The Transforming Word
THE TRANSFORMING WORD
Imagine taking up in your hands Christ’s own copy of the Scriptures and, turning the pages, noting the passages that were meaningful to Him
An old Army pensioner was talking about a recent experience. He had been rummaging through a closet when he’d come across the small Bible he’d carried with him during the war in the Pacific. As he thumbed through the tattered pages, he noticed the rude pencil markings here and there in the margins. He got all choked up, he said, reading those passages that had strengthened his soul in those frightening hours so long ago.
Imagine taking up in your hands Christ’s own copy of the Scriptures and, turning the pages, noting the passages that were meaningful to Him. It’s astonishing how often Jesus drew solutions to modern problems from the Word of God.
“Have ye never read?” He asked time and again. He recalled God’s goodness to Naaman the leper, the widow of Sarepta, the Queen of Sheba, and lost souls of Nineveh. He marked the story where “Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness” as the definitive explanation of His own purpose on earth.
Jesus rebuked the mercenary clergymen of His day with the story of a real priest who gave the hungry David the very bread from the altar. In the voice that came from a burning bush on the backside of the desert He wanted His followers to hear echoes of life everlasting. He found in the little book of Deuteronomy all He needed to defeat the Tempter and the attacks of Satan’s offspring. He quoted the very stories that seem to be an embarrassment to many today
– Jonah and the whale, Adam and Eve, Noah and the flood. These stories of judgment warn us today, He said. And so do the consequences.
It’s not “politically correct” today to speak of divine judgment on moral depravity as inevitable and inescapable, but Jesus said, “the same day that Lot went out of Sodom, it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all,” and He added this, “Remember Lot’s wife.” Not, don’t forget her, or brush the tragic story aside as irrelevant, or think for a moment it can’t happen. It has happened, and it will happen again “when the Son of man is revealed.” Remember! There’s no reason it should happen to you as long as you have heeded the message of Jesus’ Bible of which he said it cannot be broken. “Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.”
On Doctrine and Practice July 16, 2019
A charge that is made repeatedly against historic Christianity is that its stress on doctrine makes it authoritarian, theoretical, and cold. The Christian religion is a practical affair; putting the faith in terms of truth to be believed alienates or repels many who would otherwise be sympathetic. As John Robinson puts it, ‘the effect of […]
Christianity and Culture July 12, 2019
One of the greatest of the problems that have agitated the Church is the problem of the relation between knowledge and piety, between culture and Christianity. This problem has appeared first of all in the presence of two tendencies in the Church — the scientific or academic tendency, and what may be called the practical […]