Humanity was not made for Scripture but Scripture for Humanity

Following from the idea of sola scriptura (scripture alone), many Christians, primarily those coming out of the Protestant traditions, have come to think that if people will just read the Bible they will become followers of Christ. That is, they seem to suggest that acceptance of the Bible as an authoritative text for life precedes acceptance of Christ Jesus as Lord and Savio(u)r.

In convincing the world of this basic though generally erroneous assumption, we Protestants have unfortunately been quite successful. I am reminded of this through my recent interactions with non-Christians of various kinds.

To witness our success, take some time to listen to how non-Christians portray Christianity. For a moment, you might see yourself as in a mirror, it may be a funhouse mirror but it is a mirror, nonetheless.

When you do take time to listen, to ask questions, to create space for your neighbo(u)r to give voice to their ideas, frustrations, fears, dreams, desires, and concerns, I think you will hear what I hear quite consistently. That is, in the distortions of the funhouse mirror, this view of the authority of Scripture is an accurate reflection of what they hear from Christians. Continue reading “Humanity was not made for Scripture but Scripture for Humanity”

Advertisements

Beyond the Veil: Keeping God Safe in His Box

God’s Empowering Presence

When Gordon Fee, retired Professor of New Testament at Regent College, reached the tearing of the Temple curtain that coincided with Jesus death on the cross, he described this as the Spirit of God rending the this thick curtain and shouting, “Get me out of here.” Fee’s book on the Spirit in Paul’s writings is fittingly titled God’s Empowering Presence. The Temple was a symbol of God’s presence in the midst of God’s people. Yet, the New Testament authors and I believe Jesus himself saw the Temple as a barrier to what was truly important to the Creator God, that is God desires to be with his people.

Although many Christian readers miss it, a key theme in both the Old and the New Testaments is the Creator God being present with God’s people. While some might see the climax of the Exodus in the parting of the Red Sea or the receiving of the ten commandments, it seems clear that for Moses and the author of Exodus the construction of the Tabernacle and the descent of the glory of God into their midst is the true climax of this narrative. Continue reading “Beyond the Veil: Keeping God Safe in His Box”