8.04.2009

moral authority - supplement

I read a blog today from a current Fuller student about the Bible, and here is one thing this person wrote:

"We must recognize that it is the Scriptures- not our conscience, not culture, not religion, etc.- that tell us about God and are the foundation upon which Christian thinking is built."

(I won't post his name or blog to keep it anonymous)

My thoughts: Why? Why is scripture the only thing that informs our faith? Is that really how it works? What about the billions of Christians who did not or never will have access to scripture? How is their faith informed?

Think about it: The Bible as we know it wasn't really compiled until around 300 CE, and even then, there were few people who had access to it. There have been a lot of advancements in making the Bible more accessible since then, but the concept of having 10 different versions of the Bible within arms-length is an extremely new concept in the scope of Christian history.

So can we really say that the Bible is the only thing that informs Christian faith? Can we even go further (as the above quote) to say that conscience, culture, and religion have no bearing on how we live our faith? Is that really how God intended it? Did God want us to turn to the Bible for every little thing, or do we truly believe that God gave the Holy Spirit to guide us?

Rob Bell nails it pretty well in Velvet Elvis with his discussion on "Binding and Loosing." If you haven't read that, read it... but to summarize, "binding and loosing" is the act of determining a concrete response to God's revelation. In other words, those who bind and loose determine how the Christian community will live out the commands of God based on God's revelation. For Bell, it is the community of believers who do this difficult task of binding an loosing with the blessing of God (in light of Matt 18).

That's kind of a terrible summary of a complicated argument, but the point he makes is that it is the Christian community, based on its interpretation of God's revelation that plays a large part in how we experience this life of faith.

The Bible is not the sole contributor in this equation. Our conscience, culture, and religion play a big part.

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