Theology for the Masses

November 16, 2006

Bible Idol

Filed under: creeds,Ethics — Henry Imler @ 12:05 am

One of the very formative points in my spiritual life came during a discussion with my wife to be, Meredith Bentch.

We were debating spiritual matters, as we often did back then. I was very zealous in my pursuit of a systematic theology. I yearned very much for doctrinal purity. I also yearned that everyone else have the same doctrinal purity that I had. I could just about tell you how everyone one else was wrong in their doctrine and to what degree of heresy they had. I regular CRI guy, I was, very attached to my own correctness.

Anyway, back to the point at hand. During the course of our discussion, Meredith brought up a sensitive subject. She warned against holding the Bible up as an idol. At once I dismissed the idea and felt the shame of its truth. In my rationalism and skepticism, I had held it as God’s word on earth and His only word on earth; restated, God’s only representation on earth. You could easily go further and hold it as His only real presence on earth. It was very easy for me to transform that written word into my God.
Meredith’s greatest illustration that night was her holding up the bible and saying, “This is not God, this is not what we are to worship.”

Meredith stressed the point that the Bible could not contain God. God, like his avatar Aslan, comes as goes as He pleases, He is a wild lion. The bible is a tool that God has given us. It is His word, not his totality.

It is not his only communication with us. You should not have your eyes on the bible (as God), you should have your eyes on God. You should seek relationship with God, not only with His word. The bible points to God, but it is not God. When you focus on the bible as God’s sole presence on Earth, it becomes very easy to lose intimacy with God.

He goes beyond mere black and white letters on a page, there is a Person who wants to influence you as you are reading these pages and wants to love you and you love Him back. God goes beyond the bible, how can a mere 3000 pages encapsulate his being?

I am not saying there are other sources of revelation besides the Bible. What I am saying that one should not fall into worshiping it as an idol. It was a reproof that I did not like to hear that I was guilty of, but it was needed. Thank you Meredith.

P.S. Did anyone get the play on the title?

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