From the Pastor: The Book and the books
It used to be said of the old Puritans (much and unfairly maligned) that
"they were people of one Book, and that Book was the Bible". The great
nineteenth century preacher, Spurgeon, said of one of them, "Prick him
anywhere and his blood is Bibline. He cannot speak without quoting a
text." It goes without saying that this outlook is not in fashion today.
The accepted wisdom is that we must be abreast of the latest trends of
thinking in science, psychology, education, moral issues, to name a few,
and the modern ways of dealing with these issues. The Bible, we are
told, has its voice but not a decisive one. It is just one voice among
many. Such is the all too familiar pattern.|
Even among evangelical Christians I detect a confusion. Are we really
people of one Book? What do we say of all the commentaries, the
theological texts, Bible dictionaries, Bible helps, not to mention
devotional writings and Christian biographies? Here is where the
confusion arises: how much time do we spend with these rather than the
Word itself? When the so-called "bottom line" is reached, what really
has the decisive say? A text of Scripture, or the point of a theological
system, or what a commentator says?
Before we answer the latter question, what do we say of the JW who comes
to our door? They quote Scripture too! But alas, they quote only what suits
them, and "distort the Scriptures to their own destruction", 2 Peter 3:16.
We must remember that we build on the legacy of our forefathers in our
understanding of the Scriptures. With all that legacy, with all the
helps around, let us use them wisely so that in the final analysis we
too are "people of one Book".