Does the Bible contain the actual words of God or does it contain words that are inspired by God? A recent Gallup poll found that 3 in 10 Americans believe that the Bible is the actual word of God. 49% percent believe that the Bible is the inspired word of God but that not all of it should be taken literally.
Paul writes of Scripture, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
What does it mean that Scripture is “God-breathed?” If all of the Bible isn’t to be taken literally, then how do we decide which items are literal and which ones aren’t? There are some who develop their theology based on their own experiences first. Then they consult Scripture and interpret that based on their experience.
In our American culture, it is very important to understand how we interpret Scripture. Churches need to teach and preach hermeneutics (principles for interpreting Scripture). Right now I am studying and praying through a sermon that I will preaching August 14 on this topic. I believe it is one of the foundational issues that today’s church must grapple with. Everything a church and a believer does flows from their view of Scripture whether they realize it or not.
What is your view of Scripture? How does your view of Scripture change your lifestyle and worldview?
This past Sunday we started our focus on Christmas and tried to stress the importance of giving instead of getting to our Sunday School class children. I told the students how we would be focusing on different characters in the Christmas story over the next few weeks. All I got back were blank stares that I read as, “I’m bored with the Christmas story and baby Jesus. I’ve heard it all before.” I wonder how one of the most transformational and earth shattering story of God incarnating himself became boring.
I was a pastor’s kid growing up so I was the worst at being bored with the Christmas story. I hated that my dad would read the Christmas story on Christmas morning before we could open the presents. All I could think about was what was under the tree. Tomorrow I am meeting with our Children’s Ministry staff and my big question is, “How do we regain the excitement and wonder that the shepherds, wise men and Mary had that first Christmas?”
What do you all think? How have we become bored with Christmas and lost the wonder and excitement that was present at the birth of Christ? How has this story lost the original earth shattering message of hope, joy and salvation? How do we help our children experience what it was like when Jesus was born?