The Bible Plus …


In the last few weeks I’ve read that Christians would do well to read a particular book in order to understand how language and argumentation work, serving as a mode by which to actually understand what Scripture means.

Earlier, from a different source, I was told repeatedly that I needed to get in touch with a Jewish rabbi in order to understand the Old Testament as it was intended to be understood.

Then today I read about various kinds of prayer—new postures and different types, not so different from the centering prayer I learned about back in January, but most definitely different from the prayer model Jesus gave His disciples when they asked Him to teach them to pray.

All this troubles me.

Has the Bible stopped being good enough for the Christian?

Have we decided that something else needs to come alongside God’s authoritative Word to make it make sense? Do we no longer see it as sufficient? Or perhaps it never was really authoritative and we need to find some other source that gives the final word on who God is, how we should pray, and how we should understand Scripture itself.

But if the Christian or a seeker, for that matter, needs all these extra-biblical helps, why did Jesus say we should come to God as a child?

“Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all.”
– Mark 10:15

How complicated must the way into the kingdom be if we are to come like a child? Must we learn Greek and Hebrew in order to accurately handle the Word of God? Or can we trust that the Holy Spirit will guide us into all truth as Jesus said?

Must we learn new and different prayer methods, or can we trust that the Spirit will intercede for us even when we don’t know how to pray as we should?

Scripture makes it abundantly clear that God wants to be known. He isn’t hiding and hasn’t made His plan of reconciliation hard to understand.

Rather, it seems that I am the cog that makes coming to God impossible. Where is that humble child-like attitude Jesus said I must have? Where is my trust in what He has said? Where is my willingness to obey because my Father has told me so?

I’m not saying other books, articles, blogs, sermons, or conversations aren’t helpful. God can open the eyes of my heart to see Him more clearly in any number of ways. But it seems to me, we Christians are becoming too eager to search other sources rather than the primary one.

It’s not a good research technique.

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Published in: on August 20, 2010 at 5:57 pm  Comments (7)  
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