One of the problems with reading the bible in a flat manner is that huge chunks of it seems to be there for the sole purpose of establishing the perverseness and pervasiveness of corruption and injustice, commonly referred to in Christian circles as sin, and consequently of the need for salvation. Consider the narrative sections of the Bible. There is little that is redeeming in the accounts of Cain and Abel, or of the Tower of Babel, or during the time of the Judges, or of the kings of Israel. They’re all about how corrupt things got. We find the same thing in much of the Bible’s wisdom literature. We are exposed to the so-called wisdom of Job’s friends and of the teacher of Ecclesiastes but in the end it is exposed as foolishness. It’s only in the final verses you get exposed to what God’s view really is. If you cherry picked actions and teachings from these books at random, to use as guides for life, you’re not using them as they were intended to be used. 

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