Wednesday, May 28, 2008

A few more thoughts about the Bible

A few more thoughts (from people who said it better than me) about the Bible (these are "leftovers" from the theology Bible Institute class last night):

"I am a Bible-bigot. I follow it in all things, both great and small." [John Wesley.]

"Contemporary evangelicalism has been beguiled and sabotaged by a ruinous lack of confidence in God's Word. I'm not talking about the question of whether God gave us an inerrant Bible. Of course He did. And the great majority of evangelicals accept that without question. But many who would never doubt the Bible's authenticity as God's Word or distrust its essential authority as a guide for righteous living have nevertheless accepted the notion that Scripture simply does not contain all we need to minister well in these complex and sophisticated modern times." [John MacArthur, Our Sufficiency in Christ.]

"The whole Bible maintains this insistence that God's word is His exclusive instrument in all human affairs. Of Him, as of no one else, it is true that what He says goes. It is in truth the word of God that rules the world, and that fixes our fortunes for us." [J. I. Packer, Knowing God.]

Wherever in the church biblical authority has been lost, Christ has been displaced, the gospel has been distorted, or faith has been perverted, it has always been for one reason: our interests have displaced God's and we are doing his work in our way. The loss of God's centrality in the life of today's church is common and lamentable. It is this loss that allows us to transform worship into entertainment, gospel preaching into marketing, believing into technique, being good into feeling good about ourselves, and faithfulness into being successful. As a result, God, Christ and the Bible have come to mean too little to us and rest too inconsequentially upon us." ["The Cambridge Declaration," from the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals.]

"It's always best to drink at the well and not from the tank. You shall find that reading the Word of God for yourselves, reading it rather than notes upon it, is the surest way of growing in grace. Drink the unadulterated milk of the Word of God, and not of the skim milk, or the milk and water of man's word." [Charles Spurgeon, Counsel for Christian Workers.]

"For some years now, I have read through my Bible twice every year. If you picture the Bible to be a mighty tree and every word a little branch, I have shaken every one of these branches because I wanted to know what it was and what it meant." [Martin Luther.]

"The Scriptures are not provided to feed our gossipy curiosity or legislate our barnyard morals: they examine our lives and invite our faith." [Eugene Peterson, Working the Angles.]

"It's not so much what we read in the Bible that changes us, but what we remember. Doubtless there are many believers who should increase their daily intake of Scripture, but many others are devoting all the time they can. If you cannot possibly add meditation to the time you already spend reading, then read less in order to meditate more. The goal is not just to 'get through' a certain amount of pages, but to meet God and hear from Him." [Don Whitney, Simplify Your Spiritual Life.]

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