Wednesday, October 28, 2009

the Bible: God-Breathed and Messily Human

Relevant Magazine had a pretty decent article online recently, about how we approach the parts of the Bible that don't seem to match up. Normally, when you hear this issue discussed, it's either an Atheist throwing everything out the window, or a very conservative believer defending against such heresy.

We cannot deny that there are portions and verses in scripture that don't seem to make sense, in the light of history or in the light of each other. So how do we respond? Is all scripture God-breathed (yes), or is all scripture assembled/remembered/written by humans (yes)? Can we trust the word of God as a resource for Truth, even if we can't always trust it as a source of truth?

Or should we just assume it all makes sense to God, and the reason some things seem to not make sense is some larger message that will all fit together when God finishes all that He is working towards? After all, who are we humans to try and understand all of the divine this Book contains?

Is there a way to study the truths found in scripture, and the Truths found in scripture, and still faithfully proclaim the message about Jesus Christ and God's Kingdom found throughout? YES!!!!

Barna's new study shows that our current approaches to Scriptures are not doing a whole lot of good in view of how they are being related to by the next generations. We need to be Christians who are knowledgeable, not only on the blunt facts and histories and obvious Truths found in scriptures....but also believers who are wrestling and honest with the truths and more difficult Truths found throughout. This is a word meant to be active and alive, becoming flesh through us as we're transformed by the Spirit of Jesus Christ.

God is calling us to proclaim the Truths of His Word so much more than the truths found in scriptures, yet they needn't be considered separately. We can honestly say "I'm not sure", and may God's Spirit guide us to a better understanding and living out of the Word He has breathed, and brings to life each day.

Granted, Barna has his own notions I'm sure influence how such stats are reported....choosing home cells over a congregation any day. But may we be a Church that lives out a hunger for scripture as something that is Sacred, Accurate in the Truth it proclaims, Jesus-centered, God-breathed, and engaging the world around us....

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