From time to time I stumble upon Bible-aloners arguing between themselves about the Bible being inspired, and/or infallible, and/or inerrant, etc… And then about whether it is sola scriptura, or nuda scriptura,… And then about Schleiermacherian and Barthian and Bultmannian approaches to scripture… And Calvin… And Warfield… and Spurgeon… and Vos…
And, once people have declared their position on the nature of the Bible – including whether they follow Barth or Bultman (etc) – even then, within the sub-sub-subgroup that they have assigned themselves to, even then those within the same sub-sub-subgroup can still end up opposed to each other on specific questions, texts, interpretations, and moral issues.
There is also a regular dose of: “God has made the Bible perfect (read “inspired”, “infallible”, “inerrant”, or whatever…) but it is we, as imperfect (read “sinful”, “totally depraved”, etc) who find it difficult to interpret God’s Perfect Word.”
But there is little point in an inspired/infallible/inerrant scripture unless you can provide an inspired/infallible/inerrant hermeneutic (interpretation).
And so we end up with the fragmentation of Christianity. And disagreements between Christians within the same fragment. Arguments online and offline are virulent – any nonChristian observing rightly wonders how these Christians can claim to be following and representing THE truth – revealed truth, no less.
Let’s not take the topic du jour (topic du decade?) that is dissipating church energy. I was wanting to illustrate a sermon, recently, on the value of rest and re-creation. It doesn’t take long before one encounters Exodus 31:15 and its parallels:
For six days shall work be done, but the seventh day is a sabbath of solemn rest, holy to the Lord; whoever does any work on the sabbath day shall be put to death.
It’s pretty straight forward, isn’t it? No? Then read its application:
When the Israelites were in the wilderness, they found a man gathering sticks on the sabbath day. Those who found him gathering sticks brought him to Moses, Aaron, and to the whole congregation. They put him in custody, because it was not clear what should be done to him. Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘The man shall be put to death; all the congregation shall stone him outside the camp.’ The whole congregation brought him outside the camp and stoned him to death, just as the Lord had commanded Moses. Numbers 15:32-36
Looking forward, in the comments, to some sola scriptura, nuda scriptura, infallible, inerrant, Calvinist, Warfieldian, Spurgeonite, and Vosian reflections…