13 March 2008

What I Really Think: #1 - The Word of God

OK. This may be the first in a series in which I attempt to present, in distinctly unCroghanesque fashion, some (potentially controversial?) opinions that I've formed, which I feel secure enough about to present relatively unvarnished, without a lot of qualifying words wrapped around them. That doesn't mean I'm not open to debate or correction or accountability regarding them - quite the contrary - I'm just not going to make you wade through a lot of parenthetical hemming and hawing in order to get to the bits you might want to disagree with. Er - apart from this paragraph, that is. After this, no more hemming and hawing.

So without further disclaimer, here's #1: The Word of God.

I think that Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ, God's Son, is the Word of God. (See the first chapter of John.) I think that if we call the Bible the Word of God, and mean by that statement that it has authority approaching that of Jesus himself, then we flirt with a very bad kind of idolatry.

I think that Jesus is the best hermeneutic for interpreting Scripture. In other words, I think that the Old Testament and the rest of the New Testament must be interpreted first and foremost in light of the words and actions of Jesus in the Gospels.

That doesn't mean I think we can lay one jot or tittle of those books aside. The Bible, to me, is our primary witness to the Word of God, Jesus Christ (as well as God the Creator and the Holy Spirit) and that it's inspired by God throughout. I think it's incumbent upon every Christian to wrestle with Scripture and listen deeply for what God is telling us through every sentence - even the hard bits. (Though that message may not always be the surface-level literal meaning of the text.)

I hope and pray that followers of Jesus will be immersed in Scripture every day - but that we will not make of it a graven (or printed or pixel-lit) image. I'm pretty sure God isn't fond of those. I read that in the Bible.

HT: A certain bald wise guy, who got me thinking about this this past weekend when he blew though town, encouraging us to change everything.

If I keep this up, further installments of "What I Really Think" might address topics like, "Pastors", "Church Hierarchies", "What the Church is For", and even "Homosexuality and the Church". Stay tuned, tune out, or talk back. It's all OK by me!


BB said...

Nicely said!

Sister Kriss said...

Thanks for sharing this! Great insights and concise presentation :) I look forward to more!

Ken Tennyson said...

Yes, totally agree. Bibliolatry is rampant these days, especially in the evangelical church. Calling the Bible the "word" has always been incorrect and led to many ill conceived ways of thinking (can someone say proof texting!).

dave said...

Awesome, true and well said.
This must be a series!

I was gonna say "Who is the bald dude, and is he on tour?", thinking maybe he was some little-known guy you may have had(:

But now I see who it is...

Heretic! (:

Keep up the good work