Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Believe, Study, Believe

I've spent the last 5-6 years of my life engaged in the study of the Bible. There is certainly much to study, much gold to mine. No doubt, the study of God's Word should be a lifelong task; no one has 'arrived' as a Bible student or scholar. Proper interpretation involves diligence. Saints before us have paved the way for much of our understanding - the church fathers, the Reformers, etc. Even after centuries of study and interpretation, we see things today that were not clearly seen by those before us. The last century witnessed much growth and a great deal of progress in the way of biblical scholarship. Can we ever do enough study of passages such as Gen.1-3, Rom.9-11, Revelation, or the relationship of the Old and New Covenants?

Lately, I've been reminded of a basic truth, however (thanks to Gene Veith of World and Al Mohler on Larry King Live). We can study and exegete and seek to 'uncover' meanings of biblical passages until our faces fall off. And...we should. Rigorous study, in concert with the people of God of all ages, is non-negotiable. But let us not forget (let me not forget) that, in the final analysis, God's Word is not given so much to be scrutinized as it is to simply be received and believed. God has spoken, and He does not have a lisp or stuttering problem. So, do we place ourselves 'under' the Word of God. Do we receive it? Believe it?

What does this look like? 2 things come to mind. Homosexuality....God has spoken. We can study the intricacies of biblical teaching on the subject (James White's book is the one), but after all is said and done, do we receive and believe?
Gender roles in the home and church....God has spoken. Read Piper, Grudem, Ware, read the egalitarians (evangelical feminists). In the final say, however, do we receive and respond in obedience to God's wise ordering of church and home?
Certainly there are a plethora of other examples, but these are just a few thoughts.

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