More and more I hear people challenging religion, its purpose and role in society. To me, religion serves two primary roles: it helps me to connect with "God" and it gives me a lens through which to understand life- and I'll start with the second in this post.
I think humans throughout the ages have tried to figure life out, and that means different things to different people. Scientists try to make sense out of life by peering through microscopes and telescopes; mathematicians are trying to understand through formulas, theoretical physicists ponder the outer regions and contemplate a theory of everything; the psychiatrists examine the brain and the psychologists examines the mind; and the religious (in the western tradition) consider God...and that's me.
As I read Scripture, I have an appreciation on how my ancestors understood God. To the ancients God was vengeful and angry. In some of the writings of the prophets and in the teachings of Jesus I hear of a merciful and loving God. I don't know that God changed, we did.
As I read Scripture, a larger picture of God is a God of compassion and I wonder, Am I compassionate? When I drive, when I encounter someone is different than I, am I compassionate? Do my actions reflect my belief in God?
As I read Scripture it seems as though "faithfulness" is important and so I wonder, am I being to faithful to God, my beliefs, my friends, my faith?
I don't know that Scripture will ever be able to answer all my questions because I don't know what I'm looking for- I'm simply trying to figure life out.