Wednesday with Michael Spencer
In which Michael cuts through the noise and makes a central point about the Bible.
I believe that confessional Christianity wisely focuses on the ultimate, final purpose of the Bible, and not on the mechanism used to achieve that result.
This is wise, because there will always be vast disagreement over the nature of the Biblical material, and what kind of books they are. This diversity of views has always been true, and will continue as the Bible is studied.
What must be noted, however, is that those who see, for example, the Gospels as exact reports of conversations and events, and those who see the Gospels as literary creations drawing portraits of Jesus for theological purposes, will both sit under the teaching of the Word, with open Bible and open hearts, listening for the Spirit to illuminate the Word so that Christ may be known, worshiped, obeyed and loved.
We may disagree on whether the Bible meant to tell us the age of the earth in scientific terms. We may disagree about dinosaurs on the ark. We may disagree over why there are two temple cleansings by Jesus at two different times in his ministry. We may disagree over whether there are multiple authors to Biblical books. We may disagree over whether all of Jesus’ exorcisms were demon possession rather than physical/mental conditions unknown at the time. We may disagree on these things and still say:
All we know about Salvation by grace through faith by Christ comes from the Bible. That is what I believe. I have a view on Genesis, and a view on Job and a view on the Gospels. My views are, as best I can understand it, in line with what I believe these books are, and what they were written to be. I want to understand these texts so I can clearly hear their message. But at the end of the process, I read the Bible as God’s Word to me about the Incarnate Word, Jesus Christ. I come to scripture to know Jesus, and to hear the Word of my salvation.