The Bible As Improv by Ron Mortoia

God’s Word is timeless. But some of the Bible’s ancient teachings seem to have little relevance to modern life. Picking and choosing which passages apply today and which are outdated can be confusing, even overwhelming. God’s Word applies to yesterday, tomorrow, for eternity – in ancient time, modern time, forever.

The Bible as Improv
by Ron Mortoia
Zondervan
2010

Ron, like most of us, was introduced to the Bible and God at an early age by his parents, Sunday school teacher and/or Pastor. The doctrine they believed is what we/he believed. However, Ron ‘s upbringing is a little different than most of us. A Presbyterian mom and a Catholic father raised him. Two very different doctrines. Like most of us, Ron didn’t think too much about the saving grace of God or his word although he had attended some Bible Studies with his mother. Ron played baseball and early this one summer day he broke his ankle sliding into base. This, of course, grounded him for the entire summer. With really nothing to do Ron began to study the Bible and other books he could acquire, He started a Bible Study in high school with his friends, picking and choosing certain passages from the Scriptures to discuss – not really understanding what they were reading they were confused. One of his friends wanted a tattoo, but his mother said no. The group went to Scripture to see if it is ok with God to have a Tattoo. Leviticus 19:28 states – “Do not cut your bodies for the dead or put tattoos marks on yourselves. I am the Lord.” So no tattoo – did this really apply today? I purposely brought out the story about the tattoo for a reason. This is the way most of us think today. God’s Word only applies to what we want it to apply to – we pick and chose particular Scripture passages and apply them to our life style.

The Bible as Improv is written in three parts:
Part 1: My Journey with the Scripture Script: The Good, the Bad. And the Inconsistent
Part 2: My Theological Journey: Reading the Script with Fresh Eyes
Part 3: Improv-ing the Script. Learning to Riff in Community

We have a tendency to read God’s Word through outdated lenses. We need to change our glasses – get new clear lenses. The Scriptures are like a play. The Bible, like all scripts, has a narrative logic, a message being communicated in the whole. Part of our job is to wrestle with and reflect on what we as a community of Jesus-followers think the script says. We need conversation. – a read through to get the feel of the whole story. Like any great drama, the biblical script is complex and layered.

The Bible as Improv is a great, eye opening, stimulating book. Read the book and I guarantee that when you again study God’s Word it will be as if it is your very first time. You will see through bright, clear new lenses and you will see the whole story. God’s Word is timeless and eternal – it pertains to us today as it did to God’s people hundred of year ago.

Ron Martoia is an excellent writer, speaker and theologian. Highly recommended.


Mary Asher, the Golden Reviewer, is a founding book blogger for BookGateway.com and has generously provided this review. She describes herself as “An 80 year old avid reader reviews the newest in Christian fiction and non-fiction with a sprinkle of the secular on top.”.

This book was provided by the publisher as a review copy.