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Thursday, 12 December 2013

Thursday Theology




Sola Scriptura: by Scripture Alone

It’s been a while and I’ve not keep to my goal of posting three times a week. If at first you don’t succeed…

Anyway, in keeping with my Theology Thursday theme (of just one blog so far) here is my take on the first of the five Solae, Sola Scriptura or by Scripture alone.

By Scripture alone is usually the first Sola listed (but not always) and it is a good place to start. Basically, if you don’t believe the Bible* you have no reason to believe in God. It is from Scripture that one learns of God, which one learns of our sin before God and its consequences, that one learns of one’s salvation through Christ given by God and how one can have a relationship with God, experience the holiness of God and know the greatness of God’s love.

That is quite a lot.

The Bible does this not by being a rule book, how to manual, science book, history book, story book, essay from God or a book written directly by God. The Bible does contain all these as bits (and more), but it is a book that should be read and read some more. It was written by Godly men for many different reasons over hundreds of years. The one unifying thing about the whole is the infusion of the Spirit of God. A good summery of this come from Scripture itself (2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness).

It is this collaboration of God and man that makes the Bible a book that just should be read and read. The benefits of reading and reading Scripture are found in Psalm 19.

Psalm 19:7-11

The law of the Lord is perfect,
refreshing the soul.
The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy,
making wise the simple.
The precepts of the Lord are right,
giving joy to the heart.
The commands of the Lord are radiant,
giving light to the eyes.
The fear of the Lord is pure,
enduring forever.
The decrees of the Lord are firm,
and all of them are righteous.

They are more precious than gold,
than much pure gold;
they are sweeter than honey,
than honey from the honeycomb.
By them your servant is warned;
in keeping them there is great reward.

Sadly, too many (both Christians and non) do not take time to just read Scripture and miss the point. This leads to wrong criticism by those who do not believe and misuse by those who do.

It does not matter if the description a pillar fits mathematically with Pie, or how many women who actually visited the tomb. Believing the Bible does not require you to stone your children for disobedience. Jesus is not the product of earlier myths.

The Bible should not be seen as inerrant in all the small details, this just misunderstand Scripture. The Bible should not be used as hammer to push one’s personal ‘whatever’. Particularly disturbing for me are those who use Scripture as a money making tool.

It is in the reading Scripture that one is raised to a better and more holy place. The Bible does not say, ‘slaver is wrong’, but by reading about the value of humanity in it leads one to know that it is. The Bible does not say explicitly that marriage should only be between one man and one woman, but in reading of the marriage between Christ and the Church leads one to understand how it is truly the best model.

It is truly by reading Scripture alone we know God and His love.

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*I’m using Scripture and Bible interchangeably throughout this whole blog.