This article addresses a response to the Shoveletter: Bibliology
but then I thought, knowing Jim, he could write 5 or 6 more letters and still not be finished. Bill
Hahaha ... you got me! Am I that transparent? haha! Yeah, easily 5 or 6 more letters!! :)
At first, I thought you were criticizing the doctrine of Bibliology, but then you didn't really say anything that disagreed with it. Bill
Haha ... I'm afraid that if I was any more blunt I would start sounding nasty! :) And I don't want to come across that way. And as you suspect, I will be continuing on this a little at a time, and I've got a few more points of disagreement, don't you worry about that. :)
From the last Shoveletter:
Now, on the surface, the above doctrine may appear to validate that the Bible you hold in your hand is the very same inerrant and infallible supreme authority ... but does it actually say that? Hnnnh? Look again. Do you hold the "original autographs"?
Is this a false assumption that has been held and taught by the majority ... or does the doctrine actually want to suggest it? This, I believe, is a deception of the doctrine. You could say that I disagree with it. :)
Don't take my word for it, read the statements ... and don't assume those little catch phrases haven't been very carefully placed.
This is a suggestion of some deviousness (sneakiness) involved in the careful wording of the doctrine. Definitely an objection.
As unpopular as this may seem I suggest that something else is being addressed by the doctrine OTHER THAN the accuracy of the Bible. I suspect that its underlying objective is responsible for the theological battleground we call Christianity today. After all, why wouldn't we equate a strong stand on Biblical interpretation to be faith in God when our basic teachings dictate it to be so?
Okay, here I come out and suggest that an underlying - or ulterior - motive hides behind the professed statements. The doctrine leaves us with the demand that we have to rely upon MEN to receive the understanding of God. I most definitely disagree with this travesty ... hey, and that's even poetic! :)
When we insist that confidence must be found in the Bible we force confidence to be measured by how well we know it. And since WE don't have the original autographs we have been constrained to trust those who are qualified to interpret. And since THEY don't have the originals either we have to trust that they are qualified to make the correct choice as to which Hebrew and Greek copies are the best and ALSO which set of Hebrew and Greek translation rules are going to give them the most accurate rendering so that they in turn can tell us what God expects of us. Or more than likely we are trusting that they choose the most accurate theologians to study by. And then it comes back upon us to decide which one of these professionals we think is best qualified so that we can have confidence in GOD. Something ain't quite right about that, is it?
What validates our insistence that confidence can only be found in the Bible? The doctrine. No, I don't suggest that the doctrine CREATED this insistence ... only that it provides the foundational support to make it seem so stinkin' godly and authoritative ... so Christian. The logic of the doctrine relates to the logic of our old fleshly perceptions which is why the Christian marketplace is such a confused mess filled with turmoil and doubts. I disagree with the doctrine on this.
Do you realize what the doctrine denies the most? That Christ Himself is your ONLY authority and His Spirit your ONLY teacher.
Well, there it is: the absolute biggest disagreement I have with the doctrine. The doctrine - being fleshly - supports our confusion regarding the very life of God in man. Is it any surprise that we find ourselves tripping over such obvious contradictions as claiming that the Bible is our ONLY authority, but then backtracking and saying, But of course, Christ is our ONLY true authority ... because he is 'the Word of God!' ?
Well, which is it? Do we really think it flies to claim that since the Bible is the word of God and Jesus is the word of God that Jesus somehow became a BOOK? Or that a BOOK became flesh? Or that written WORDS became flesh? Or that maybe the Spirit's writing upon the heart means that each of us has been imprinted inside with a little teensie-weensie book? Why do we try so hard to keep the Book upon the throne that only Jesus sits in? No, this is no disrespect to the book ... for the book testifies of the same.
I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name. Psalm 138:2
I have seen more than one preacher quote this verse while holding his Bible up in the air. The picture made a long-lasting impression on me - and those around me. I did the same thing more than once. You know, if you take away all the religious demands you might find it difficult to believe that David was suggesting what we've been taught to think. Okay, consider: at the time of this writing the only written word David could be speaking about was the Pentateuch (a fancy word meaning the Five Books of Moses) ... in other words, the Law. Some suggest there may have been a couple others, but that's unimportant. But wait, Scripture was at that time being written by David himself. So, was he trying to create more authority for his writings by setting them side-by-side with Moses? Hardly likely! What do I think? My guess is that David understood the simplicity we confuse through doctrine. I think he spoke very simply of the very EXPRESSION of God, the same expression that created all that was created, the same that moved Moses and many others before and after him, and the same that moved David himself. I seriously doubt that he referred to the scrolls of Moses, but instead to the life behind their writing, the life behind creation, the life behind every single one of those miraculous interventions of God from creation till his current time ... and beyond.
Remember, it was the scribes and lawyers and rabbis and Pharisees and Sadducees and priests, etc who began to worship the writings of the Law, the Psalms and the Prophets so that they were totally blinded to the remote possibility that Gods very EXPRESSION could be made flesh. The blindness continues to this day, for those who often claim to be noble Bereans ("searched the scriptures daily to see if these things could be true") are STILL rejecting that God's EXPRESSION - Christ - is walking this earth encased in flesh. But walk this earth he does - for WE are even now as he was. By the way, I have a scripture for that one, too, but then, I think you probably know it, too. :)
Hey, I LOVE the book, I LOVE the writings, I STILL read it a lot and study, and even check out the Greek here and there. But you know what? I lost the illusion that by doing so I might find the so-called deep things of God - because I ALREADY have received the Spirit who leads me into that. I read that in the Book ... and it witnessed with what I already KNEW within me.
Am I GLAD for the written testimony? Of course I am! I love its challenge, I love the wonder of Christ expressed in words that go way, way far beyond a simple written expression. I love the testimonies of those who walked and talked with Jesus, because in reading them I have received a true witness of God in my heart that there is no difference between us!! Not only that, the more I read of the encounters JESUS had and the experiences HE went through ... the Spirit testifies to my heart that YOU AND I are going through the same things HE did!!! Oh yeah, it's easy to relate to the screw-ups of the disciples, but it's only the witness of the Spirit that causes your heart to know that YOU experience the life of CHRIST even now. Don't be surprised when they treat you exactly as they treated me, for if they honored me they will honor you, if they hate you, know that they hated me first!
Well, enough for now.