“All Scripture is God-Breathed.” 2 Timothy 3:16 – part 2

We all live in a tick-box culture these days and most Christians will say that they agree with 2 Timothy 3:16 that all Scripture is God-breathed. In my previous post I questioned this. Or rather I questioned the extent to which we regard Scripture as inspired. Do we treat some parts of Scripture as being more authoritative than others? The fact is that most of us find some parts of the Bible as more inspiring than others. There will also be times that some verse or other will leap out from the page at us. Yet other passages send us to sleep. I mean the rules and regulations concerning sacrifices and the like in Leviticus and other books in the Penteteuch or Torah. It is a case of the spirit being willing but the flesh being weak. With our heads we say that all Scripture is inspired but our hearts seem to say otherwise. The danger being that our actions speak louder than words.
The aspect I want to dwell on is when we witness a debate on one of the many matters that can divide the Church. Nominally the debaters will accept the authority of the Bible but the participants trade Bible verses as if the ones that support their position are more inspired than those of their opponents. The issues that could be debated are endless:- End times/eschatology; the role of Israel; the role of women in the Church; the role of the Holy Spirit and the gifts of the Spirit today; the relationship between faith and works, etc. Concerning the last of those. Luther, having re-established the doctrine of justification by faith he famously dismissed the Letter of James, which argues that we should show our faith by our works, as an “epistle of straw.” Though rarely within Christian circles are whole books are discounted as being less authoritative than others. Usually, it is the subject matter of verses that leads to controversy. Different Christian traditions colour the way people see things. Pentecostals find it difficult to read the words Holy Spirit without reading into it the gift of tongues. Cessationalists reading the same passages see it as being only appropriate for the early years of the Church. Name each controversy and you can find examples. Usually, one can see that if one takes any position to a ridiculous extreme the arguments begin to fall down. That makes it easy to create ‘straw men’ that their opponents can easily knock down. Resulting in those on one side not seeing the merits of those on the other side of the debate. We have to ask ourselves:- “Do we regard those verses that support the side in a debate that we agree with as being more inspired than those which disagree with our side?” So the next you see or hear a debate in the media then think twice whilst listening to it and not treat it as a sporting contest to be won or lost. The truth of Scripture is like a many faceted jewel and it is all too easy to try and see issues as being only two dimensional.
David Rose, 2015.

About davidgrose

I am a Bible believing Christian, brought up in the Brethren Movement, and now find myself associating with charismatics even though I do not always agree with them. I am in full-time employment. I have interests in history and photography amongst others.
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