In the end, the Bible is the most reasonable of all books, for it conforms with reality. It is our culture that is irrational, our minds that are darkened. Just as the gospel commends itself to us by making sense of our experience, so too does the Bible. It insists on bringing moral judgment to bear on our existence, and revealing the truth about the human heart. It brings before us a standard of morality and godliness that would absolutely transform the world were we to live in accordance with its precepts. It provides a pattern of the relationship between the sexes that endorses the difference while affirming the equality. It majors on forgiveness of the wounded conscience. It gives hope for the future. Undoubtedly it cuts across many of the ideas held most dear in the culture. It is all the more important, therefore, that Christians should not capitulate to the contemporary mores. It is the difference of Christianity that will make the biggest impact, and, if indeed the Bible is the word of God, we may be sure tha tit will prove to be centred on ‘the power of God and the wisdom of God’ (1 Cor. 1:24).
In short, human reason in all its variety is a most useful servant of the gospel. But where reason or tradition becomes the masters of the gospel, dictating how the word of God may come to us, it serves only that evil from which God aims to free us.
Peter Jensen, The Revelation of God, pp. 177-178
As I’ve read this over and over again, I keep coming back to one thing:
At the heart of all the controversies around the Bible and its reliability seems to be one issue—control.
When it comes studying to the Bible, who is in control?
If God has revealed Himself through the Bible, then we are obliged to obey. Yet, because it seems foolish to us naturally, we seek to ignore it. We rebel against because we want control.
But the Bible refuses to obey us.
It keeps pointing out the foolishness of our minds, the irrationality of our thinking. This is why we need the Holy Spirit to illuminate the Scriptures and free us from our bondage to our desire for human autonomy and allow us to understand and obey what can often seem so paradoxical.
Thinking about this has made me consider how I read and apply Scripture with great care. Am I doing so, hoping to control it or be brought under its control?
I’m praying it’s the latter.