We are two weeks into the full-time programme at Cor Deo. It has been a privilege to be part of the group and I’m really looking forward to the weeks ahead. One of the central and defining features of what we do together is to really saturate in the Word of God. This week we will be looking at Genesis, Leviticus, John 2-3, and other sections too. So in this weeks post I thought I’d dwell a little on the diversity of genres in the Bible. I’ve been posting on this issue over on my preaching site, but the subject fits well on here too.
What does the diversity of genres tell us about God?
Certainly, just as in the creation itself, the diversity speaks of the creativity of God. Whatever else may be said about the Bible, it would be ridiculous to suggest it is flat or boringly uniform. From the precise propositions of Paul in letter-writing action to the vivid imagery of David’s Psalms to the passionate proclamations of the prophets to the high-paced presentation of Christ’s ministry in Mark, etc., there is a vivid diversity to be enjoyed in the Scriptures.
The diversity of genres also speaks of God’s excellence as a communicator. While the Bible may appear to some to be merely a fascinating historical compendium of random writers, there is a unity in the canon that is evident to all who look carefully. If God were as predictable and even mechanical as many seem to think He is, then the Bible would surely be a far more uniform and predictable reading experience. Instead we find our hearts warmed, our imaginations captured, our affections captivated, our minds stirred, our lives changed as we read the Bible’s poetry, narrative, discourse, prophecy, gospels, etc.
The diversity of genres reinforce the overall impact from numerous angles. The books of Moses present a thread of the tapestry in one form, the historical narratives demonstrate that thread in one context or other, the wisdom literature illustrates that thread in a different way, the prophets reinforce the thread with stunning shock and awe tactics, the gospels show the thread enfleshed in the person of Christ, and the epistles show the thread being applied in a context much closer to our own.
So much more could be said, but these three observations alone combine to make an important point. God’s inspired Word is a delight to behold in its diversity and creativity. God’s inspired Word is an amazing united message to soak our lives in. God’s inspired Word will mark us again and again from every side. This is why we are making sure we read it both aggressively and relationally. The Bible is not a text book at Cor Deo, it is more like a constant companion, a daily delight, the pulse of the programme as we read it and it reads us. We’ve said it before, but no harm repeating . . . would you join us as we read the Bible through in these months (and please share highlights, these are an encouragement to us all!)