Skip to main content

"This is my daily bread, your very word spoken to me"

BB Warfield wrote:
"...what Scripture says, God says... whatever it may be found to say, that is the Word of God."
This is derided as Bibliolatry. Book-worship.

Others say - we don't need more Bible, we know the facts - we needs skills and practical help.
Others say - God speaking! Exciting... spurious... weird...

But, if Warfield is right we're rejecting God if reject God's word... and we're distancing ourselves from God when we go Scripture-lite.

For me, lack of Bible in my life leads to lack of faith - since the voice of God brings faith. I drift from Christ. I drift from believing what the gospel reveals of Christ.

I'm studying 1 Samuel 15 this week ahead of preaching on it soon.

In this story King Saul is confronted for disobeying the voice of God (which came to him via judge-prophet Samuel and the Pentateuch). He denies it, protesting than not only is he obeying but he's also worshipping. Samuel replies - do you think God wants your worship if you're disobeying him? You're a presumptuous rebel, an idolator. And then, twice:
"You rejected God's word... so God has rejected you as King." (v23,v26)
Some of this is about Saul's throne, but the issue goes wider and deeper.

God rejects those who reject his voice.

The Father's Spirit-filled Word - his Son.
The Father's Spirit-breathed written word about his Son - that is: The Bible.
The Father's Spirit-empowered word in preaching, and it's cousin prophecy (as it has been said, The Preaching of the Word of God is the Word of God).

My standing with the Father is as my standing with the Son, the Scriptures, and the present word of God through his people. There is no other foundation on which to build the church. Faith comes by hearing, faith won't come when his voice is on mute.

Saul finally appears to repent but it's too late for his throne. Perhaps not too late for his soul, though what follows isn't promising. Word-rejectors are judged, as those who stumble and take offence at the Christ.

What hope? Only the other king, the other rejected King. The king rejected by the people for obeying the voice of God. The king who takes our place in judgement, becoming sin for us - dying in the place of word-rejectors, that by the better word of his blood he might bring us through death to life.

All of which leads me to read the Bible. Not because I worship a book but because I know that, like Saul, I am a word-rejector. And either I can cover my ears and continue to go my own way and love the things made in the idol factory* that is my heart, or I can put myself in the sound of his voice.

I want Christ but I'm fickle - but my trust isn't in the strength of my faith and devotion- not in my word but his. Mine is a hope outside of me.

I need the Bible as (and even more than) I need daily bread. I don't read it every day. I don't always do what it says. I'm not always excited to read it. I'm not always blown away by what I read. I don't read it because I don't know the story - I do - I read it because I know it.

I read it with others to temper my biases, confront the planks in my eyes, to serve one another. I hear it in the company of the church to reveal my sin and my Saviour that we might be built up together. I read it to remember my baptism and remember him at his Table. I read it with those who don't know Jesus so they might come to know him. I read it to discover more of God and his fascinating world that my dull heart just takes for granted. I read page by page, being swept up in it's grand story, stopping to examine it's finer details, appreciating it's melodies and symphonies. I read it to learn to pray and love and learn what my salvation is for. I read it to fight my sin and to enflame my affections.

I read it know that this word can harden my sinful heart, and knowing that nothing else in all the world can melt my sinful heart. I read it when I don't want Christ and because I want Christ.

Image: David Wright (Creative Commons)
* John Calvin's phrase.


Popular posts from this blog

"Big eyes full of wonder"

Books. Fiction. Libraries. Second only to churches as are the best gateways in your community to ultimate reality and new possibilities.

Our local library has just re-opened after refurbishment, and I love that our boys have spent several mornings there during the summer holidays, discovering some wonderful new stories.

I realised a few months back that I wasn't reading enough fiction. My work necessitates reading a lot of non-fiction, a mix of historical and contemporary thinking, biblical studies and theology. But fiction is the cinderella. Easily overlooked, and yet able to awaken my imagination and show me the way things are meant to be.

So I've picked up a few more lately - bought and borrowed. Not every book attempted flies, and that's ok. These have been winners though.

Ink. This is Alice Broadway's debut novel. It's young adult fiction and tells the story of Leora who lives in a world where the events of your life are tattooed on your skin. Nothing gets hid…

Uniquely Matthew

Reading gospel accounts in parallel is sometimes used to blur the differences in perspective between the evangelists, seeking to harmonise the texts and find a definitive historical account of what happened. No such thing exists because every account is biased and limited. You simply can't record everything. You have to hold a vantage point. And that's not a problem.

Matthew, Mark and Luke take a very different vantage point to John who was of course an eyewitness himself of the events. Comparing the text of Matthew, Mark and Luke across the death and resurrection of Jesus yields two steps.

Firstly, the common ground. All three accounts tell of...
Simon of Cyrene carrying the cross…. · Jesus labelled as King of the Jews…. · Criminals crucified with Jesus… · Darkness in the daytime… · Jesus' loud final cry… The women who witnessed Jesus death, and Jesus' burial… · The tomb lent to Jesus by Joseph of Arimithea… · The women who went to the tomb on the morning of the…

Songs we're singing in Church

Christians are a singing people, it's part of what we do when we gather.

Our church meets morning an evening on a Sunday - normally using 5 songs in each service. So, over the year that's about 520 song-slots available. The report from the database system we use ( tells us that in the past year we've sung about 150 different songs.

Our current most used song has been sung 11 times in the last year, just under once a month. Our top 10 are used about every 6 weeks. By #30 we're talking about songs used every two months. The tail is long and includes loads of classic hymns from across the centuries, plus other songs from the past 40 years, that we have used around once a term or less.

1. Rejoice - Dustin Kensrue

2. Come Praise & Glorify - Bob Kauflin

3. Man of Sorrows - Hillsong

4. Cornerstone - Hillsong

Rejoice was a song I didn't previously know, along with a couple of others that have quickly become firm favourites for me: Chri…