If you read the Bible without a relationship with Jesus you may lose faith. You’ll read stories without context; words without meaning; historical recollections unsubstantiated by historical facts. The word of God is especially powerful when breathed on by the Spirit, not when taken as mere words.

I now understand that the Bible is a collection of stories and inspired texts. This means it is limited by the humans who narrated it and the creative license of storytelling. But, I cannot deny its liberating power and authority.

Now, I read the Bible with my brain and with my heart. Through it, God speaks to me every day. Through it, he delivers me. But, I do not take each word literally or as historical fact. I am not in the habit of lying to myself.