Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Another Precious Gem about THE Precious Gem

From the Ft. Wayne Symposia... from Paul Raabe... Scripture is not quarry to be mined for precious gems and ore... it IS the precious gem of God's living voice and Word...

Scripture is treated academically even by those who are not academics. We have the tendency to read Scripture as if it was a book in which there were truths instead of the book of truth. This is true not only of Pastors and church leaders but the average person in the pew. It is this way because this is the perspective of generic Protestantism. It is the culture of modern Christianity to see Scripture in this way.

The academics -- especially the higher critics -- see it as a manufactured work which first must be deconstructed to its sources before you can determine which of those source materials are worthy and genuine and which are not. Thus the method of Biblical criticism (itself a legitimate and long standing discipline) becomes the end result -- having reduced the Book of God into a book about God in which few grains of truth may be resident among the accretions of time and ideology.

Pastors often try to mine the Scriptures for sermons and Bible studies as if it were just that -- the soil in which truths may be found instead of the truthful soil itself. I can honestly admit that it is sometimes hard to restrain myself from this familiar if flawed approach to God's Word. But even though I might not be a higher critic imposing reason about His Word, by this approach to Scripture I make myself the miner, with the light of my mind and the experience and wisdom of my eye the tools by which I sift through the raw material in search of the valuable and precious gems God has hidden there.

But Scripture is not where God has hidden His Word, His Truth or Himself. Scripture is where God has disclosed Himself, revealed Himself, and made Himself known to us. It is not a book of words but the living voice of God speaking within the limited parameters of human language and culture to disclose to us Him who is the Lord of heaven and the God of the cross.

Dr. Raabe has hit upon a serious flaw in the way that most of us have learned to relate to Scripture and why it is that we listen not to Scripture but for the gems in Scripture. Until we re-learn the immediacy of the medium and the vitality of its expression, we will be like those who go down into the earth in search of the elusive treasures hidden there... and less the like the farmer who plows to turn over the rich soil that it may bring forth its fruit...

Just one more thing to think about...

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