I’ve loved working with Ken Wytsma over the years and learned a ton from him (we’re in the same church-planting network). So was honored to be interviewed as a guest on his blog this week:
KW: You call the tough topics of the Christian faith “the skeletons in God’s closet”—can you explain what you mean by this?
JB: Totally. I’ve found many of us fear God is hiding “skeletons in the closet,” tough topics like hell, judgment and holy war that, if we opened the closet doors (our bibles) and looked more closely, we’re afraid we’d find that God is not truly good or worthy of our trust.
But we often feel this way, I’ve come to believe, because we have a caricature of what the gospel actually says. Popular caricatures in our culture—and in our churches—make God look like a sadistic torturer, a cold-hearted judge or a genocidal maniac . . . rather than a good and loving God.
I’ve wrestled with these topics over the years, and talked with countless others who struggle with them too. So I wanted to help folks grappling with them by “throwing open the closet doors,” so to speak, to pull these bones out into the open and exchange the popular caricatures for the beauty and power of the real thing.
When we do, I believe we discover these were never really skeletons at all . . . but proclamations of a God who is good “in his very bones,” not just in what he does, but in who he is.
So my biggest hope is to help us reclaim a confidence in the goodness of God—not in spite of these topics, but actually through them . . .