Tuesday, June 16, 2009

looks like i wasn't the first...

...to notice the "Bible idolatry" argument some like the emergents are starting to use.

And, thankfully, some better able to form arguments against it have done so.

A Thought on Bibliolatry

The Psalmist is a Bibliolater?

From the second link...

Those who use it often draw a false dichotomy saying we should follow Jesus or God but not be enslaved to a book. A simple response could be: which Jesus? Whose God? How do I know them. To say we should follow Jesus and not the Bible or Jesus more than the Bible is a radical dichotomy of the worst sort. Jesus teaches us that all of the Scriptures point to Him. Jesus Himself uses the Bible authoritatively--i.e. in a way that those leveling the charge of bibliolatry consider idolatrous. In fact, the Bible is the only infallible marker to Jesus Christ. It is a covenant treaty that is given to God's people...almost like a marriage certificate. It is a treaty from our Great Kind announcing to us that He is reconciling Himself to the world in the person of Jesus Christ. In short, we have no kingdom charter without the text of Scripture... no way of being sure if the kingdom of God has indeed dawned in the Son

This link is found in the second link above.

Is Bibliolatry Possible?

A fine theologian of whom I asked the question thinks that bibliolatry is possible and that the scribes and Pharisees were guilty of it. Now we must guard against laying all the intellectual sins ever conceived at the feet of the poor scribes and Pharisees. They have quite enough sobering problems. But were they bibliolaters to boot? Well, they did highly honor the words of Scripture. Whatever else you say about scribes and Pharisees, they knew the Book. Look, for instance, at those of whom Herod inquired regarding the Messiah's birthplace. "Bethlehem of Judea!" they snapped off, "For so it has been written by the prophet, 'And you, Bethlehem, land of Judah...'" Let me ask you. How well do you know Micah's prophecy?

But it is a tragic fact that the scribes and Pharisees, though knowing the words of the Book, knew not its Author. "You know neither me nor my Father," pronounced Jesus. Perhaps it is bibliolatry to know the Book but not its Publisher. To know dead precepts, but not the living God. "Thou shalt love the Bible thy Book with all thine heart, soul, and strength. But God is expendable." However, let me ask you this: How did Jesus answer the bibliolatrous folk of his day?

Jesus answered wrong users of the Book with the Book. Is bibliolatry possible then? Not easily, but yes, I suppose bibliolatry may possibly occur in some extreme cases. Yet is it bibliolatry to hold to a high view of Scripture or to attribute infallibility or other divine attributes to God's Word? How about substituting God's actions with the Bible's record of his acts? "The Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith. . . ."

No, what some may call bibliolatry is not always- indeed, is rarely such. Let us truly love the Lord our God with all our hearts and worship him only. But "to reverently esteem" the Book, "the heavenliness of the matter, the efficacy of the doctrine, the majesty of the style, the consent of all the parts, the scope of the whole...is to give all glory to God." 3 Even to love God's Word has good precedent in our Lord Jesus himself: "Oh, how I love your law! It is my meditation all the day long...I hate and abhor falsehood, but I love your law...But these things were written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life."

I now call on those who posted on this blog, and accuse me of bibliolatry even if they did not use that name, to respond to these things I've posted here. Put up or shut up.

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