Friday, January 20, 2012

Approaching the Bible

The Bible comes from God; God doesn't come from the Bible.
Our knowledge of God is a different story. What we know about God, definitively and redemptively, comes from the Bible. And that is, the Bible that comes from God, who himself comes from nothing.
These are the foundational pieces to understanding the doctrine of revelation, and therefore, the doctrine of Scripture. God, utterly independent and essentially revelatory, has made himself known. This is stunning. And it helps to read the Bible with it in view.
D. A. Carson writes,

To approach the Bible correctly it is important to know something of the God who stands behind it. God is both transcendent (i.e., he is "above" space and time) and personal. He is the sovereign and all-powerful Creator to whom the entire universe owes its existence, yet he is the God who graciously condescends to interact with human beings whom he has himself formed in his own image.
Because we are locked in time and space, God meets us here; he is the personal God who interacts with other persons, persons he has made to glorify him and to enjoy him forever. . . .
The point to emphasize is that a genuinely Christian understanding of the Bible presupposes the God of the Bible, a God who makes himself known in a wide diversity of ways so that human beings may know the purpose for which they were made — to know and love and worship God, and so delight in that relationship that God is glorified while they receive the matchless benefit of becoming all that God wants them to be.
"Approaching the Bible," Collected Writings on Scripture, (Wheaton: Crossway, 2010), 19–21.



Alex Hoagland said...

Del, I seriously hope you don't get offended by this, but I am wondering if you are aware of the logical fallacy referred to as "circular logic?" It's basically that in order to accept proofs for an argument, you have to first accept the entire argument. So essentially with regards to your post, you're saying God exists because the Bible says so. But if God doesn't exist (don't crucify me, just saying), then the Bible is just completely man-made and made-up, therefore it is lying. You can't use the word of God in order to prove the existence of God.

I'm not saying I don't believe in God. I'm just pointing something out.

--Alex ( )

Del said...

Dear Alex,
No worries. I'm not offended. Yes, I am aware of this, and I do see how your argument seems to make sense. However, a bit of context needs to be taken into account. This post--as I found it--is directed primarily towards Christians who already believe that God exists but have trouble knowing what to do with the Bible after arriving at that conclusion. As such, its main point is not that the word of God proves His existence, but that in order to fully understand the Bible, you must not forget the nature of the God it speaks of. If you'll read the first sentence of the post again, you will see that God does not, in fact, exist just because the Bible says so.
Thank you for the thoughtful comment on my blog! I appreciate that you took the time to read and respond.