Playing both ends against the middle: Part II
Continuing the view into the “The Bible is NOT the WORD OF GOD”: A polemic against Christendom” blog entry from the Emergent Village Voice…
When we assert that the bible is the WORD OF GOD we are diminishing what it means to possess the WORD OF GOD.
An impressively pseudo theological way of saying nothing. Possess the Word of God?? How does one possess the Word of God other than going to a bookstore and buying a Bible? And his assertion that declaring what the Bible is diminishes possession is just ridiculous.
The Bible is not the WORD OF GOD. It has no special powers and it is not magic. Sacred scripture means nothing if it is not alive inside the individual. Embodied, fully embraced. This does not mean that we take apart or dissect the bible in such a way that we are able to extrapolate metaphysical truths about the world around us. That is not the intent of the bible. Rather, the intent of the bible is to provide context for who we are as human beings, who god is as God; and how God has acted throughout history. It is a testimony to our lord Jesus Christ.
Yes, the Bible is the Word of God. It expresses the eternal purpose of God the Father and it is the revelation of Jesus (Revelation 19:10), not just “a testimony” of Him. He’s correct in that it doesn’t have special powers. The Bible has transcendent quality. It’s all about Jesus (John 5:39).
There is the passage of John’s Gospel as he speaks of Christ and declares of the Word of God becoming flesh. This could and would only be accomplished by God in Jesus. Yet those who don’t consider the Bible to have special powers or metaphysical abilities seem to be presumptuous enough to think we can do what Jesus did.
Encountering the WORD OF GOD changes us – it makes us whole. It gives us strength and power. Words on a page do not give us strength; they do not give us power. It is only when we embody those words on the page that we truly become like the WORD OF GOD. It is what Jesus did. He did not come to abolish the law but to fulfill it. That means he embodied the law. He was sinless, he was perfect. He embodied the law in the truest, purest form of what is meant by “the law”. Likewise, we must embody scripture. It must become a part of us, our lives, and our identity; for the truth of God was not found in words or propositions or abstract ideas, but in the truthfulness that exists when we live out the WORD OF GOD on the world stage. (bold emphasis and underline mine)
I suppose we can be magical or have special powers even if the Bible doesn’t by “embodying” the Word of God as Jesus did, whatever that means. I’ve read some amazing gobble-d-gook in my life. This is some of the gobble-d-gookiest.
He’s gone way off the farm, so to speak, and the reason has to do with his missing the forest for the trees. He’s interested in truth as evidenced by the points as underlined above. He correctly observes that the truth of the Bible isn’t found in the words, but neither is it found in his ridiculous “the truthfulness that exists when we live out the Word of God…” The truth of the Bible isn’t found in the accuracy of the text, but in its authenticity. Yes, Jesus was sinless, but then God’s perfection has nothing to do with human accuracy. So why should the orthodox christian believer consider the Bible the Word of God?
Remember Jesus’ prayer to the Father in John 17:17, “…sanctify them through the truth, Your Word is truth.” The Bible declares “This God-His way is perfect; the word of the Lord proves true…” (2 Samuel 22:31) The Bible also says, “The sum of Your word is truth, And every one of Your righteous ordinances is everlasting.” (Psalm 119:160; NASB version) And again, “The law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.” (Psalm 19:7) Furthermore, “But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does.” (James 1:25) I could go on citing verse after verse. The point is, how would mankind know this without the Bible? If the Bible isn’t the Word of God then what is it?
Jesus who testifies to the truth of the Bible, as in John 17:17, Himself declares “I am the way, the truth and the life…” He quotes it on a number of occasions. He doesn’t venerate it as deity. He affirms it’s place over and over. And, as the passages above point out, the Bible affirms itself. It is more than “a testimony to our Lord Jesus Christ”. It is a testimony of Him. The prepositions make a difference. It is genuine and authentically of God. It is the revelation of God. To claim the Bible isn’t the Word of God is to diminish one’s own Christianity, or their possession of it, take your pick.