Does the Bible Make You Squeamish, Skeptical, and Unsure?: An Interview with Michael and Lauren McAfee

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Michael McAfeeDo you see the Bible as illiberal, outdated, out of step with societal norms at greatest, and a instrument of oppression at worst? What if you happen to cleared the deck in your preconceptions of this e-book and encountered it anew? What if you happen to got here with the understanding that your questions are welcome? And what if you happen to approached the Bible as much less of a system to determine and extra of a narrative to step into; a narrative with extra stunning plot twists than you may suppose?

Bible Gateway interviewed Michael McAfee (@MichaelMcAfee) and Lauren McAfee (@LaurenAMcAfee) about their e-book, Not What You Assume: Why the Bible Would possibly Be Nothing We Anticipated But All the things We Want (Zondervan, 2019).

Lauren McAfee

What’s the message you’re conveying with the primary title of the e-book?

Michael and Lauren McAfee: The Bible is probably the most vital e-book in historical past, but as a result of Bible illiteracy is on the rise, many might not know its message. Whereas the Bible is probably the most learn, printed, and debated e-book of all time, many in our (millennial) era have by no means engaged with the textual content of Scripture. We hope our e-book supplies a conversational invitation inviting our era to provide the Bible an opportunity.

[Learn the Bible Gateway Weblog put up, How Has the Bible Formed Our World?: An Interview with Steve Inexperienced]

Buy your copy of Not What You Think in the Bible Gateway Store where you'll enjoy low prices every day

You write as millennials to millennials in regards to the Bible. Why is that distinctive and necessary?

Michael and Lauren McAfee: We’ve heard many voices who’ve expressed their dismay over our era and we perceive their considerations. Analysis reveals that millennials are the least Bible engaged era in our nation, and Gen Z is displaying indicators they’ll be even much less Bible engaged. But we needed to talk as millennials—to our personal era—as a result of we understanding the experiences which have formed our era and prompted a few of these traits. We hope readers will see the empathetic tone, as we’re fellow journeyers eager to conversationally present thought-provoking factors to encourage studying the Bible.

[Learn the Bible Gateway Weblog put up, “Liberty or Demise—One or the Different, I Imply to Have”]

What are the similarities and variations of how millennials and era Z reply to the Bible?

Michael and Lauren McAfee: What we see by way of an absence of Bible engagement amongst millennials (typically these age 20-35) is barely amplified with Gen Z (typically these age 2-19). Whereas millennials had been the least Bible engaged era dwelling in the present day, the current analysis popping out on Gen Z reveals even decrease numbers. Full stories on Gen Z will proceed to alter as their era ages into younger maturity, however the early indicators are displaying a continuous drop in Bible literacy.

What are the largest considerations and questions in regards to the Bible for in the present day’s generations?

Michael and Lauren McAfee: Lots of the factors introduced as much as construct a case towards the Bible have been centered round two classes. We discovered that many millennials don’t have interaction within the Bible due to relational experiences and cultural battle.

When it comes to relational experiences: some oppose the Bible and something surrounded with church or faith due to hurtful or hypocritical interactions with individuals who declare to carry to its teachings.

For individuals who website cultural battle: they see the Bible as irrelevant and outdated, citing that the Bible appears to be oppressive to ladies, supportive of slavery, and unable to be reconciled with fashionable dwelling.

The Bible’s message of Reality is at odds with the present post-truth tradition. Discuss in regards to the dichotomy between the Bible and tradition and the way it impacts the trendy reader?

Michael and Lauren McAfee: Our tradition has been secularizing for many years. We’re now on the level the place a theistic faith isn’t just amusing, however harmful. Particularly, a theistic faith that claims unique fact is just not solely slender, however excessive. Millennials have an issue with all fact, not simply the Bible. Now we have a problem with all authority, not simply the church. However there’s a particular impediment to Christianity as a result of not solely can we dwell in a post-truth tradition, however Christians haven’t all the time stood by the reality we now defend.

If we as Christians are going to interact the following era, we should personal our personal sin and the sin of our forefathers on issues of justice which the church has for a lot too lengthy been silent on.

Why have you ever devoted a whole chapter to the self-discipline of studying?

Michael and Lauren McAfee: It could shock some, however in response to Pew Analysis Middle knowledge, millennials learn greater than every other demographic. We each like to learn and have been grateful to seek out that many in our era do as nicely. Not all books are of equal worth although, and we spend a chapter contemplating method the content material we every eat. With the rise of the web, social media, smartphones, and ebooks, we may be saturated with content material, and it takes a stage of discernment to acknowledge what quantity of weight we give to a selected supply.

What do you imply if you write, “The Bible is a multifaceted jewel which reveals a message that’s equally divine revelation, life handbook, and love letter”?

Michael and Lauren McAfee: Once we say, “The Bible is multifaceted,” we imply it has complexity to it. Nearly all of non-Bible readers view the Bible as a rule e-book. It’s no marvel they don’t learn it; who would wish to learn an ethics e-book?! (Ahem)

We wish to increase folks’s understanding of what the Bible is, not by denying that there are instructions within the Bible, however displaying the Bible is greater than a e-book of morality. It’s greater than a love letter from God. It’s greater than Primary Directions Earlier than Leaving Earth (BIBLE).

It’s, in a single sense, all of these items, and it’s far more. Specifically, a declaration of fine information that God has made a means in Christ for sinful man to be reconciled to him. And a promise that this non secular resurrection can be accompanied by the filling of the Holy Spirit for all who imagine by religion. There’s nothing on the planet just like the Bible!

How ought to studying the Bible be like spending time with a pal?

Michael and Lauren McAfee: The story of the Bible is a couple of relationship. It’s about folks, and factors to at least one particular person: Jesus. It invitations us right into a relationship with God, by way of Jesus. Studying the Bible supplies steerage in that relationship with God and permits us to deepen our relationship with him. Similar to we’ve got to spend time with associates to get to know them on a deeper stage, we spend time within the Bible to deepen our relationship with God.

How can an individual assist somebody who’s immune to the Bible?

Michael and Lauren McAfee: It’s useful to know the place the resistance is coming from. Once we take time to know the place individuals are coming from, we’re capable of empathize and higher meet them the place they’re at. We hope that by way of our e-book, we’ll give perception into a few of these specific experiences and ideas that’re inflicting our era to be resistant, and might present a useful perspective on approaching the dialog.

What easy sample of Bible studying do you provide within the e-book to assist an individual get began?

Michael and Lauren McAfee: The Bible is a e-book about God. And it culminates with God turning into man and dying on a Roman cross, then elevating from the lifeless and ascending to heaven. Whereas this account doesn’t occur till about three-quarters of the best way by way of the Bible, we advocate you start with attending to know this Jesus first! Sit down along with your Bible and PRAY:

  • PRAISE God for who He’s and what He’s carried out
  • REPENT of the fallacious you may have carried out and the great you may have left undone
  • ASK God for the Holy Spirit to information you, and
  • YIELD to God’s plans and function to your life.

Then, learn the Bible! First, to know what was stated to the unique readers, then to use the precept to our fashionable context. Keep in mind: it’s primarily about Jesus, so learn it by way of that lens.

What’s a favourite Bible passage of yours and why?

Lauren McAfee: Considered one of my favourite verses is Isaiah 40:8 (NIV) which states “The grass withers and the flowers fall, however the phrase of our God endures eternally.”

Whether or not you imagine within the Bible or not, it makes some fairly daring statements! This declare of the Bible’s everlasting significance is an exquisite reminder of the Scripture’s worth.

What are your ideas about Bible Gateway and the Bible Gateway App and Bible Audio App?

Michael and Lauren McAfee: We each love the Bible Gateway instruments! We’ve discovered that partaking with the Bible has grow to be simpler than ever earlier than, merely due to the fantastic instruments out there to help in entry, and understanding. And Bible Gateway is a type of useful instruments!

Is there the rest you’d wish to say?

Michael and Lauren McAfee: Sure! Whereas we wrote Not What You Assume to Bible dis-engaged millennials, this e-book is in some ways for pastors and fogeys. One of many obstacles the pace of cultural change has introduced to the church is a necessity for translation between generations. Our hope is that this may be a useful resource for pastors and fogeys to higher perceive the considerations and objections of younger adults and to supply a blueprint for have interaction them.


Not What You Assume is printed by HarperCollins Christian Publishing, Inc., the mum or dad firm of Bible Gateway.


Bio: Because the Director of Bible Engagement for Museum of the Bible, Michael McAfee forges strategic partnerships with religion leaders and nonprofits, speaks to audiences across the nation, and leads a group of promoting specialists to help the museum’s mission. After finishing his MDiv on the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Michael is now a PhD scholar below Dr. Russell Moore. Michael is married to his Sunday college sweetheart, Lauren, who collectively wrote Not What You Assume: Why the Bible Would possibly Be Nothing We Anticipated But All the things We Want, and so they dwell in Oklahoma Metropolis, Oklahoma.

Lauren Inexperienced McAfee is a speaker, author, and low fanatic with a coronary heart to interact others within the Bible. Whereas pursuing her graduate levels in pastoral counseling and theology, Lauren labored for her father Steve Inexperienced as he based Museum of the Bible in Washington, DC. As we speak Lauren, whose books embrace Not What You Assume: Why the Bible Would possibly Be Nothing We Anticipated But All the things We Want and Solely One Life: How a Girl’s Each Day Shapes an Everlasting Legacy, works on the Passion Foyer company workplace, and is pursuing a PhD in Ethics and Public Coverage at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Lauren and her husband Michael dwell in Oklahoma Metropolis, Oklahoma.

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