The Chaos Ladder: When Inspiration is Fully Unleashed – Episode 9

The Chaos Ladder is a podcast by Steve Flowers that explores how the Bible is not a gaping pit waiting to swallow us but a ladder for us to climb.

Episode 9 (Part 3 of answering “What makes the Bible inspired?”) — The first two answers (ancient believers’ reframing of scripture and Jesus as the greatest revelation of God) are traits of the Bible that create a trajectory which Christians are to further. Scripture has been reframed by Christianity over its history. We reframe scripture today when we look at it through the lens of Jesus in a new or different way to change the focus or perspective of what scripture has to say in light of our own experiences of God. This continues the trajectory created by the Bible’s own reinterpretations and Jesus’ re-centering of scripture to more fully reveal who God is and what God desires.

TCL e09 – When inspiration is fully unleashed – essay transcript

The Chaos Ladder: The Greatest Revelation of God – Episode 8

The Chaos Ladder is a podcast by Steve Flowers that explores how the Bible is not a gaping pit waiting to swallow us but a ladder for us to climb.

Episode 8 (Part 2 of answering “What makes the Bible inspired?”) — We can find God being revealed throughout the books of both the Old and New Testaments but the greatest revelation of God is in the person of Jesus. This means that where Jesus reinterprets scripture, He is not only reframing it, as is done by other biblical writers, but He is re-centering it to reflect how God was meant to be revealed in scripture (i.e., who God is and what God desires).

TCL e08 – The greatest revelation of God – essay transcript

The Chaos Ladder: Walking In The Company of Those Who Came Before Us – Episode 7

The Chaos Ladder is a podcast by Steve Flowers that explores how the Bible is not a gaping pit waiting to swallow us but a ladder for us to climb.

Episode 7 (Part 1 of answering “What makes the Bible inspired?”) — The ancient biblical writers and people in the Bible often reframed their understanding of God after finding themselves between two stories— the first one being the stories of how God was promised by those who came before them and second one being the very different way God was experienced in their own lives. This caused them to reassess how they viewed God and then express that in their reinterpretation of scripture.

TCL e07 – Walking in the company of those who came before us – essay transcript

The Chaos Ladder: And Then God said, “Everybody down on the floor! Now!” – Episode 6

The Chaos Ladder is a podcast by Steve Flowers that explores how the Bible is not a gaping pit waiting to swallow us but a ladder for us to climb.

Episode 6 — An introduction and background on the Bible being inspired is shared, but that belief is complicated. So biblical inspiration is compared to a bank robbery to provide the shocking twist we might need to help rethink the nature of an inspired Bible.

TCL e06 – And then God said Everybody down on the floor Now – essay transcript

The Chaos Ladder: The Bible is Not the Problem – Episode 5

The Chaos Ladder is a podcast by Steve Flowers that explores how the Bible is not a gaping pit waiting to swallow us but a ladder for us to climb.

Episode 5 (The Bible is not God part 2) — The Bible is not the problem. The problem is when Christians view ambiguous or objectionable passages as a problem, and then feel obligated to offset them. The Bible is like a bunch of different faith-journey jigsaw puzzles all dumped into the same box. God does not need us to make amends for anything in the Bible or re-shape it to fit our image of God but just to listen to its many voices.

TCL e05 – The Bible is not the problem – essay transcript

The Chaos Ladder: God Didn’t Dictate the Bible – Episode 4

The Chaos Ladder is a podcast by Steve Flowers that explores how the Bible is not a gaping pit waiting to swallow us but a ladder for us to climb.

Episode 4 (The Bible is not God part 1) — God inspired the biblical authors but did not control what they wrote. Failure to understand that an inspired Bible is not synonymous with God dictating the biblical texts to those authors in some fashion is often the biggest presumption hindering Christians from not only a better understanding of the Bible itself but from what God’s Spirit is actually speaking through it today.

TCL e04 – God didnt dictate the Bible – essay transcript

The Chaos Ladder: Yellow Lawn Mowers – Episode 3

The Chaos Ladder is a podcast by Steve Flowers that explores how the Bible is not a gaping pit waiting to swallow us but a ladder for us to climb.

Episode 3 — We all bring presumptions and preconceptions to the Bible. The problem is when we are blind to or deny them because that more than anything corrupts our ability to more fully hear what God is speaking through the Bible.

TCL e03 – Yellow lawn mowers – essay transcript

The Chaos Ladder: The Double-Edged Sword – Episode 2

The Chaos Ladder is a podcast by Steve Flowers that explores how the Bible is not a gaping pit waiting to swallow us but a ladder for us to climb.

In this episode, Christianity’s history includes both favorable and unfavorable consequences in its application of the Bible. The Church has used it to help everyone but has also used it to alienate and hurt others. But only the side of this double-edged sword used to help everyone is the one inspired by God.

TCL e02 – The double-edged sword – essay transcript

The Chaos Ladder: Beauty Amidst the Chaos – Episode 1

The Chaos Ladder is a new podcast series created by Steve Flowers.

In Steve’s words, the Bible is not a gaping pit waiting to swallow us but a ladder waiting for us to climb it. When the Bible sounds confusing or concerning, our reaction shouldn’t be distress or anger but seeing an opportunity to climb. And the ladders to climb out of our biblical chaos begin with the very questions and doubts we have about the Bible itself. It takes work to climb such a ladder, but the result will help us better hear what God has always been speaking through these sacred texts.

TCL e01 – Beauty amidst the chaos – essay transcript

In the Shade of Two Trees #12: Revelation and the One Tree

By Scott Anderson

Genesis is an origin story, a glimpse into our common past. In Genesis, we find a description of how the world was formed, how humans were created, and how the bond of marriage was instituted. We have an explanation of how evil entered God’s good creation and of our responsibility for our alienation from God and from one another.

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In the Shade of Two Trees # 11: Two Trees, One Arborist

By Scott Anderson

In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus claims that He has come to fulfill the law, not to abolish it, (Matthew 5:17). In fulfilling the law, however, Jesus distinguishes between the ethical (the way of law) and the experiential (the way of love). Jesus undertakes a series of distinctions between what the people have been taught by the religious leaders and what He is teaching. In chapters 5 through 7 of Matthew, Jesus corrects the customary interpretations of the law—“you have heard it said”—with his own interpretations—“but I say.”

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In the Shade of Two Trees #10: Jesus and His View of God

By Scott Anderson

Unlike the Pharisees, Jesus did not speak much about a terrifying and dictatorial God, one who spoke to humans only through fire and smoke and who would decimate populations whenever it served His unknowable purposes. Jesus believed that God was immanent, a God who chose to create the world and then inhabit it, who chose to create humans and incarnate Himself in them. “The kingdom of heaven,” Jesus assured His disciples, “ is within you.” Luke 17:21.

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In the Shade of Two Trees #9: The Religious Leaders and Their View of God

By Scott Anderson

We have reviewed two ways in which to interpret God’s seven distinct attributes. We can view God through the lens of righteousness, or we can view God through the lens of relationship. We have scriptural evidence of what happens when we view God through either of these lenses. The Religious Leaders of Jesus’ day – the Pharisees – tended to view God through an ethical lens. And Jesus tended to view God through an experiential lens. Here, we will look at the Pharisees’ religious habits.  Continue reading “In the Shade of Two Trees #9: The Religious Leaders and Their View of God”

In the Shade of Two Trees #8: God-the-Sustainer

By Scott Anderson

One way of reading the Genesis narrative is as a story about punishment for disobedience. The direct consequence of Adam and Eve’s disobeying God was death. The first couple sinned and, as punishment, were banned from paradise and afflicted with mortality. God’s favor initially rested on them: they had full access to the garden, its delights, and to God as well as God’s devotion. But when the couple disobeyed, God killed them for it.

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In the Shade of Two Trees #7: God-the-Provider

As we learned last time, Adam was given dominion over all the earth. This included dominion over “every plant yielding seed that is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit; you shall have them for food.” Genesis 1:29. God also gave “every green plant for food” to every beast of the earth, every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth.” Genesis 1:30. God makes sure to provide for all living creatures by giving them sources of food. And those sources were abundant; the provisions could sustain all of life on the earth.

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In the Shade of Two Trees #5: God-the-Lover

By Scott Anderson

The story of Adam and Eve is often told as morality play: boy meets girl; boy gets girl; girl listens to a slippery serpent; girl gets boy to eat an apple; both receive the death penalty for disobeying God. The Genesis narrative supports themes of deception and betrayal, covetousness and shame, disobedience and punishment. Theologians argue that the story tells us about God’s motive for creating humans in the first place. God created humans as upright (physically and morally) creatures who could freely choose to love and obey God. The creatures failed miserably. And God was forced—by the very nature of their “original sin”—to separate God-self from them. God cannot be infected with sin; but the whole world could be. So Adam and Eve, all their descendents, and every living thing on the planet were pronounced worthy of death.

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In the Shade of Two Trees # 3: God-the-Knower

By Scott Anderson

In the Christian tradition, God is described as omniscient, all-knowing. We, of course, do not emulate God’s infinite mind. Although we are “made in the image and likeness” of God, we never describe ourselves as all-knowing. Experience proves otherwise. So, if we are made in God’s image, and we are some kind of intelligent being, what kind of godly intelligence do we have? How is our intelligence like God’s intelligence?

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In the Shade of Two Trees # 2: God-the-Creator

By Scott Anderson

The first verse of Genesis identifies God as a creator, the creator of the heavens and the earth, of sky and sea, of animals and humans. The story quickly turns from the viewpoint of God to the viewpoint of God’s first human creation: Adam. God gives responsibility to Adam, God’s crowning creation, to “be fruitful and multiply” and to “fill the earth and subdue it.”   Genesis 1:28. After placing Adam above all created things, God evaluates God’s creation and judges it “very good.” Genesis 1:31.

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