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Friday, November 03, 2006

Why do you believe…?

I appreciate the attitude and response from all who participated in the first installment of “Why do you believe…?”. Many of you are quite articulate and well reasoned but all of you seem honest, sincere and respectful of others. I think this is one way that we demonstrate the love we have for one another through which the world can see we are His.

As a side note to his comment Adam asked the question, “where is the Bible referred to as the Word of God?” I know that for many the term, “Word of God” is synonymous with Bible and some take the scripture as being literally God’s own words. I will now place this question before you dear readers and ask for your wisdom and understanding. Please feel free to explain your understanding of the term along with your reasoning and again please continue to demonstrate your love in all you offer. ;-)

Why do you believe the Bible is the word of God ?

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23 Comments:

Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

If the Bible is not words, what is it?

And if the Bible is words are these words not inspired by God?

God Bless

Matthew

11/03/2006 03:28:00 AM  
Blogger Kc said...

Thanks Matthew. I was discussing this with Corry and you got in before me! ;-)

I understand the term “Word of God” to be a metaphor for God’s plan and in that the Bible is God’s plan as communicated to man. God’s plan, or “Word”, is infallible in spite of any textual error that may be perceived in the many translations of the text including the early versions commonly referred to as original text. The truth that the Bible is God’s plan I hold by faith though I lack confidence that I can fully comprehend that plan by any literal understanding of the text. I understand that only through instruction by His Spirit can I perceive His word in the scripture.

11/03/2006 03:42:00 AM  
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

I think the language you use in that comment introduces ambiguity.

The word of God is not 'in' the Scripture. The Scripture is the word or words of God.

The Scripture is no more or less than words. These words are inspired, as there is nothing else in the Scripture that could be inspired.

Therefore perceiving the word of God is no or more less than openning the Bible and seeing the words on the page.

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

11/03/2006 06:16:00 AM  
Blogger Kc said...

Matthew thanks for engaging me on this. I’ll try and remove any ambiguity. I attempted to make two points in my comment.

The first being that the words that are recorded in the scripture are not the literal words of God but the words of men inspired by God. These men then related God’s plan in accordance with their own understanding, which is limited, however this does not negate the fact that they are relating the infallible plan of God. For example the Revelation of Jesus was “shown” to John and not spoken. He then related what he had seen in writing.

The second point pertains to the function of the Holy Spirit in revealing God’s plan to us. My understanding is taken from several text but I will offer 1 Corinthians 2 as a jumping off point.

9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.
11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.
12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.
13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.


I hope that resolves any ambiguity but you know I always enjoy a good Bible study! ;-)

11/03/2006 07:04:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent post and comments, my brother. I especially like what you said about the Bible being the words of men as inspired by God. That's a distinction that doesn't get made often enough.

It has been my observation (and experience) that the position that the Bible is God's revealed word too often lures believers into the trap of prooftexting according to their own bent.

At the risk of being semantically misunderstood by my literalist brothers, scripture makes it clear that Jesus Christ is the Word of God. Any reading of scripture must be performed in the context of Christ's message of love and forgiveness.

Please understand that I am not trying to diminish the Bible in any way. I love the Bible. I'm just saying that the Bible must be read and studied with the understanding that everything in it points to (and provides context for) the Person of Jesus Christ.

The Bible came alive to me when I began to approach it in this way.

11/03/2006 08:02:00 AM  
Blogger Kc said...

Great thoughts Dorsey and very well presented as always.

"the Bible must be read and studied with the understanding that everything in it points to (and provides context for) the Person of Jesus Christ."
So very true.

I'm hoping someone more qualified than I will put forth the distinction between Logos and Rhema.

11/03/2006 09:01:00 AM  
Blogger Kris said...

Dorsey, I agree with you 100%. Jesus said the same thing in John 5:39.

KC, I certainly am not more qualified to put forth a distinction between logos and rhema that anyone. But I can give anyone an example of the distinction from my own experience.

I went to sunday school and church until I was 14. When I was around 8 or 9 in sunday school I was given John 3:16 to memorize one sunday and the next sunday to say it before my class without reading it.

John 3:16 was/is the logos of God, it was the logos of God to me then but it had no effect on my spirit, it was only in my mind. When I was 27 years old this verse, this logos of God, which I had never forgotten became the rhema of God to me and I was born again.

Paul says in Romans 10 faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. This faith that comes is not hearing by the logos of God, it is hearing by the rhema of God.

11/03/2006 11:59:00 AM  
Blogger Kc said...

Kris thanks for your thoughts. That's an interesting way of distinguishing the two. When I first read it I would have thought you had them reversed but then the rhema "of God" is quite different from the rhema "of man".

To press further it seems you are saying that in "reading the Bible" you could perceive God's plan but it took "hearing His word" to apply it. Is this your perspective? If so then is "hearing" a metaphore here?

I'm anxious to read your response but we're off for the weekend on another camping trip with all the newly weds. I hope everyone has a great weekend!

11/03/2006 12:52:00 PM  
Anonymous Kansas Bob said...

Not knowing your background I was wondering where you are at with the idea of bibliolatry? I posted some thoughts here and here.

11/05/2006 07:44:00 AM  
Blogger Bhedr said...

Well of course in Revelation 19 Gods name is called the Word Of God and then John is told not to add or take away from the words in the same way Moses was told on Mt Sinai. The Gospel of John tells us that He is the word and of course we know what He speaks describes Who He Is...but one may want to break it down to the LOGOS and the GRAPHE and of course divide the two and of course we know that he is not an inscription but we do know that the GRAPHE was posted above Him at the cross...ah I've been around the horseshed on this one with my Charismatic brother. I don't know if I have anymore energy for this one...who knows I may come back later.

11/05/2006 08:06:00 PM  
Blogger Kc said...

Welcome Kansas Bob and thanks for linking those great articles. I can see where the knowledge of the text could become more important than the knowledge of truth conveyed in it. I am reminded of Jesus telling the Pharisees to search the scripture because they thought that they had eternal life in them.

I look forward to reading more at your place. ;-)

Brian I didn’t mean to tax you brother and I hope you find the patience and energy to pass along your wisdom on this topic. Would it be too much to maybe even hope for an article or two on it at your place? ;-)

11/06/2006 02:54:00 AM  
Blogger Kc said...

To all,

I don't believe I must prove the scripture to others nor do I believe it to be a rule of law whereby I may judge others. I do believe "all scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works"
and as such must be lived as much as it is learned.

11/06/2006 03:08:00 AM  
Blogger nathaniel adam king said...

I wasn't really meaning it as a question into the nature of inspiration or whether the Bible was in fact inspired by God, i.e. words of God given through man. But I was simply wondering whether we have given a name to the Scriptures that the Scriptures do not give to itself.

We all know the different names of God. It would be as if we called God 'Bob', and this was a common reference to God. 'Who do the Christian's worship?' 'They worship 'Bob''...

Understand?

I don't think that there is necessarily anything wrong with calling it the Word of God, HOWEVER, we already have one thing (person) that has claim to that name, that is Jesus. Jesus is the 'Word' of God.

Therefore, isn't confusion and ambuguity given when we refer to both Jesus and the Scriptures, as the 'Word' of God when the Scripture (God inspired text) only refers to Jesus as such?

11/06/2006 11:01:00 AM  
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

"Therefore, isn't confusion and ambuguity given when we refer to both Jesus and the Scriptures, as the 'Word' of God when the Scripture (God inspired text) only refers to Jesus as such?"

Adam, do you thus take Robert Gundry's view that John 10:35 refers to Jesus and not the Scriptures as the Word of God?

11/06/2006 11:13:00 AM  
Blogger Bhedr said...

Ah sorry if I sounded that way brother. Ha ha ha. Ohh, I just think of all those hours talking with my brother about this and it just wears me out. So sorry if I passed that over to you. I sometimes wonder though if this discussion is a black hole and that the only answer is the same answer for salvation. Simply trust what is written is true as He is true.

My brother says I am a bible worshipper and that he is a biblicist:-)

Ah my dear brother. I love him.

He is a perfect piano player...the critique in him took him a long way. I caught the back end of it:-)

11/06/2006 03:13:00 PM  
Blogger Bhedr said...

Just one thing.

My brother takes the KJV to task in Psalms 138:2 for saying His Emrah is above his Name and the use of davar in other places. Of course many scholars believe the written word is the use here. It goes on. He submitted to that, but then takes the translation that "above all" your name is improper and was a mistake by that translation committe. However the NKJV scholars recognize that that meaning is still conveyed here.

We simply don't need either arguement over the other though because the Psalmist says that it is MAGNIFIED. Hence we see the truth also in Pilots nailing the written word to the cross above Christ and the scribes and Pharisees challenging the written word there. Pilot then commands that what he has written stays.

The thing is the written word is exalted because God desires to be believed just as much as HE IS. They are both equally important.

So the NIVs rendering of "Thy Word *and* thy name" is dead on."

Howbeit my brother along with many feel that the written word should only be viewed as a shell and lesser glory like the Law; nevertheless not all Scripture is Mosaic law so that argument holds no water if we are to be honest. I understand all of this...but we must see the imperitive truth of what was happening at the cross when Pilot stayed what was written and that Satan was behind the attack on the written word at the cross. This cannot and should not be ignored nor written off as Bibliolatry.

His written word testifies to Who He Is and while they are indeed seperate we must see that they are the same and as much a part of Him.

Remember that God told Moses. I am the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. This testified of Him.

It seems that like all things Satan works an angle to twist us away from trusting in Him. So we must be careful.

So it is like the Kite that flys. The string and the kite are seperate; but the string anchors the flight. I know that is inadequate but I am struggling to convey something in my meggar humanity.

11/06/2006 03:37:00 PM  
Blogger Bhedr said...

Think of also Peter telling us that we have a more sure word of prophecy than the transfiguration that he physically witness. This should rock us off our boats of any quibbling with the Bible being the word of God.

Peter is telling us that what he is writing and he goes on to call scripture in Pauls wise words are more foundational that the transfiguration!!!!!!

Please see this.

Jesus told Thomas that we are blessed because we have not seen and yet believe. Why?

Because we have rested our hope on the written words testimony of Christ. The B-I-B-L-E.

Remember that Eve sinned because she believed Satan word over Gods word and touched and felt the apple seeing it was good...then she ate it.

We have to take away the experience and trust what is spoken.

11/06/2006 03:45:00 PM  
Blogger Bhedr said...

Oh no! Did I say apple?

Good grief.

Why did I say apple? That is my pet peeve.

Who knows what the fruit was.

11/06/2006 03:49:00 PM  
Blogger Antonio said...

Casey,

I didn't have time this moment to read your post. I am in the middle of homework. I just wanted to thank you before I forget for helping out with my new blog template. I am super appreciative!

So thank you and blessings to you and your family, dear brother!

May the Lord shine His countenance upon you!

Antonio

11/06/2006 04:41:00 PM  
Blogger Kris said...

Kc,
Sorry I have been so long getting back. In fact I am in hurry now, being married now, which is great, doesn't give me as much time, at least right now.

Anyway to be brief. What I mean and I think the greek word used for word in Romans 10 backs me up. Is that I new God's logos or word since I was 8 or 9 but until He opened my eyes I could not see it for the truth that brought salvation to me.
See in Romans 10 it says faith comes by hearing the word or rhema of God, well I heard it with my ears when I was 8 but I did not have faith until I heard from the Holy Spirit who is the Person that turns the logos(word) of God into the rhema(word) of God to have faith in it. Does that make sense?

11/07/2006 05:29:00 PM  
Blogger Pia said...

hi, papu!!! i'm back! (((HUGS)))

why do i believe that the Bible is the word of God? FAITH. my heart tells me it is. just like a miracle. no explanation needed, it's just FAITH.

11/09/2006 07:33:00 AM  
Blogger Bhedr said...

I like Pia's answer the best!!

11/09/2006 05:27:00 PM  
Blogger Kc said...

Thanks everyone for your thoughts and I’m sorry for the slow response.

Adam, let me first say I sympathize with your reasoning and I appreciate your efforts to improve communication between believers. I also sympathize with your efforts to keep our language “biblical”. I also prefer the term, “scripture”, when referring to the Bible for those same reasons. My concern is in the potential for division in the quest for linguistic perfection.

To answer your question and to highlight my point, yes, we have given a name to the scripture that is not in the scripture…“Bible”. The construct, “Word of God”, is simply a means that some use to convey the rightful distinction that should be made between the Bible and any other book.

I think it would be easy to extend this into a full-blown discussion on the philosophy of language and although I am a strong advocate for retaining word meanings I am a stronger advocate for communication and for that reason I readily allow for such constructs. ;-)

Brian thanks for the brilliant commentary! I found so much in what you said but a few things really stood out.

“The thing is the written word is exalted because God desires to be believed just as much as HE IS. They are both equally important.”

Might I be so bold to say that your message here is that the Truth conveyed in the scripture should never be diminished by the words used to convey it?

(Isn’t Pia always a blessing? ;-)

Antonio thanks so much for your blessing! It’s an honor to be able to help in any way and though I would be happy to do more, the truth is there was so little for me to do. Rose did such a wonderful job and I’m so thankful for her and so happy for you! ;-)

Kris I admit you’ve got me looking at the use of those words from a different perspective. I plan to try and relate John’s use to Paul’s in the near future to see if I can grasp the correlation but I have confidence in your understanding and it’s propelling me to dig deeper on this. Thanks brother!

(BTW I’m still waiting on those pics! ;-)

PIA! Welcome back to bloggersville dear one! You’ve been missed so much and it will be so good to be able to keep up more frequently again (though I’ll still need to hear from you and Jec from time to time! ;-)

Amen little sister!

11/10/2006 03:07:00 AM  

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