The other day I was listening to a debate about the existence of God between a Christian Minister and an Atheist. The atheist kept quoting scripture in an effort to show “contradictions” or “inconsistencies”. At one point the minister responded “There is a lot more to God than just scripture”. I feel that this is true. But so many people when it comes to their God and their religion cling to their interpretation of scriptures as if nothing else matters. To illustrate that scripture isn’t always necessary in matters of morality I will use an example of teaching a child not to steal. First explain to the child that when they take someone else’s property they are hurting that person. Tell examples of the pain and inconveniences the victim will feel. Then explain the inner shame that the child will feel after stealing and the fact that they never can enjoy the stolen item. You could finally show them many examples of those who stole and the consequences faced through stories, documentaries etc. There are countless ones to choose from in every culture. The above example could apply to really any of the major 10 commandments. There is the scripture “Though should not steal” and then there is the real life stuff. So my larger question is what is the danger of reducing everything about God to just scripture. Some parts of the Bible aren’t easy to understand. Many Christians and non-Christians get scripture wrong all the time. What is more valuable wise experience or scripture? Is it dangerous for someone without a seminary/theological background to study the bible alone?