YFNA Geeks Out on the Bible, Part 1

Your Friendly Neighborhood Atheist is geeking out on the Bible.

I am geeking out on it in the way you’d geek out on Catch 22, or a juicy Jon Krakauer expose, or Harry Potter for that matter; as an astounding collection of histories, cultural tropes and human experiences. Whoever you believe wrote it, it comes from somewhere, and the way we translate, read, quote from and interact with it from generation to generation is simply fascinating to me.

Glide conducts a Bible study group – more accurately called a Sacred Text study group, as I’m told they’ve studied everything from the Bhagavad Gita to the Qur’an – that I’ve been meaning to go to for months now. I’ve even heard rumors that they’ve read some Richard Dawkins, although what he’d say about being included in a list of sacred texts I cannot imagine. Regardless, and true to Glide philosophy, it is radically inclusive, which is why I thought it would be cool to go.

I’ve talked before about the powerful influence of story on the human psyche. Sir Terry Pratchett, the brilliant and uproariously funny British fantasy author, posits an imaginary 118th element he calls “Narrativium”, which he describes thusly: “It is an attribute of every other element, thus turning them into, in an occult sense, molecules. Iron contains not just iron, but also the story of iron, the history of iron, the part of iron that ensures that it will continue to be iron and has an iron-like job to do, and is not for example, cheese.” Pastor Don Guest began this evening’s conversation with a similar sentiment: “Myth is a way of explaining to another human being something that is difficult to understand.”

Next: Why Should an Atheist Read the Bible?

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