Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Role of the Bible (N. T. Wright Quote)

I know that it's cool to quote N. T. Wright. Nonetheless, his writings have been shaping my thinking since the mid-1990s when I was doing my degree in New Testament at Regent College. He offers us a combination of intelligent thinking, disciplined research and accessible writing that is rare. While doing some background research for a friend on the topic of the Bible I revisited Scripture and the Authority of God. There Wright makes three observations about the Bible and it's role in our lives. It:
  1. Reveals the character of the God who communicates
  2. Reorders our lives according to an alternative way of thinking/living
  3. Reinvigorates for mission
While I don't see this as incredibly inspiring or at all controversial, it is clear, direct and helpful. In a day when the role of the Bible is questioned at ever turn, sometimes we just need a simple framework that points the way ahead. I think that this does that for us.

"The role of the Bible within the church and the individual Christian life indicates three things which are of central importance as we proceed. To begin with, it reminds us that the God Christians worship is characterized not least as a God who speaks, who communicates with his human creatures in words. This differentiates the God of the Old and New Testaments from some other gods known in the worlds of time, and indeed today. It means that the idea of reading a book to hear and know God is not far-fetched, but cognate with the nature of God himself.

Second, it is central to early Christian instruction that we be transformed by the renewal of our minds (Romans 12:1-2). In other words, it is important that God's transforming grace is given to us not least through enabling us to think in new ways. Again, this means that the idea of reading a book in order to have one's life reordered by the wisdom of God is not counter-intuitive, but is cognate with the nature of Christian holiness itself.

Third, it reminds us that the God we worship is the God whose world-conquering power, seen in action in the resurrection of Jesus, is on offer to all those who ask for it in order thereby to work for the gospel in the world (Ephesians 1:15-23). The idea that reading a book in order to be energized for the task of mission is not a a distraction, but flows directly from the fact that we humans are made in God's image, and that, as we hear his word and obey his call, we are able to live out our calling to reflect the creator into his world." (Scripture and the Authority of God, 31-32)

1 comment:

Mike Mack said...

Love this, Scott. This just reminds us as leaders that when we meet together, God is not just present in some ethereal way, but that He communicates to us and transforms us through His Word. Thanks for sharing this great reminder of what is true.