I don’t know about you, but sometimes I’m tempted to read more about what others have to say about the Bible than reading the Bible itself.
Why such temptation?
I think this probably isn’t the case for me, but even if it was, I wouldn’t call it a temptation because it’s useful to be taught by those whose knowledge of Scripture, practical wisdom, life and ministry experience, and spiritual maturity is greater than my own.
Lon, that’s awesome. But I can’t say the same for myself. I do understand and appreciate your insights about others. But I always have to fight the temptation. I like finishing books by others. You know the feeling.
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Is it any different than for someone who comes to hear you preach/teach? In some respects it is an act of humility, in effect saying, “my pea-sized brain can never fully grasp the Word of God. I want to hear from a fellow believer how God has spoken to him through His Word.”
Heaven knows that those of us with no education in Greek/Hebrew need to hear from those who have, right?
Yes, that’s one way of softening the blow. But I believe the individual will be able to tell the difference – you know, spending more time reading others about the Word rather than spending more time in the Word, wrestling with it, endeavoring to find out its meaning and so on.
I’m in your camp here…
One of the problems is that the Bible can be ‘read’ in so many ways. That’s why we have so many competing theologies. Apart from anything else, my head is so messed up with different ‘systems’ that it’s nigh on impossible to come to Scripture with a blank slate any more – without reading passages through an interpretive grid. We can forget that old chestnut, the ‘plain meaning’ of Scripture 😉
I need wise and thought-provoking authors to guide me. Philip Yancey hits the spot at the moment. Thank God for them!
I hear you! I’ve had similar issues as well – with women in ministry, eschatology, NPP, Communion, Calvinism, and so on. I simply stepped back and sought to put whatever I believe to the test, wrestling with the text in prayer and with others, no doubt.
But it can be so easy to let others think for us and forget the Berean principle of Acts 17:11.
Yes, but which ‘prooftext’ (or group of prooftexts) do you want to go to as a Berean? Don’t get me wrong, it’s worth the sanctified effort. Perhaps one can simply accept that there is a degree of ambiguity in Scripture concerning some of the subjects you raise above.
Becoming a Roman Catholic and submitting to Church dogma (or something to that effect) is not a viable option for me, so I will continue to wrestle with the text, as you do. It’s a glorious pursuit!
Jon, fair enough. We’re talking the priesthood of all believers here…;-)
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