What holds the world together?

We can read the Bible as a literary masterpiece. It's rich and historic and filled with soulful poetry and prose. Read it as an affirmation of faith and you'll discover depths of wisdom and philosophy that can silence storms and create them. As a practical guide to life, it's full of counsel and direction that cut a clear path to a moral life.

Yet, what happens if we read the Bible and find unresolved contradiction—good versus evil, love versus anger and conflict, fidelity versus treachery and betrayal? If this happens when we read, then perhaps it's easier to see that the Bible came out of real people's lives.

We have ideals. Many of them are rooted in the Bible: Thou shalt not kill, commit adultery, steal, bear false witness, covet anything that is a neighbor's. These are not abstractions. They come out of people's lives, people searching for new hope, new freedom. And people come to see that there has to be some common ground, some way to have and to preserve trust so that people and families and communities can build and prevail.

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Real truth for real people
April 17, 1989

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