulant which keeps me from feeling satisfied with the world as it is and makes me aware of all the realms in which it is not only possible to create, but those in which life requires my personal response. I can even say that studying the Bible pulls me regularly out of the swamp of depression or boredom by reviving my desire to make life infinitely more flavorful.

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a été pasteur à Amsterdam et en Région parisienne. Il s’est toujours intéressé à la présence de l’Évangile aux marges de l’Église. Il anime depuis 17 ans le site Internet Protestants dans la ville.

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