There are two approaches to reading the Bible. The more familiar way is to emphasize the “High Road” – that is to point to the more encouraging stories. For example, the story of how God helped Abraham’s servant to find a wife for Isaac, or the incredible story of the “stairway to heaven” that Jacob saw, or the faith of Joseph while in Egypt are all examples of this approach. We should emphasize these “High Road” stories but yet, we often gloss over the difficult and troubling passages which Dr. Alden Thompson calls the “Low Road” approach.
I think that there is great value in walking down the low road, although it is a bit like watching a violent movie in which we may be tempted to walk out in frustration after a certain point. The low road approach forces us to confront polygamy, the deceptive actions of Jacob, the rape of Dinah and the fact that Simeon and Levi slaughtered an entire village to get even. The low road approach confronts us with Reuben who had sexual relations with his father’s concubine and then Judah who solicited a woman he thought was a prostitute, but then later discovered was his daughter-in-law, Tamar.
What possible value is there in the “Low Road”? Much in every way!
In the video below, Dr. Brad Cole narrates his powerpoint slide presentation.