In my early teens, my parents bought me a stereo. The speakers were on hinges that allowed you to detach them from the base. The wire to the speakers was long enough to allow you to set the speakers away from the base for the maximum stereo effect. The stereo came with a demo record—remember those round thin black disks. Just checking. First, you could hear the voice of the announcer coming out of the left speaker, then the right, then the left… Out of the left speaker, you could hear, “You…”, and then from the right speaker, “…ain’t…” and then the left, “…heard…” then the right, “…nothing…” then the left, “…yet.” “You…ain’t…heard…nothing…yet.” We played that demo for everyone who came into the house.
As you can imagine, the stereo would not have worked the way it was supposed to if one of the speakers was turned off. All you would have heard was, “You…heard…yet,” or if the other speaker had been turned off, I would have only heard, “…ain’t…nothing.” That wouldn’t do at all.
Reading the Bible is like listening to a stereo. If one of the speakers is turned off (or at least turned down), we engage in a distorted reading of the Bible. Imagine, coming out of one speaker, we are told that the Bible is divided into two covenants—which is true. Over the years, I have noticed that hearing this message over and over again, has distorted the thinking of some about the value of the Old Testament.
Some have concluded, “We are no longer under that covenant, so what is it’s importance to us?” You may be enlightened enough to say, “That is absurd?”, but I recall, in my youth, thinking this very thing. It also made good sense to me because it reduced the amount I would need to read by about two-thirds. (I was a slow reader and even slower to comprehend.)
Let’s imagine the other speaker telling us that the Bible tells a story that begins in the Old Testament and ends sign the New. There are a variety of useful books on this subject arguing that the Bible, when viewed from the story dimension, can be divided into 6 Acts:
Act 1: The Story of Creation
Act 2: The Story of the Fall
Act 3: The Story of Israel
Act 4: The Story of Jesus
Act 5: The Story of the Church
Act 6: The Return of the King
I do not want to be misunderstood. I am not saying that the first speaker (the two covenants aspect) should be turned down any more than I am suggesting that the other speaker (the story dimension) should be cranked up to drown out the first speaker. I am suggesting that both speakers, like a stereo, need to be on in order to hear the whole Story.