For those of you who have ever worked at a ropes course or gone rock-climbing, you know what that phrase means. For those who haven't, there are two options for ropes courses. One is static and the other is dynamic.
Static (left) means that each person in the air is attached with a short tether to the belay cable or anchor point. The participant/climber removes, attaches, and secures themselves as they move through the course and is only able to move along the lines of the course and the length of their tether (6-8 feet usually). They are on their own for the most part and this is usually the safest option.
Dynamic (right) means that for each person in the air there is a facilitator on the ground holding their rope (the belayer). Thus, dynamic courses require a dependence on another person. They also offer more freedom of movement (side to side, up and down, etc.) for the participant/climber yet are inherently more dangerous.
Static courses are easy and usually don't get a lot of people who want to do them again and again. They are for beginners. The are great for getting some one over their fear of heights and for establishing certain principles and ideas in climbing. Dynamic courses are the most fun. They offer scary moments even for the most seasoned participants. They have the element of mystery attached to them as every movement can lead to a different path than before. You can swing your self around an obstacle instead of having to trudge the same path as every other person has done.
Faith is supposed to be dynamic. We aren't supposed to know every step of the way. There are supposed to be constant questions and multiple options. It's supposed to be scary. It's supposed to be fun. A static faith is the one filled with expectations and responsibilities. A dynamic faith moves past those into freedom. Granted, that freedom should not lead us to detach ourselves from the rope and the one it is connected to. It should not cause us to abuse the person holding the rope by jumping off at random points and expecting them to always save us. We must respect, honor, and cherish the one who takes upon themselves the responsibility and care for us. But we also get to trust that person and swing and change direction and free fall and experience the freedom that comes with dynamic faith.
The Bible is a dynamic book. Anyone who reduces it to "Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth" cheapens the danger that lies within. They abandon the freedom it represents. And worst of all, they limit its truths to that which is contained between the covers. They do not allow the experiences of others to shape how we view the narratives (which are just written experiences) within. The Bible, in a sense, is still being written. It is living and active and remains so as long as we continue to live it and allow it to live through us. As we activate it and we contribute to the story, the Bible continues to grow and become more and more relevant to us and the world in which we live. Those who limit it or claim to understand it or cheapen it to a list of "do's and don'ts" make this dynamic book static. It will only ever take them 6-8 feet. Those who strive to let it be dynamic will get to experience the wonder and terror of this incredible narrative. And our stories will continue that narrative.
Bottom line, the Bible is not the course. It is not the belayer. It is simply the rope. The course is our story and the limit we place on the rope will limit our experiences. The belayer is Christ. And we are the precious ones whom he chooses to attach himself to. He does it to save us, to free us, and to watch with joy as we swing through the trees. I pray I move more towards that dynamic faith. I pray I view the Bible as active. I pray the static mindset I (and the church in general) have clung to is shattered and adventure comes in its place.