What God Says and Does
by Everett Wilson
February 10, 2012
It has been a while since I have focused a series of pieces on Christian themes, and I am not promising to limit myself in the future to the grand topic of what God says and does. I am interested in lots of stuff, and probably have a mild case of adult attention deficit order to boot (I'll let those closest to me decide for themselves just how mild). But what God says and does has been the priority of my life, however inadequately I have expressed it in word and deed, so a lot more often than not I'll be writing about what God says and does for as long as I have something to say and the ability to say it.
I won't be shooting from the hip or spouting off, however. Instead, I'll be zeroing in on seminal statements and events, following the order given in the Holy Bible from Genesis to Revelation. When a statement or event is seminal, it contains or contributes "the seeds of later development" (Merriam Webster). In the Bible, more than one such statement or event may be packed into a single chapter; then pages upon pages of very good stuff explaining, verifying, illustrating, or narrating may follow without being "seminal" but rather developing that seed or another. The Bible is not a straight-line narrative. It is like history, like life: looping around, then picking up later where it left off--even dead-ending sometimes.
We'll read the Bible straight through, not because things happened or were said in that chronological order, but because it's the order that was handed to us and is the handiest for us to follow—line upon line, chapter by chapter, book by book.
Many of us had our first taste of the Bible in a Bible-story book, or in the singing of Bible verses set to music; others first heard it as a collection of sayings without knowing they were from the Bible, or as background for a catechism. Eventually, if we stick to it, we realize that it is a God-book; God is its subject. He is affirmed in its pages as the direct author of much of it, and as the reason for all of it.
So the Bible is theology, "words about God" (theos=God, logos=word, in Greek) as biology is "words about life." Of course the Bible is not the only book claiming to be a god-book, but it is the dominant one in the western hemisphere and much of the eastern for the last 1500 years or so.
Whether you believe it or not is for you to discern, but this series is an accessible way for you to let the Bible speak for itself in the way and for the purpose it was written—as theology that arises from historical events and words, not from what you thought for yourself but from the report of what God said and did. Those of us who believe have discovered in subsequent history and experience that God still speaks and acts in accord with the seminal events and statements I'll be sharing with you.
Next time: What God says and does: "In the beginning God."
About the Author:
Everett Wilson's collection of columns, Things That Matter: The Partial Observer Pieces, 2000-2012, (265 columns, 157,000 words, $6.00) has been published by Amazon Kindle as an e-book.
I. Testing the Waters 2000-2002
II. Curmudgeonry, by Barnabas 2002-2004
III. Possible Possibilities 2004-2005
IV. Favorite Things 2004-2006
V. Simple Things 2006-2007
VI. Everett's Version 2007-2012
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