Archive for the ‘Bible’ Category

Faith and the reliability of the Scriptures

August 17, 2009

It is a disastrous distortion of the meaning of faith to identify it with the belief in the historical validity of the Biblical stories…faith does not include historical knowledge about the way in which (an historical) event took place.

Paul Tillich, Dynamics of Faith, p.87, 89

But the apostle Paul makes it clear, by inspiration of the Holy Spirit, that if Christ is not (physically) raised then our faith is vain.

Faith cannot be shaken by historical research even if its results are critical of the traditions in which the event recorded.

Which presumably means if Christ’s bones are found tomorrow, Tillich would still believe in the ‘resurrection’. But of course, he will believe in a ‘resurrection’ completely gutted of its New Testament meaning, its saving power and hope for our own resurrection to eternal life.

Thus Liberal theology retains the Biblical, historic, Christian words but empties and/or radically changes their meaning. Liberalism is a kind of deceit, a pious fraud in which the worshipper is given a bank note of no actual value because it is a forgery.

Ambition

August 4, 2009
On the appearance of Alexander the Great and his army some Indian sages (Jain Monks) stamped their feet and gave no other sign of interest. Alexander asked them through interpreters what they meant by this odd behaviour, and they replied: ‘King Alexander, every man can possess only so much of the earth’s surface as this we are standing on. You are but human like the rest of us, save that you are always busy and up to no good, traveling so many miles from your home, a nuisance to yourself and to others!…You will soon be dead, and then you will own just as much of the earth as will suffice to bury you.
Arrian, The Campaigns of Alexander
Arrian says that Alexander expressed approval of these words. yet in point of fact, his life, even after this incident, was a denial of their words. Cf. James 1.23, ‘For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror.’

Bunyan – Bibline Blood

June 28, 2009

‘Oh, that you and I might get into the very heart of the Word of God, and get that Word into ourselves! As I have seen the silkworm eat into the leaf, and consume it, so ought we to do with the Word of the Lord;–not crawl over its surface, but eat right into it till we have taken it into out inmost parts. It is idle merely to let the eye glance over the words, or to recollect the poetical expressions, or the historic facts; but it is blessed to eat into the very soul of the Bible until, at last, you come to talk in Scriptural language, and your very style is fashioned upon Scripture models, and, what is better still, your spirit is flavoured with the words of the Lord. I would quote John Bunyan as an instance of what I mean. Read anything of his, and you will see that it is almost like reading the Bible itself. He had studied our Authorized Version, which will never be bettered, as I judge, till Christ shall come; he had read it till his whole being was saturated with Scripture; and, though his writings are charmingly full of poetry, yet he cannot give us his Pilgrim’s Progress that sweetest of all prose poems–without continually making us feel and say, “Why, this man is a living Bible!” Prick him anywhere; and you will find that his blood is Bibline, the very essence of the Bible flows from him. He cannot speak without quoting a text, for his soul is full of the Word of God.’

CH Spurgeon, The Full Harvest, Banner of Truth,1973, p158-9

Christ the key to the Scriptures

May 27, 2009

“You would lose both your time and your trouble,” said Tyndale, “do you know who taught the eagles to spy out their prey? Well, that same God teaches His hungry children to spy out their Father in His Word. Christ’s elect spy out their Lord, and trace out the paths of His feet, and follow; yea, though He go upon the plain and liquid water, which will receive no step, yet there they find out His foot. His elect know Him, but the world knows Him not. And as for you, far from having given us the Scriptures, it is you who have hidden them from us; it is you who burn those who teach them, and, if you could, you would burn the Scriptures themselves.” William Tyndale to his opponents

The Bible is the faith of the Church

May 27, 2009

‘Many nations have had the Bible in their own language. The Bible is the faith of the church. Though the pope and all his clerks should disappear from the face of the earth, our faith would not fail, for it is founded on Jesus alone, our Master and our God’. John Wycliffe

Biblical Interpretation – the importance of context

October 29, 2008

“Curse God and Die.” is in the Bible.

A text out of context becomes a pretext leading to ridiculous interpretation. Many people use the Bible as if it’s a fortune cookie – when you crack it open, it tells you something you should do no matter what the context is. If we were to open the Bible looking for some kind of instant-instruction, and take the verse in the title of this post (Job 2:9) out of context, we would be influenced to do what the text says, “Curse God and die.” When we read the verse in context, though, we realize that it is actually a quote that Job’s wife made to him when things started not to go favorably for him (in human terms), and afterward, he rebukes her. The following video expounds upon the importance of reading the Bible, and everything for that matter, in the context of which it is written.

Eisegesis

October 28, 2008

Eisegesis is like a drunk who leans against a lamppost so he does not fall over, and not for illumination.

Eisegesis is reading into the text (of the Bible) what you have already decided it says. It is the opposite of exegesis, which is finding out what the author actually intended. The former makes the author say what you want them to say, the latter, what the Biblical author intended.

Eisegesis is like a drunk who leans against a lamppost so he does not fall over, and not for illumination. (Simon Robinson, Walton Evangelical Church, Chesterfield, orig. unknown)

Power of the Scriptures

October 25, 2008

CH Spurgeon narrates: The Lord set His seal upon the effort even before the great crowd gathered, though I did not know of that instance of blessing until long afterwards. It was arranged that I should use the Surrey Gardens pulpit, so, a day or two before preaching at the Palace, I went to decide where it should be fixed; and; in order to test the acoustic properties of the building, cried in a loud voice, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” In one of the galleries, a workman, who knew nothing of what was being done, heard the words, and they came like message from Heaven to his soul. He was smitten with conviction on account of sin, put down his tools, went home, and there, after a season of spiritual struggling, found peace and life by beholding the Lamb of God. Years after, he told this story to one who visited him on his death-bed.

The Autobiography of Charles Spurgeon vol.1 ch.35

Inspiration of the Scriptures

October 25, 2008

Charles Wesley: “The Bible must be the invention either of good men or angels, bad men or devils, or of God. However, it was not written by good men, because good men would not tell lies by saying ‘Thus saith the Lord;’ it was not written by bad men because they would not write about doing good duty, while condemning sin, and themselves to hell; thus, it must be written by divine inspiration” (McDowell 1990:178).
McDowell, Josh, Christianity; A Ready Defence, Harpendon, Scripture Press Foundation, 1990

The Bible Alone

October 25, 2008

Sola scriptura teaches that the Scriptures are the sole infallible rule of faith for the Church. The doctrine does not say that there are not other, fallible, rules of faith, or even traditions, that we can refer to and even embrace. It does say, however, that the only infallible rule of faith is Scripture. This means that all other rules, whether we call them traditions, confessions of faith, creeds, or anything else, are by nature inferior to and subject to correction by, the Scriptures. The Bible is an ultimate authority, allowing no equal, nor superior, in tradition or church. It is so because it is theopneustos, God-breathed, and hence embodies the very speaking of God, and must, of necessity therefore be of the highest authority.

James White http://vintage.aomin.org/SS.html