An animated conversation about the Bible.

by Rachel Held Evans Read Distraction Free

So last winter I had the awesome privilege of sitting down with a bunch of people WAY smarter than me to drink inordinate amounts of coffee and talk about the Bible. (You know you’re in over your head when Will Willimon cracks a joke about supersessionism that has Phyllis Tickle and Nadia Bolz-Weber giggling and you wondering what supersessionism is.)  

The group also included Eric Elnes, Jose Morales, Jay Bakker, Tony Jones, and a team of talented illustrators and editors, all collaborating on the second installment of an adult education series called Animate. 

While Animate.Faith covers what you might call the basics of the Christian faith, Animate.Bible focuses in on the Bible—its importance, its history, its interpretation, and its relevance.  This is a topic close to my heart, so it was a joy listening and learning as Jose Morales (a bishop in the Disciples of Christ Church who also happens to be a DJ) explained how we can think about biblical genres much in the same way we think about musical genres, and as Jay Bakker shared why he hasn’t given up on the Bible, even when he’s seen it abused and misused. It was also fun to see each of our sessions turned into a video, complete with cool animations in the background. 

Just as Aimate sparked some lively conversation among our group, so it is meant to spark conversation in small groups around the country. Each session encourages participants to discuss, sketch, doodle, create and share. It’s an open-ended approach that provides space for reflection and prayer in a beautifully illustrated journal. 

The topic I tackled was the Testaments: How are we to approach the two testaments of Scripture in light of Jesus? What are we supposed to do with those strange stories from the Old Testament we struggle to understand? Is the Old Testament still relevant to Christians today? 

Here's a clip: 

Eric Elnes discusses the canon, Phyllis Tickle shares about the history of the Bible, Nadia Bolz-Weber illuminates the gospels, Jose Morales tackles genre, Will Willimon examines the interpretation process, and Jay Bakker talks about his favorite topic in the world - grace. 

So if you’re looking for a great conversation-starter to use in your small group or church, you might want to check out Animate.Bible, which releases today. 

I hope it generates as much laughter, discussion and debate as it did within our group. 

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