The Congregation at Duke University Chapel


photo of Andrew two different world maps

I can’t remember the first time I saw this map on the left. From my earliest days, this was just the way the world looked. I never questioned it. Until the day I saw the map on the right of the pair in Mr. Temple’s 10th grade history class.

Called the Gall-Peters projection, the map on the right approaches the problem of putting a spherical Earth on a flat piece of paper in a different way, with a shockingly different result.

On my internal map, the one I had never questioned, Africa and Greenland were about the same size. But as Mr. Temple told us, in reality, Africa is 15 times larger Greenland, and this new map showed it.

I will leave to others to describe how maps are made and why this makes a difference in how we think about the world; for the moment, it is enough to say that questioning something I had always taken for granted turned my world upside down. At first, it was disorienting, but over time, I learned that I could never return to my simple, unquestioned assumptions about the world.

Starting on January 23, young adults and university students will gather to take a hard look at the maps we have been given, to question the ways we have been taught to read the Bible that so often lead to death and destruction. We'll use the book Manna and Mercy to read the Bible with fresh eyes. From Genesis to Revelation, we'll dive deep into the Scriptures, and discover a new, life-giving way to read the story of God.

Like trying to project a sphere on a flat piece of paper, capturing the story of God in just one perspective is an impossible task. Reading Scripture is always a conversation that begins with humility and takes place in Christian community.

If you would like to join us for this 6-week conversation about reading the Bible with fresh eyes, email me to sign up, or attend our information session after worship on Sunday, January 14 in the Chapel Kitchen.

I can’t wait to read alongside you!