Tag Archives: biblical authority

Behold Your God — Week Three Introduction

11 Jun

The other day, I heard Dan Barker of the Freedom from Religion Foundation in a conversation with Tucker Carlson discussing the constitutionality of an elementary school having off-hours Bible clubs for kids led by teachers. The debate was interesting, but Barker’s statements about the Bible really piqued my interest. Barker said he was against the Bible clubs because of constitutional reasons but really, he couldn’t see why anyone would want to study a book as awful as the Bible anyway, what with all the violence and slavery and the like within its pages. Of course, Barker is being somewhat disingenuous to stir the pot but his view has taken hold in our day far more than we might like to think. Others have followed the theory of the DaVinci Code novels, holding that the Bible has some good things to say, but these things were all shaped by the Catholic Church in the fourth century so that we really can’ t trust what the Bible says or even if we have the real Bible, since there are many books which have been found which were not included in the Bible.

What we believe about the Bible is critically important to our faith. If we believe it is the thoughts of religious people, or a concoction of the Church, or a book by people with primitive ideas, we will be inclined to approach it casually or even regard it with hostility. But if we accept what the Bible says about itself, that it is the Word of God inspired by God, then we will approach the Bible with much more respect and even expect to read valuable truth within its pages.

So we must first settle in our hearts the issue of believing the Bible is God’s Word. Having settled that issue, we then turn to another important issue: what should we be looking for when we read the Scriptures?

Most people are inclined to look for themselves in the Scriptures, or look for behaviors they can imitate. We are hoping for that word of guidance, that word that speaks to our situation. And some of this is good and right. But this week’s study will point us in a different direction. We are called first and foremost to look for God as we read the Bible. The Bible is the greatest gateway to knowing God . . . who He is, what He is like, what He is doing in the world. Through the Scriptures we can know God.

Since this is true, why would we not give serious time every day to reading and meditating over the Bible? Why would we not pray earnestly every time we come to the Bible, “Lord, open my eyes that I might see wonderful things in Your Word”? This week, we will be Beholding God in the Bible, something that just might change your whole life.

A Good Word

20 Aug

From Dane Ortlund . . .

“Bible; Bible; Bible. Sit under, not stand over. Self-consciously, not assumingly. It’s tantalizingly easy (I have found in my own thinking) to slip from claimed biblical authority with functional biblical authority to claimed biblical authority with functional personal-framework authority. Anyone can extract a few texts and make ‘the Bible’ say what they want. The question is: whose delineation presents biblical truth with the rhythm and flavor of the Bible itself? We can sound clever, and quote texts, all the while lacking the aroma of truth that arises from a wise synthesis of all the Bible says. You can smell when someone’s really sitting under the Bible, the whole Bible, or not.”

Entertainment-Oriented or Bible-Oriented?

2 Aug

John Piper makes a good distinction about preaching in a recent post on the Desiring God website (www.desiringgod.org).

“The difference between an entertainment-oriented preacher and a Bible-oriented preacher is the manifest connection of the preacher’s words to the Bible as what authorizes what he says.

The entertainment-oriented preacher seems to be at ease talking about many things that are not drawn out of the Bible. In his message, he seems to enjoy more talking about other things than what the Bible teaches. His words seem to have a self-standing worth as interesting or fun. They are entertaining. But they don’t give the impression that this man stands as the representative of God before God’s people to deliver God’s message.

The Bible-oriented preacher, on the other hand, does see himself that way — “I am God’s representative sent to God’s people to deliver a message from God.” He knows that the only way a man can dare to assume such a position is with a trembling sense of unworthy servanthood under the authority of the Bible. He knows that the only way he can deliver God’s message to God’s people is by rooting it in and saturating it with God’s own revelation in the Bible.”

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