Cincinnati-based author Marty Solomon recently had a gathering at The Book & Cover bookstore in Chattanooga, Tennessee, where he spoke about the importance of embracing questions about the Bible.
He also promoted his new book, “Asking Better Questions of the Bible: A Guide for the Wounded, Wary & Longing for More.”
Finding New Depth
According to the Chattanoogan, Solomon was brought up in a strict evangelical community in the south of Idaho.
He was trained to always have answers about the Gospel, but as a young pastor in his mid-20s, he began to question his faith.
He felt that there must be more to the Bible than what he had been taught during his upbringing and training.
Solomon stated that he began to feel that always having the answers was unhelpful for connecting with people on a deeper level.
He added that he began seeking out different mentors and academic perspectives to better understand the Bible from a historical Jewish perspective.
In 2008, he went on a trip to Israel with his mentor Ray Vander Laan.
According to him, this experience had a significant impact on his life and ministry, leading him to a new path.
When he came back from the trip, he realized that he was making progress in understanding his faith better.
Moreover, Solomon's perspective on questions changed when he visited the Eastern Jewish world.
According to Solomon, he realized that questions were not just valid but essential, as they drove the entire process of understanding.
He stated that this revelation gave him a new depth of understanding and appreciation for the importance of asking questions when it comes to interpreting the Bible.
In his book, he discussed how the Western approach to the Bible tends to focus on finding and providing answers to prove its truth.
However, adopting a historical perspective of the Bible not only freed him from this mindset but also ignited a natural curiosity to understand the genuine meaning behind the text.
Helping the Wounded, Wary, Longing
Solomon realized that his spiritual struggles were becoming more common in society.
Through his BEMA podcast and book, he offers an alternative perspective to the Western view of the Bible by exploring the historical Jewish perspective of the original text.
His book's subtitle suggests that it aims to help those who are feeling wounded, wary, and longing for more.
According to Solomon, he hopes that his own experiences and detours in his spiritual journey will resonate with others who are going through similar disillusionment.
Solomon was able to reflect on his journey of faith, where he felt wounded and skeptical of the evangelical world he was trained.
He believes that a healthy life of faith involves constantly evolving and learning, allowing himself to be changed without feeling ashamed or wrong.
With this, he encourages people to celebrate the fact that they are alive, growing, and evolving and not to view change as a negative thing as it is a freeing and wonderful experience.
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