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  • only the authority of the Bible?

    someone posted something like, "the Bible is our line of authority" and i find it a bit of an odd thing to say.

    does that mean that the Bible is our only line of authority?
    or our final authority?

    here's one reason why i want to challenge the idea: so many people talk about relationship with God and how Jesus is relational. however, they sideline that with the idea that we adhere strictly to the Bible as if the Bible is a rule book.

    i don't think you can have Jesus-relational and Bible-dictatorial at the same time. if God wanted us to have a bunch of codified rules, He wouldn't have come down in the flesh and begun relationships with people, breaking the codified law.

    there's a connecting problem: people use the Bible as a legal text, attempting to regulate what we can and can't do. problem? isn't that the exact point that first century Judaism was at with their own pseudo-adherence to the Law? and what did Jesus do? did He say, "yes, very nice... keep up the good work!" not really. actually, Jesus deliberately broke specific Laws. part of that could have been to demonstrate that God is above the Law. but He also led His disciples to do the same. and when Jesus did it, He did so for relational reasons.

    there are rules to regulate behaviour, but more important than the rules is the reason for the rules or the principle behind the law. if we can get to the principle, we don't need codification for intricate and specific behaviour modification. we can access the spirit behind what made the law in the first place.

    then of course there are the other revelations aside from the Bible.

  • #2
    Originally posted by hungry dog View Post
    someone posted something like, "the Bible is our line of authority" and i find it a bit of an odd thing to say.

    does that mean that the Bible is our only line of authority?
    or our final authority?

    here's one reason why i want to challenge the idea: so many people talk about relationship with God and how Jesus is relational. however, they sideline that with the idea that we adhere strictly to the Bible as if the Bible is a rule book.

    i don't think you can have Jesus-relational and Bible-dictatorial at the same time. if God wanted us to have a bunch of codified rules, He wouldn't have come down in the flesh and begun relationships with people, breaking the codified law.

    there's a connecting problem: people use the Bible as a legal text, attempting to regulate what we can and can't do. problem? isn't that the exact point that first century Judaism was at with their own pseudo-adherence to the Law? and what did Jesus do? did He say, "yes, very nice... keep up the good work!" not really. actually, Jesus deliberately broke specific Laws. part of that could have been to demonstrate that God is above the Law. but He also led His disciples to do the same. and when Jesus did it, He did so for relational reasons.

    there are rules to regulate behaviour, but more important than the rules is the reason for the rules or the principle behind the law. if we can get to the principle, we don't need codification for intricate and specific behaviour modification. we can access the spirit behind what made the law in the first place.

    then of course there are the other revelations aside from the Bible.
    I, apparently, did not see the post you are discussing but the way it goes for the Christian is that short of the very presence of God, the Bible is our final court of arbitration.

    Comment


    • #3
      As a Christian the Bible is the Word of God. As such its not really a doctrinal rule book. If you look through the historical progression of the text you will see a number of patterns in the work of God seem to emerge. There are many and i wont include them all here but some are that God is inherently loving and Good, that he seeks a relationship with men, he is willing to do what it takes to seek that relationship, and that the relationship is grounded in a trust in him. The Jews were meant to be a light to the world, a light pointing to God, the law was meant to guide them into living such a difference. They failed in this to the point that Jesus came to earth to repent for their (and indeed humanities) failure to adhere to a perfect Gods perfect expectations. Thus its only through the sacrifice of a perfect thing (God himself in human form) that we are able to be looked at as being perfect by God.

      Enough of historic context though. The Bibles authority is not in the rules it states but in the lessons it teaches. We arent learning timestables that we rudimentaly stick to, but rather we are learning the freedom in how to live, the way we were meant to live. There is no passage you could read more than once and not get something different out of it each time. Big call isnt it? As such when you are in Christ, when you have accepted his sacrifice for you, the Bible takes on more than a rulebook role and rather a relational one. It becomes not so much words written on a page but a way in which God can speak to us. We talk to God in prayer and he responds in his word. Its a difficult concept to grasp but every Christian is a witness to how it works.

      As for other revelations out side of the Bible. There is what is called general revelation which is how we can see God in all we do, in the environment, in the actions of people, hindsight is 20/20. There is also special revelation which includes the Bible, its God directly revealing himself to us via anything from his word to direct contact depending on the spiritual gifts he has given us.
      "Few men are born brave. Many become so through training and force of discipline"
      -Flavius Vegetius Renatus

      "As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead." - James 2:26

      Watch This! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cyheJ480LYA - Christian Artist Lecrae

      Comment


      • #4
        I'll try and address a few of your points.

        Originally posted by hungry dog View Post
        someone posted something like, "the Bible is our line of authority" and i find it a bit of an odd thing to say.
        does that mean that the Bible is our only line of authority?
        or our final authority?
        The Bible is the Christians only line of authority with regard to spiritual truth (particularly relating to the nature of God and Christ) and principles of morality. So in these matters it is the 'yardstick' by which all other moral authorities or 'holy' books must be measured. With regard to human authorities (eg. Governments) the New Testament says we should obey these in all cases except where they would have us violate a clear command of God.

        here's one reason why i want to challenge the idea: so many people talk about relationship with God and how Jesus is relational. however, they sideline that with the idea that we adhere strictly to the Bible as if the Bible is a rule book.

        i don't think you can have Jesus-relational and Bible-dictatorial at the same time. if God wanted us to have a bunch of codified rules, He wouldn't have come down in the flesh and begun relationships with people, breaking the codified law.
        I don't see rules and relationships as being mutually exclusive. In fact if there were no rules or guidelines regulating our relationship with others there would be no meaningful relationships at all! Jesus came to earth to restore the broken relationship between God and men. God gives us rules to live by to enhance our relationship with Him. It's when we break those rules that our relationship or friendship with God is affected in a negative way. God made us and therefore He knows what is good for us. Unfortunately we think we know better and God has no idea. Sinful humans have always sought happiness and satisfaction through being independent from God, when in reality, true satisfaction and peace comes when we are dependent on Him for all things.


        there's a connecting problem: people use the Bible as a legal text, attempting to regulate what we can and can't do. problem? isn't that the exact point that first century Judaism was at with their own pseudo-adherence to the Law? and what did Jesus do? did He say, "yes, very nice... keep up the good work!" not really. actually, Jesus deliberately broke specific Laws. part of that could have been to demonstrate that God is above the Law. but He also led His disciples to do the same. and when Jesus did it, He did so for relational reasons.
        The only laws Jesus broke were the man-made ones that were contrary to the commands of God. The NT is very clear that Jesus kept or fulfilled "all the law" and this is the reason why His death on the cross can be accepted by God as a substitionary sacrifice for the sins of men. If Jesus broke just one of God's laws He would be a sinner and His sacrifice would be worthless since He would be under the same condemnation as every other sinner. It is true that the legalism of the Pharisees was keeping them and others from having a right relationship with God, but again many of their laws were contrary to God's law and God never gave the Law as a means of salvation in the first place. Rather the law was given to show people their deficiencies in keeping it and to make them realize that their only hope was to seek God's mercy and forgiveness.

        there are rules to regulate behaviour, but more important than the rules is the reason for the rules or the principle behind the law. if we can get to the principle, we don't need codification for intricate and specific behaviour modification. we can access the spirit behind what made the law in the first place.

        then of course there are the other revelations aside from the Bible.
        So if we remove God from the picture how do we establish a principle for determining what is right and wrong? What authority do we call on to decide the basis of our morality? The reality is if we remove God from the picture there is no basis or absolute authority and all morality becomes relative to the people or culture of the day. If there is anything we can learn about mankind, it is when he is left to his own devices he goes from bad to worse. The "spirit" of man is depraved and corrupted and the only reason we have any civility anywhere in the world is because of the restraints placed on people's behaviour by the God-ordained authorities and God's Spirit. Remove these restraints and even 'good' people will become as bad as the rest in no time at all.

        So you obviously have your own ideas about what is right and wrong, so in your world how do see to it that people adhere to your idealogy with little or no restraints on what they can do?

        Cheers
        Leigh

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by hungry dog View Post
          then of course there are the other revelations aside from the Bible.
          Such as..............???

          Comment


          • #6
            Hi hungry dog

            Much more detailed answers above, but in short:
            The Bible is not our only line of authority, but it is our most important.
            For example, we are told in the Bible to respect and follow the authority of governments, so we should follow all laws, unless a law makes us go against God's Word. In this example, these two sources of authority are not exclusive.

            As for your question about not being able to be "Jesus-relational and Bible-dictatorial" (I don't agree with that label, but that's another issue...) at the same time:
            The Bible calls itself the living Word of God. You cannot separate Jesus and His Word. They are one.

            John 1:1 - In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it

            John 1:14 - And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
            http://www.mychristiansite.com/personal/vision/ <-- My site. Check it out

            http://www.freehovind.com Please sign the petition to pardon Kent Hovind.

            Comment


            • #7
              This idea may have something to do with a recent topic of mine. When Christians discuss with eachother it can be different from when christians discuss with non christians. This is because the bible has more than one level in many of its writings.
              The problem with evidence outside of the bible, is that man is imperfect. Whereas God is perfect and all Love. The bible had men writing under the power of the Holy Spirit - and the Holy Spirit means God himself! There have been some great christians through the centuries and great writers, led in a 'lesser' way by the spirit. But they are flawed like you and me. However good they were, it never came close to the Word of God in the bible.
              These writers try to bring the Word's meaning to each generation and we must be very greatful for their God given gift. But their gift is a 'lesser' gift - once and for all time God gave us one complete book - the Bible.
              I hope this helps.
              1 Corinthians 1:12-13 Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos: and I of Cephas; and I of Christ.

              Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptised in the name of Paul?

              KJV

              May the power of the Spirit of our God unite us. SofTy.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by 9Marksfan View Post
                Such as..............???
                nature, for one.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by TEITZY View Post
                  I'll try and address a few of your points.

                  The Bible is the Christians only line of authority with regard to spiritual truth (particularly relating to the nature of God and Christ) and principles of morality. So in these matters it is the 'yardstick' by which all other moral authorities or 'holy' books must be measured. With regard to human authorities (eg. Governments) the New Testament says we should obey these in all cases except where they would have us violate a clear command of God.
                  actually, there is a law that is older and takes precedent over the Law of the Torah and the Bible. that is the law that Jesus appeals to: the law of love.

                  I don't see rules and relationships as being mutually exclusive. In fact if there were no rules or guidelines regulating our relationship with others there would be no meaningful relationships at all! Jesus came to earth to restore the broken relationship between God and men. God gives us rules to live by to enhance our relationship with Him. It's when we break those rules that our relationship or friendship with God is affected in a negative way. God made us and therefore He knows what is good for us. Unfortunately we think we know better and God has no idea. Sinful humans have always sought happiness and satisfaction through being independent from God, when in reality, true satisfaction and peace comes when we are dependent on Him for all things.
                  a rule can be twisted and altered. if, however, you can get at the principle behind those rules, you can access a concept that would apply to any situation, even those not specified by the law.

                  otherwise you end up with an unending list of precedent law or detailed rule book that attempts to deal with any possible scenario that we could ever have. the Bible is not this. there are texts that attempt this, however, and you've likely heard of them. some of them even attempt to more closely codify the laws of the Bible.

                  The only laws Jesus broke were the man-made ones that were contrary to the commands of God. The NT is very clear that Jesus kept or fulfilled "all the law" and this is the reason why His death on the cross can be accepted by God as a substitionary sacrifice for the sins of men. If Jesus broke just one of God's laws He would be a sinner and His sacrifice would be worthless since He would be under the same condemnation as every other sinner. It is true that the legalism of the Pharisees was keeping them and others from having a right relationship with God, but again many of their laws were contrary to God's law and God never gave the Law as a means of salvation in the first place. Rather the law was given to show people their deficiencies in keeping it and to make them realize that their only hope was to seek God's mercy and forgiveness.
                  see? you have heard of them.

                  but actually this is not entirely true.
                  Jesus told a man to pick up his mat and walk on a Sabbath (Jn. 5:8-15).
                  is this not contrary to the law (loosely, the Old Testament)?

                  So if we remove God from the picture how do we establish a principle for determining what is right and wrong? What authority do we call on to decide the basis of our morality? The reality is if we remove God from the picture there is no basis or absolute authority and all morality becomes relative to the people or culture of the day. If there is anything we can learn about mankind, it is when he is left to his own devices he goes from bad to worse. The "spirit" of man is depraved and corrupted and the only reason we have any civility anywhere in the world is because of the restraints placed on people's behaviour by the God-ordained authorities and God's Spirit. Remove these restraints and even 'good' people will become as bad as the rest in no time at all.
                  for ourselves? i would say Jesus spells it out pretty clearly: Love God and love other people.

                  i don't think we should be making an appeal to "God-ordained" authorities when governments that have been church centered have been some of the worst in history.

                  So you obviously have your own ideas about what is right and wrong, so in your world how do see to it that people adhere to your idealogy with little or no restraints on what they can do?

                  Cheers
                  Leigh
                  is it obvious? why?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by hungry dog View Post
                    nature, for one.
                    Matthew 8:27 But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!

                    Nature even obeys Him.
                    Hell....the nightmare you can't wake up from.

                    Sin is like electricity, it takes the path of least resistance. (the shortest path to ground).

                    Jesus said He is “The Way”, not “A” way. Jesus said He is “the Truth”, not “A” truth. Jesus said He is “The Life”, not “A” life. No man comes to the Father but by Me. Are we serving a man or are we serving God?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by dljc View Post
                      Matthew 8:27 But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!

                      Nature even obeys Him.
                      interesting... i'm not really sure if that demonstrates that nature is revelatory or not...

                      Last edited by hungry dog; Jan 15th 2008, 04:17 AM.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I would say that God can (or does use) nature to reveal Himself.
                        Though, it would not add or subtract to what we already know from the Bible.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I think i see what you are getting at. You can take any situation or discussion and run around the bible looking for similar and find a few scriptures, but are you suggesting thats what the Pharisees, Saducees and teachers of the Law of Moses did? That they could win arguements with humans - but faced with Jesus it all fell apart? That he knew WHY those laws were given and summed it up in Love God / Love your neighbour (even your enemy).
                          This is certainly an idea worth considering and looking at - if this is part of your thinking? However i think we should proceed with caution. The whole of scripture has value and does not contradict itself.

                          Perhaps we should be looking at a 2 way street. The least you can reduce the bible to in Jesus/ God's opinion, certainly not our opinion.

                          Matthew 22:40 All the Law of Moses and the Books of the Prophets are based on these two commandments.

                          Then expand from the 'base' outwards, based on...

                          2 Timothy: 16 Everything in the scriptues is God's Word. All of it is useful for teaching and helping people and for correcting them and showing them how to live.

                          I would certainly like to look at this way of thinking, to help me and others.
                          1 Corinthians 1:12-13 Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos: and I of Cephas; and I of Christ.

                          Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptised in the name of Paul?

                          KJV

                          May the power of the Spirit of our God unite us. SofTy.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by hungry dog View Post
                            nature, for one.
                            OK, granted - but that's general revelation, which needs to be governed (and often clarified) by special revelation (ie Scripture) - the wise men's search for Christ is a good example - general revelation came first (the star) but special revelation (the Scripture prophecy) was needed for them to find Christ.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by hungry dog View Post
                              so many people talk about relationship with God and how Jesus is relational. however, they sideline that with the idea that we adhere strictly to the Bible as if the Bible is a rule book..
                              The Holy Bible is "God's rules for Healthy, Happy living" which is essential as it tells us why we need a Saviour, Who our only Saviour is, and how to have a relationship with Him. Rather like the instruction manual that comes with almost anything we buy, we learn more by reading it, and also learn of foolish and expensive mistakes to avoid.
                              Originally posted by hungry dog View Post
                              then of course there are the other revelations aside from the Bible.
                              But if those revelations deviate from the Bible in any way, they are not from God, and therefore worthless.

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