Thursday, June 7, 2007

The Bible as God's Very Word

When I was a youngster my mom would never leave the house without making a list of chores for me and my two brothers. I am sure many of you were afflicted in this same way. When my mom came home the chores were usually done. However, sometimes my brothers would get side tracked and mom would come home to a pig sty (notice that I said "my brothers." Usually they would try and con me into doing their chores). About 10 min before mom was supposed to get home we would scurry around the house trying to finish what we could. When mom would walk through the door we would hear her yell, "Luke! Clint! Jimmy! Get down here!" We would walk with our heads down knowing we were in trouble. Mom would then say, "Boys, why are your chores not done?" Usually we would come up with all sorts of excuses. Many of which were down right lame. What do you think mom's response would have been if we would have said, "Duh Mom, you never told us to clean the kitchen, mop and vacuum the floors, mow the lawn, and make our beds you wrote it. We would have done these things if you would have told us to do them, but you didn't. All you did was write us a list." First of all, this would have royally ticked my mother off. My Mother usually never loses her head when she is angry. I am sure that her response would have been something like this, "What? You know full well that when I write something it is no less from my mouth than when I speak it. You are merely looking for a way to not do your chores. GET THESE CHORES DONE NOW!" We all know that both speaking and writing are forms of communication. When my mom wrote us a chore list it was just as much from her mouth as if she had spoken it. Writing, in a sense, is speaking in written/codified form. This is why you would go to jail if you recieved a letter from President Bush commanding you to go to court house and sign up for the draft and did not do it. Just because President Bush did not tell you to go to the court house with his mouth does not mean that he did not tell you to go. He told you in written form.


The Bible is God's Word. God has spoken. The Bible is no less the very words of God because it is in written form. Imagine if right now God were to come down to you in the form of an angel and command you (in His God voice) to go to Wal-Mart and buy as many tubes of toothpaste as you could fit in your shopping cart. Would you not immediately drop whatever you are doing to go to Wal-Mart to do what He told you to do? Of course you would. I mean come on, God actually told you to go to Wal-Mart. Only a fool would not take it seriously. Why then do we not take seriously what God has said in His Word. That is right, what God has said in His word is no less from His mouth than if He were to appear to you in the form of an angel and specifically tell you something. Why do we seem to have this disconnect today? Why is it that we do not equate the authority and truth of the written Word with the spoken Word? Do you take God's word as seriously as you would if He were to come to you in the form of an angel and tell you something? Would you take the command to "not store up treasures on earth but in heaven" more seriously if God were to manifest Himself to you and speak to you audibly? Probably, because God is invisible, we do not take His written Word as seriously as we do His spoken Word.

Once we realize that the Bible is the very Word of God there is no going back. Once this is realized, why would we want to look anywhere but to the Bible for answers. If I want to know how to shoot a basketball I am not going to call Bill Gates. No, I am going to call Michael Jordan. If I want to know how to shoot a basketball I am going to call the basketball expert. If I want to know how my wife is feeling I am not going to call her brides maids. No, I am going to go to the source and ask my wife how she is feeling. If I want to know who God is, how He works, what He thinks, and what He expects of me I am going to ask God. So many people today develop their idea of who God is without taking into consideration what God has already said about who He is. Did you catch that? They have not taken into consideration what God has already said about HIMSELF.

Who is God? What does He expect of you and Me? Well, I could really care less what you or I think. What I want to know is what God thinks. This may come as a blow to your self esteem, but your thoughts on God are worthless to me and should be worthless to you. I do not say this because I think I am smarter than you. No, I say this because God is smarter than you AND He has spoken. What counts is God's thoughts on Himself, because He is the expert on who He is, how He works, and what He expects of us. Your thoughts on God are only good in so far as they are shaped by what God (the expert) has said. Sorry to be so up front, but if your ideas conflict with God's then you are wrong. This is why innovative theology is worthless. As a theologian, it is my goal not to come up with new ideas, but to conform my ideas to those of God's. It is my goal, as a theologian, to think God's thoughts after God. To do anything else is down right silly.

More on this later...

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

hi kristal,jimmy and baby james: just a quick note to say how much we miss you, and love you three so much. glad to hear james is going so great, and has dimples. and that smile, WOW, he is handsome like his dad, and he looks like his momma alot. i am still looking forward to sitting and hugging him very soon, as soon as you are ready. i know letting him out of your site for only a second is very hard. i think i understand, never having a child, i can only guess what a mothers love is like. you are all so special and we a blessed to have you guys as our family. aint it great... have to go for now. love you all. great auntie joyce

Pastor Luke said...

Jimmy,

Great Post!!!! I would ask you to address the following issue: there are many who would intellectually ascent to the inspiration and authority of Scripture, but would limit its scope of application to issues of historical context.

For example, Jesus' clear indication in Matthew 5 that when a married couple divorces for less than sexaul immorality and then remaries, that remarriage is, in God's eyes a continual adulterous affair.

I cannot remember who, but in conversation with someone they responded to this text by saying, "Well, in Jesus' day this was true, but there are so many divorces today that we cannot take this seriously." I know, off hand, this person didn't have a clue about Jesus' day in regard of divorces, as they were just as prevelant, if not more, than today...but, beyond that, how far can we take the historical context for imposing moral issues upon others, and even ourselves?

Women not wearing a head covering, men with long hair, taking some alcohol for our stomachs, etc... Those imperatives that we lessen as a result of historical application and others...how do we draw the line? How, do we be faithful to what God has spoken without being legalistic, or anti-nomian?

Luke

mharkness@machlink.com said...

I really checked your blog to see if there were any new photos and was pleasantly surprised to see all of the new ones. Baby James is getting to be one handsome dude.I also enjoyed your blog about the word of God. All to often we take the scriptures and twist it to suit ourselves. I've done it many times and that doesn't make me proud, only honest. Thanks for the great insite.
Gramma Harky My love to all three

jessy said...

hi jimmy snow and krystal snow.

Anonymous said...

Hey Jimmy,

How's things? Can you give me an e-mail address to contact you on?
Thanks,

Andy Doyle