Yesterday my colleague and I led an adult Sunday school class about the Bible that paired Biblical storytelling with an introduction to the historical critical method. I told the Genesis 1 creation story, then he explained the documentary hypothesis. Then we took questions. It was fun.
We wanted the class to be a fresh experience with Scripture, to feed congregants with the information about the Bible they seem to love but also to sprinkle on a different kind of encounter with scripture than maybe they’re used to in the same bite. Throughout the conception of the class and all the preparation, I assumed that the historical critical morsels would be the easy ones for people to digest.
I should have learned about assuming by now, because a portion of the class required defending the premise of the whole project against the assertion that treating Biblical texts as stories or as specimens for academic investigation is faithless and betrays a belief in Jesus. I’ll have that conversation any day. It’s just that’s not the conversation I thought we were having today.
Yeah, I ought’ve learned about assuming by now.